Best inTENTions

Temporary structures have a myriad of uses and are not simply a luxury of the large-scale event organiser…

As Stand Out writes, Piggotts will be on-site building 10 structures to house the VIP and backstage areas at this year’s event. The marquees will serve as a hub for celebrities, backstage crew and VIP ticket holders, covering 800 square metres.

More than 20 artists will perform over two days, entertaining over 30,000 fans of the Eighties. First staged in August 2009 with acts including Paul Young, Kim Wilde, Rick Astley and Sister Sledge, the 80’s Rewind Festival celebrates the best of the popular decade. It returns this year running from August 20-22 at Temple Island Meadows, near Henley- on- Thames, Oxfordshire.

Naturally, as it’s silly summer season, Rewind is just one of a number of projects the Piggotts team are working on. Gary Smith, head of sales and marketing, explains that it has just pulled out of Battersea Power Station were it supplied marquees for the Red Bull X-Fighters event, and it’s about to install a catering marquee at the Notting Hill Carnival, which will serve 1,000 Metropolitan Police officers.

As the events industry recovers from one of the toughest recessions of recent times, temporary structure companies have had to go the extra mile to secure business.

Brackley-based De Boer has had a fantastic year so far with real tangible business opportunities and wins.

John Cochrane, De Boer’s sales director – events, said: “This year has seen growth in our exhibition-based business with Farnborough International Airshow 2010 providing the perfect showcase for De Boer to convince prospective clients that not only do we have the quantity of equipment, but also the strength of experienced personnel to be able to deliver such a large and complex project.”

De Boer created Europe’s largest temporary exhibition venue for the airshow, which took place from July 19-25. The company provided structures totalling 90,000 square metres of floor space, equivalent to 460 tennis courts!

Staff at De Boer now have already turned their attention to the forthcoming Ryder Cup. The biennial transatlantic contest, which will be held from October 1-3 at The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, Wales, marks the fifth successive occasion De Boer has acted as one of the temporary structure supplier.

The company will provide facilities across a specially created Ryder Cup Tented Village including public catering areas, merchandising facilities, an exhibition space, information centre, Ryder Cup Bar and Champagne and Seafood Bar, using structures which include De Boer’s highly versatile Delta and Double-Decker Delta structures.

New developments

Cocoon is a contemporary large-scale rapidly deployed event enclosure that for the first time integrates the frame, membrane and services into one easily deployable structure.

Cocoon was developed by architect Michael Brady and engineers as a design response to multiple component traditional marquee frames and the timescales and skill required to construct. Cocoon can be deployed with no more that two to three staff within a few hours.

The structure, which is being manufactured by Tectonics, is finally making its way to the UK, having failed to make it to market as planned in 2009.

Losberger, which recently built a High Street for Wayne Hemingway’s Vintage at Goodwood festival, has developed for its range of temporary structures windows that open. Developed specifically for its client Goodwood Estate, the windows have been adapted from its standard glass panel and open to 10cm to meet safety regulations.

And it’s not the only development within the temporary structure realm: GL events Owen Brown has enhanced its Absolute range of temporary structures with the addition of automatic sliding doors. The doors are the industries first fully portable, fully collapsible electronic doors and are easy to fit with no crane required for installation. This new concept is set to be popular with back of house hospitality facilities as well as front of house for retail outlets and for exhibitor space at outdoor exhibitions.

A touring performance space designed especially for the Kneehigh Theatre Company made its public debut on July 27. The Asylum, created and designed by The Dome Company, consists of two geodesic half domes bridged by a cathedral-like fabric atrium, with a vaulted roof supported by leaning arches. Standing 12-metres high, the 1,200 square metre structure can seat 1,000.

There is no blackout material in the tent fabric – a deliberate choice, says The Dome Company’s Gil Gillilan: “The fabric chosen for the domes, entrances and backstage areas has a woven texture, and a good light translucency. On a sunny day it will bathe the structure in light but at night it will come alive, becoming a huge backlit canvas. From the outside, you will see an illusion of the show within.”

The structure is being managed by The Dome Company and is available to rent by event organisers when not in use by the theatre company. Plans are already in the pipeline to build a smaller structure, specifically for the sole use of the events industry.

Life’s a beach

Sandpolo approached Mar-Key with a brief for an altogether “different” site for the 2010 event. The brief outlined high quality infrastructure to incorporate hospitality restaurant, lounge, nightclub and VIP areas to the main complex with surrounding supporting structures for trade and catering outlets. All to be delivered and erected on the beach with a maximum five-day build period.

