GEARHOUSE GUYS GO GAGA
Gearhouse South Africa's staging division was called on by Belgium-based staging company, Stageco to provide a full stage setup for the upcoming Lady Gaga concert at Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok on 25 May 2012, as part of the Born this way Ball Tour.
Thailand is one of the only two countries in Asia where the concert is being held outdoors and all 20,000 seat tickets for the Bangkok show were sold out in just a few hours, with just a few tickets left for standing room only.
A long standing relationship between Ofer Lapid of Gearhouse SA and Hedwig de Meyer from Stageco in Belgium has resulted in a significant amount of stage-building skills exchange between the two companies over the years. Stageco has provided crew to work together with the Gearhouse Structures team on South African shows such as 10 years of Democracy, Closing Ceremony at Athlone Stadium and the 46664 Concert in Fancourt, George while South African crew have been involved on other international tours such as the U2 "360 degree" Tour and Rolling Stones "Bigger Bang" world tour On each occasion the exchange of knowledge has been beneficial to both sides.
For Lady Gaga, Gearhouse South Africa has shipped 220 tonnes of steel in 16 40 ft containers and 12 crew members to Bangkok to facilitate the event. They will build all the staging elements including a 7 tower, 25m Stageco roof with 11,3m PA wings and 10m video portals either side as well as all Layher scaffold decking, Front of House and 4 Stageco delay towers out in the field.
This time, the Gearhouse Structures team is comprised of crew from across the country: Attie van Staden, Tambani Lokoza, Thulani Lokoza, Sanele Gabela, Doctor Khumalo, Nkosinathi Thulelo and Zwelie Phunsula from the Johannesburg branch, Mark Gandy, Abdul Brock, Anthony Sanger and Manie Ziervogel from the CTN branch and Siphephelo “Sticks” Mzizi from Durban.
Buildup for the massive event begins on 20th May giving the technical team only 4 days to complete the set up before the show on the 25th May. Once the Bangkok show has been loaded out most of the crew will return to South Africa but 5 will stay with the Stageco team to assist with the show on 3rd June in Jakarta.
Gearhouse owns Stageco standard roofing/staging systems - which are rated amongst the best in the world for large scale shows and events. It's on these structures that most of the Gearhouse Structures team have developed their basic rigging and structure building skills. Gearhouse is known for its pro-active training policies and for many of the team this will be the first time they will experience working with an international crew in Thailand.
"It is a great opportunity for our crew to see how it's done overseas and learn from such a big show." Says team leader Mark Gandy, who has worked extensively with Stageco together with Gearhouse colleague Wiseman Lokoza.
"The knowledge they gain and experience of working on another continent will be invaluable to them and will definitely help in raising the Gearhouse standard to even greater heights."
Story by Robyn D'Alessandro
May 18, 2012