Serious Stages Rocking Return to Download Festival

Serious Stages News Article - 19 June 2017

Serious Stages Rocking Return to Download Festival

Serious Stages Rocking Return to Download Festival


It was loud and it was a large at Download Festival on Serious Stages TZ Main stage, June 9th – 11th, 2017.

A 72m wide frontage was the impressive focal point of the main festival arena, with our 25m TZ roof flanked by two giant bespoke Totem’s and goalposts flying the giant video screens. Having installed a similar set up on our first Download install in 2016, many of the elements were very similar.

Max Corfield was our project director working alongside Simon Fursman. They liaised with Neil McDonald, working for Live Nation, and the Festival Republic team headed up by Luke Cowdell and Nick Davies who produced the festival on behalf of Live Nation. Extensive planning during the months in advance of the festival ensured the look and technical requirements of the promoters and this years’ incoming band productions were met. Max comments:

“It was great to work with the Festival Republic team returning to Download Festival. There are a lot of big touring bands across the top two stages with some pretty hefty incoming productions and sets, so it’s important that we are very attentive to their rigging and load in requirements. There was a detailed planning phase to ensure the stage designs met requirements so the production teams could deliver their shows.

‘It was a testament to our hardworking staff and crew delivering the stages for this event given the difficulties with the weather, but a huge amount of hard work as well as careful management of the situation with other suppliers and production teams on site made it happen’

The most visible alteration to this years’ main stage was the 15m long front of stage thrust, requested by Sunday’s headliners Aerosmith and used by bands throughout the weekend.  Serious had stored the giant Totem decorations flanking the performance deck since Download 2016, which were transported and installed along with the other 22 trucks of steel and materials. There were also four additional sub platforms on the main stage requested.

Nathan Kemp was our Serious Stage crew chief, overseeing a team of 35 on site for three weeks. The whole festival production had to be stopped on the Tuesday just as we were ready to raise scrim, with 25mph winds whipping the site, moving Heras fence panels and blowing portable toilets across the car park. Work was (obviously) halted for a day so our team had to pull out the stops.

Andy Grey, main stage production manager states:

“We lost the entire Tuesday to wind, so there was no working at height. Wednesday everybody on site pulled together and the Serious guys were brilliant playing their part in getting us back on schedule with extra people so we could get back on with the rigging. We opened doors on time – which was testament to everyone.”

Serious Stages supplied the three other stages at the festival and extra wrestling stage, with front of house positions and assisted viewing platforms, camera and signing platforms across the festival site.