Scaffolding Stages at Outdoors Events
Scaffold stages are an ideal solution for events organisers who need a structure that will not only provide a performance area, but also allow lighting and sound equipment to be supported.
We have used kwikform and cuplock staging of all sizes for a wide variety of events. These have also included complementary features such as staircases and walkways to make sure that people can access the spaces that they need. Of course, we also construct temporary roofs to go with these outdoors stages to make sure that the British weather doesn’t make the event a wash out!
Scaffold stages are generally built using traditional tube and fitting scaffolding that is designed to provide a sufficiently large platform area about 1 – 1.5 metres above ground level. We also incorporate a kicker lift about 12 inches off the ground, using 90 degree right angled load bearing drop forged double scaffold fittings. These are needed to ensure that the platform area is stable and secure. After all, if there’s to be a concert on the stage, the structure will probably need to bear the weight of a substantial sound system.
The scaffold lift is positioned on wooden sole plates and metal base plates measuring 150mm square. From there, the second lift is erected within the traditional scaffold list using ledger tubes on double couplers and transom tubes to support the scaffold boards. To give you an idea of how important this is, normal scaffolding demands transom spacing to be no more than 1,200mm. However, when building stages, we space the transoms at 500mm intervals to meet the load bearing challenges associated with the event.
We use a full layer of scaffold boards that are 4 metres in length, 225mm wide and 38mm thick to form the stage. These cover the transom tubes and give a level base for the hardboard or plywood covering. At this point, we could build a temporary roof to cover the stage and protect any expensive electrical equipment that will be placed there. The roof would be covered with steel sheets and Monaflex plastic sheeting to help keep both the wind and rain away from the stage.
A more expensive but comprehensive option is the use of canvas type stage roofs. These will give 100% protection to the stage as the sheeting locks together to form a watertight solution, whereas the steel and plastic sheeting may give up to 90% protection. The decision usually rests on how expensive the equipment on stage is likely to be, how long it will be there and how big the event in general will be.
Although there are different types of stage scaffolds, they are all built in much the same way as normal tube and fittings scaffolding. The main difference lies in the pre-fabricated and made to measure components that are used to give a tidier look. Scaffolding is not exactly known for its aesthetic appeal but we have to consider the look of the design as much as we can when it comes to outdoor events. The events organiser will obviously want the stage to be as neat as possible so we work hard to achieve this with the right materials.
Of course, while the look of the build is important, safety is paramount. A stage build is not described as a basic scaffold and therefore requires a full design service. There are many factors to consider – such as load bearing, the process of lifting heavy equipment, the location of stage lights and how the public will access the event – and everything needs to be taken into account to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for everyone.
When we undertake a stage construction, our scaffolders work under the supervision of the supervisor or individual who produced the scaffold design service. We also ensure that we work in conjunction with any planning permission requirements that have been given to the events organiser. Stage scaffolding can represent just as big a job as any commercial project so it’s essential that we plan the work carefully so that the structure is ready on time and does everything that is asked of it.