In a glitzy awards ceremony held recently at the Sandton Convention Centre, private healthcare and hospital group Netcare recognised its internal staff for the incredible work they have done over the past year.

Netcare’s “Night of the stars”, now in its 12th year, has always been about recognising the achievements of their staff, and in particular, saluting those that have gone beyond the call of duty by providing extraordinary care and dedication to the clients they serve.

When Monster Productions and Events, a top South African event management and production company, approached Gearhouse SA, the largest provider of technical equipment in southern Africa, to assist with this prestigious event; there was no doubt in anyone's minds that the event was destined to be something very special indeed.

The production, conceptualized and designed by Monster Productions and Events, comprised a 38m wide, two tiered stage spanning almost half of one side of the massive Sandton Convention Centre Pavilion. In front of the main horizontal stage area, a curved lower level performance area was accessed via a series of custom built curved steps. This area was later opened to guests for a post awards dance session.

Striking black and white toned décor with silver accents transformed the rest of the room into an awe-inspiring space, expertly up-lit to enhance the décor features.

Professional dancers and world class entertainers captivated the audience for the duration of the event, showcasing their skill and ability in a series of spectacular, custom-choreographed and themed acts interspersed with the various awards sections. The entertainment included a gymnastic ring act, a pas de deux and a poignant dance act by SA's wheelchair champions featuring the St Vincent’s School for the Deaf choir simultaneously signing the lyrics to the songs.


The stage was finished in white panels with front facings covered in pristine white "suede' fabric to minimise light reflection. Gearhouse sister company Sets, Drapes, Screens manufactured and constructed the glossy white set which later doubled as a “garage" setting, when the 4 screens suspended across the width of the back wall became "garage doors", lifting on cue to reveal a brand new VW Polo Vivo behind each - prizes for four of the Netcare Group's most deserving care givers.

These "garage doors" saw LEDVision utilising some of their most recent technology acquisitions to great advantage. The new Lighthouse DuoLED 18 product was chosen for the LED element of the event because of its remarkably lightweight design, making it a great choice for a 72 panel suspended screen application with strikingly bright visual output.


Guests at this black-tie event were treated to a veritable audio visual feast. 4 Christie 10K HD projectors suspended either side of the stage relayed a variety of AV content, live camera feed, stings and presentations onto the 4 LED screens as well as 2 front projection screens on either edge of the stage, which were used to display evocative visuals from Monster Productions creative design team.

Chris Grandin of Gearhouse Media controlled all Audio Visual elements using Wings Platinum and a Vista Spyder video processing system to ensure that all content was seamlessly output across all 8 individually controllable screens and could be edited "on the fly" should the need arise.

A novel red carpet entrance with 20 plasmas flanking the approach to the SCC Pavilion, gave each nominee a glimpse of themselves on television as they entered the venue. Monster Productions and Events had created magnificent faux frames for the plasmas giving the impression that each picture was professionally framed. The content was run off laptops to make the photos appear to rotate between framed screens.


Lighting designer and operator, Eugene Dlamini made full use of the white set surfaces to create colour washes and textures in keeping with the theatricality of the entertainment whilst incorporating the Netcare signature colours of blue and gold with hints of the 911 red to reinforce the brand.

20 Robe 700 colourwash and colorspot fixtures together with 32 Tri Tour LED Par Lights served to light the main performance areas while 600W Robe LEDWASH and ETC Source 4's, rigged off the screen truss, were reserved for the dramatic car reveal.

Monster Productions provided house lighting for the venue and 2 of their new Robe Robin 1200W MMX Spots, to complement the Gearhouse lighting rig.


Senior FOH engineer JJ Douglas assisted by Stage Technicians, Nathan Thiart and Lwazi Lalendle set up an L’Acoustics Kudo system together with a flown dV-Dosc centre cluster to provide full front coverage for the Awards ceremony. Chris Pugh of Monster Productions and Events mixed the audio for the duration of the event.

Low end reinforcement was courtesy of SB-118 subwoofers, stacked each side of the dance floor to ensure that the guests ended off the evening on a high note as they put the dance floor through its paces.

Gearhouse's L'Acoustics Kudo system again proved to be the ideal sound system of choice for this type of application because of its K Louvre capability which allows for optimal high/mid frequency placement in a venue and therefore a superior listening experience.

Gearhouse Project Manager, Lefa Tsiane, coordinated the technical execution ensuring that all aspects ran smoothly and that the entire project was executed exactly to schedule. Event management was undertaken by Lloyd Wild and Nicole Reitz of Monster Productions and Events.

Monster Productions and Events were exceptionally pleased with the final results saying that they look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Gearhouse. "We enjoyed the friendly and professional demeanor displayed by all Gearhouse staff and were pleased to have their skill and excellence on hand for this high profile event." they said.

Story by Robyn D'Alessandro, Photos courtesy Monster Productions and Events

Feb 3, 2012

The Gearhouse Group of Companies