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The Sound & Light Hire Company Talks Festival Stage Hire & What Other Event Equipment You Might Need to Hire

The Sound & Light Hire Company Logo

The Sound & Light Hire Company Logo

Despite the cancellations across the board in 2020, the music festival industry is still in a strong position for next year’s summer season. In fact, we are a nation of revellers with over a quarter of all UK adults attending a music festival last year.

As a festival or music event organiser, you should know that the stage is the cornerstone of any successful musical event. It focuses the attention of your attendees, provides an elevated platform for your performers to look out over their adoring fans, and it houses of all the technical production equipment required for artists to sound their best.

Get your festival stage hire wrong though, and both fans and performers will be quick to notice that you’ve missed the mark. So if you’re organising a music festival or event for the spring or summer of 2021, what are the factors that you need to be thinking about now for your event to be a rip-roaring success?

Let’s take a look with a little help from our sister company Outdoor Stages, the arm of our operation dedicated to providing all manner of festival and music event stages.

Determine Your Requirements Based on the Scale of Your Event

It may sound obvious, but you’ve got to start with the scale of your event to make sure you’re choosing the right size of stage to hire. Hire a stage too small, and the performances can look awkward and cramped. By contrast, go way too big, and your attendees will think you have suffered from delusions of grandeur and you’ll likely lose money given the costs involved with hiring a much larger stage.

If this is something you’re initially struggling with, it’s often helpful to determine your needs based on the size of the audience. Generally, the larger your anticipated attendance, the larger your stage hire requirements will be. But this is not always the case. For instance, you may prefer to hire several compact stages to accommodate multiple performances in one central festival site location.

Once again, the larger the number of attendees, the more likely you are to invest in a large stage that provides a central focal point, an unobstructed viewing experience, and that can accommodate the technical event equipment hire required for clear sound and visuals for audience members hundreds of yards away from the stage.

Consider the Needs of Your Performers 

Next, you’ve got to factor in the requirements of the performers. If you’re hosting a classical orchestra, then obviously they are going to require a stage with a larger surface area than a local rock band, for example.

But it goes beyond merely space requirements, think about the technical specifications of your performers. While the acts scheduled to perform earlier in the day may not require much in the way of technical support, headline acts will often demand all kinds of additional technical support such as special effects, lighting shows, and superior sound equipment hire.

That’s without mentioning the offstage and backstage demands of top musical performers. Many will require at least a changing area. Some will specify a specific stage monitor mixing area or a musical instrument changeover zone. You might also need to put on a hospitality area and a side-on viewing platform for esteemed guests. By contrast, if you’ve booked an orchestra or a dance troupe, you’re going to need a sizeable backstage area to accommodate the sheer number of performers and their warm-up routines.

As the event organiser, it’s crucial that you receive each musical act’s rider in advance of booking in your festival stage hire so that you can make the necessary accommodations without any hassle.

Nature of Your Event Will Influence Your Event Equipment Hire Choices

Of course, you’ll also have to consider the nature of your event. For instance, are you running a festival with 12 local bands spread throughout the day? If so, it may be the case that you can have the artists share much of the technical equipment, saving on space and auxiliary event equipment hire requirements.

On the other hand, if you’re planning more of a one-night musical concert with two or three well-known national performers, each may demand their own specific technical setup. That means you’ll have to budget extra space for equipment storage in the wings ready for changeover between performances, even if the acts in question are solo performers.

Next, think about your preferred setup, which was briefly referred to previously. Are you going to out for one large stage for all performances, or are you going to over a couple of smaller breakout stages for solo performers? If so, you may want to spread you hire budget over several stages, rather than investing everything in your allocation on just the one.

Are There Any Venue/Location Restrictions?

One of the biggest mistakes we see from new festival organisers is not considering the limitations or restrictions of the venue. Erecting a stage requires significant engineering and logistical planning.

One of the first considerations you should make before you hire an outdoor stage is the ground. You need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of concrete and grass. If it’s going to be grass, is it even? Very rarely is the location proposed for a stage exactly flat in the case of those erected on lawn areas. But if it’s smooth and even, then it’s usually a suitable location for a stage.