Mar-Key rose to the challenge by providing 2,000square metres of temp structures, incorporating six 12.5m peaked units for hospitality and VIP areas which surrounded a 15m x 25m main nightclub structure. Over 350 square metres of decking cassette boarding was used on external areas to provide drinks and viewing terraces.

The event takes place on the exclusive Sandbanks peninsular in Poole and the beach itself presented challenges with regards to access, fixing and working conditions. The event attracted over 7,000 visitors.

Positive signs

As the official banking partner of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, HSBC required a VIP hospitality lounge for its Premier and Advanced account holders with tickets to this year’s tournament.

The idea behind the HSBC ‘Wimbledon Haven’ was to provide premium customers with an exclusive area to relax in between matches and add an extra touch of luxury to their Wimbledon experience.

Neptunus was commissioned by event implementation agency, SLS on behalf of IMG to provide an open plan hospitality area for up to 80 guests on the site of the Wimbledon Golf course and in time for the start of the tournament.

With the golf course only closing two days prior to the tournament’s first match, Neptunus only had a limited time frame to construct the structure. A team of experts seamlessly linked together a row of its stylish Mercury marquees in one day, allowing SLS to complete the interior fit-out and hand it over to HSBC on time.

The exclusive lounge was styled in HSBC’s corporate colours of red and white, while the main features included a large screen showing live action from Centre Court, comfortable seating areas and light snacks and refreshments, allowing customers to enjoy Murray Mania in style.

Neptunus’ Mercury structures provided the ideal solution for an intimate retreat, allowing a small number of guests to enjoy a privileged experience during a busy tournament, whilst they were also in keeping with a prestigious event of this magnitude.

Neptunus has also provided structures for high profile events including the Masterpiece Fair London 2010, where over 11,000 square metres of temporary space was required to host the international exhibition showcasing luxury goods, which attracted 18,000 visitors over seven days in June.

Having had a busy 2010 so far, with a particularly eventful summer, April Trasler, UK managing director at Neptunus believes the event industry is showing positive signs of recovery from the recession.

She comments: “We have seen many of the one-off product launches and celebration events that were postponed last year making a come back this year and although budgets for the larger events are still scaled back, the need for high quality products and service is still top of the list. Event organisers and companies are still on the search for that something different, to help their event gain value by standing out from the crowd.”

Off with a bang

In early 2010 The Amazing Tent Company was selected to supply tent structures for a nine-date, nine-venue roadshow, currently appearing in major cities across the UK to coincide with the BBC’s high-voltage science programme, Bang Goes the Theory.

Now in its second year, the project has increased in size due to its popularity – in addition to providing a saddle span structure, for 2010, the team at Amazing are also installing a brand new ARCO 100 structure.

“We continually grow and develop our range – sourcing, customising and supplying complimentary structures that work both as stand-alone products, or as part of a much bigger production package”, comments Steve Haddrell, director.

The structure houses a side-by-side stage show as well as an interactive exhibition and both are anchored with a special ballast system.  A custom made solution was required due to a tight logistical schedule and hard-standing sites in each city centre.

In addition to designing anchorage, Amazing Tents designed and retro-fitted side panels to the ARCO that would fit with the ‘Bang banners’ and provide clear routes in and out of the structure.

Adds Dan Hall, technical director: “We relish the challenge to come up with new and innovative systems that give our customers a real differentiator. I am sure this is the first of many new designs which we look forward to rolling out over the coming months!”

Catwalk glamour

2010 saw GL events Owen Brown supply structures for the Glamour Awards, having been awarded the contract by Timebased Events for the last three years. A red carpet reception was housed in a 400 square metre clear top premier pavilion and a courtyard area utilised 225 square metres of Premier and Guilio Barbieri Pagoda structures. In total, 1,961 square metres of structures were used to house the main presentation areas, toilets, cloakroom, kitchen and interview areas.

The Glamour Woman of the Year Awards, hosted in Berkeley Square, Westminster, London, is one of the biggest events on the celebrity social calendar.

A combination of Premier and Ultimate structures with Apex roofs made up the venue. To make the most of the leafy surroundings of Berkeley Square the red carpet reception area featured a clear view roof. The main presentation hall had a black out roof skin to prevent natural light from affecting the filming.