Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Setting the stage for Live Music

Posted: June 14, 2011 at 22:29 pm Author: Simon Hough

It’s that time of year again unbelievably – the week before Westonbirt’s first Live Music concert weekend when it’s all hands on deck to get the site ready for thousands of music fans.

Approximately 60 people will be involved in the set up over the week, installing the stage, sound and light systems, marquees, fences and toilets, setting out the car park – the list goes on.

Rigging the stageThe result! Happy concert goers

The first thing to go in is the stage, as it's the biggest structure and takes the longest to be built. Also, there are lots of sound and light systems to be installed and the sound engineers need at least one full day to do that. The location of the stage is also the most critical thing. We have the arena digitally mapped to give the best sound coverage, so we have to locate the stage and its associated speakers first and build everything else around it.

Next to be installed are the beer coolers! We have two large containers that have been converted into giant chillers and they are installed behind the bar location. We need to give these two full days to settle and reach the correct temperature before the beer can be delivered, so it's important to get them set up early.

The team at work

The smaller structures like marquees are next. These house a lot of the support crew, the catering and their equipment. The fencing, toilets and setting out the car park into neat rows and erecting all the signs all happen over the next few days. Most of the work is done by specialist contractors, but the local Forestry Commission team have lots of roles to play during this time, assisting and supervising the contractors.

We hope to finish the build by Thursday morning, so that we have a day spare should anything unforeseen happen. Sometimes some equipment is delayed getting onto site from a previous event and this can delay things.

Of course this will all happen seamlessly so that you can enjoy the concerts in the beautiful surroundings of the arboretum – so if you haven’t yet got your tickets, visit!