Walking With Women


SOUTH AFRICA: Celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela and in support of the Elders’ #WalkTogetherCampaign, the first ever global showcase for women in the event production industry saw interconnected events laid on in South Africa, India, UK, Guinea and Brazil. Supported by the Gearhouse Group’s Splitbeam arm, the Johannesburg #WomenWalkTogether event required lighting and audio equipment to bolster the Market Theatre Complex’s, Barney Simon Theatre’s existing setup, as well as supplying an LED screen and A/V Equipment to the market nearby. The equipment was all operated by women from the Gearhouse Academy and SARA (South Africa Roadies Association).

‘Gearhouse has a long-standing connection with Rachel Haughey from Four Corners of the World, having worked with her on the Kick Off Concert for 2010 Soccer World Cup. She approached general manager Charl Smit and Gearhouse Group came on board as sponsors to assist with the initiative,’ explained Helen Surgeson, who project managed the event. ‘We had six of our first and second-year female students from the Gearhouse Kentse Mpahlwa Academy, who worked together with professional camera operators from and SARA trainees. They were all keen learners.’

The women provided assistance with running cables, moving furniture and equipment on and off stage, as well as organising backstage performers. While Gearhouse students operated the inhouse equipment in the venue, Gearhouse Splitbeam also provided the plasma screens which had a live link from the venue and DJ equipment Pioneer 900 Nexus CDJ & DJM in the Foyer, while DWR Distribution was called upon to provide the lighting and PA in the foyer. LEDVision, another arm of the Gearhouse Group, provided a 16:9 3.2m-wide LED screen for live streaming and VT feed coming from the other venues, as well as live action on stage from cameras. 

‘We had to negotiate lots of stairs, carrying everything piece-by-piece and by some fairly small women. They handled it very well,’ commented Ms Surgeson. ‘Working in a space that none of the students had ever seen before was a learning curve for our youngest team members, but it was perfect for understanding the differences between theatre work and concerts or conference.’

Story reprinted from PROAVL MEA magazine

Photo - Basetsana Maluleka, Umuzi Photo Club, Soweto, SA

Aug 23, 2018

The Gearhouse Group of Companies