Next, make sure that the area is free of any trees and human-made obstacles which might not necessarily be visible. Think underground pipes or wiring, as well as drainage systems. You can investigate the location of underground obstacles by obtaining ground surveys for your local council.

Lastly, turn your attention to logistics, even in their component parts, outdoor stages are not small. That means you’re going to need space for several HGVs to gain access and unload. Without sufficient access, your stage may never make it to the intended location, so don’t overlook this critical factor!

Other Considerations for Stage Hire That Are Often Forgotten

Perhaps the most underestimated factors of stage hire by festival organisers are the factors that are outside of their control, namely the weather. We don’t have to tell you that we live in one of the most unpredictable climates on the planet, and it’s par for the course to experience four seasons in one day, even in the middle of summer!

The important takeaway for you as the organiser to realise is that poor weather causes issues with building an outdoor stage. Firstly, it can cause access issues (particularly for grass setups). Secondly, poor weather means slow-going on the building of a stage. That’s why you must budget enough time for the building phase. You don’t want to find yourself on the morning of the event still having little bits and pieces to finish off on stage construction.

Speaking of time, don’t underestimate how long stages take to build regardless of weather conditions. While we can erect our smallest mobile outdoor covered stages in a matter of hours, our large 12m x 9m arc roof stage can take well in excess of a day to build and set up with the necessary technical rigging.

For allocating time allowances for stage set up, we say plan for the worst, hope for the best. That way you’ve got plenty of slack in your schedule should the weather, or any other unforeseen issues, cause any snags.

On a similar note, don’t wait to book in your stage hire once you know what you need. Most stage hire companies need advanced notice to build you into their schedules. While we don’t need as much as half a year, we do ask for at least three months to give us enough time to make the necessary adjustments to our inventory and works schedule. We can work off less in emergencies, but we can’t promise anything.

Stage Hire is Just the Beginning

For the less experienced among you, it’s important to point out the stage hire itself is only just the beginning. The structure is not going to achieve much for you without the help of professional lighting, sound equipment, and all other aspects of event production.

We believe it’s crucial to source these items from the same company that’s building the stage. It’s a better arrangement for several reasons. For a start, it’s fewer contractors to deal with on-site, all of which would turn up with lorries and several staff members. But it also eliminates any confusion between contractors.

By instructing one company to look after the stage, lighting, sound, and event production, every single team member is singing from the same hymn sheet. The stage builders erect the trusses the way the lighting team are used to working with, and the sound production team are using PA speaker systems and mixing desks they know like the back of their hand.

Given that you could have dozens of suppliers to work with on a musical festival, including caterers, performer booking agents, ticketing websites, wristband suppliers, and merchandisers to name but a few, it makes sense to hire just one company to handle all aspects of event production. We can handle all elements including staging, lighting, sound equipment as well as extras such as LED screens and special effects.

Why Choose Outdoor Stages for Your UK Music Festival?

The Outdoor Stages arm of the Sound and Light Hire Company has been providing stage hire and associated event production services festivals right across London, Surrey and Hampshire for over a decade.

We’ve taken a fresh approach to the festival stage hire industry by combining all required aspects of live musical performance and providing them bundled together as part of all in one stage hire packages. We genuinely offer an end-to-end solution for event organisers.

Take our biggest stage hire package as an example. Not only does it include an arc roof stage of 12m x 9m with a maximum roof height of 6.5m and a payload of 3500kg, but it also comes complete with a full-touring-spec sound and lighting system. We’re talking about the best in the sound business with the d&b audiotechnik PA systems used by the likes of Coldplay and Rhianna paired with over 70 lighting fixtures from 17R beams, moving heads washes, pixel battens and stage blinders!

When you also add in our highly-skilled and experienced crews and technicians who love what they do, you’ll receive an all-in-one event production package capable of amazing up to 10,000 music fans! Not bad for one easy-to-understand price, right?

We’re also on hand to help you through every step of the process should you need our consultation. We can assess venues, make recommendations, and provide bespoke quotes that match the specific challenges of either your site or the nature of the event in question.

In short, we are your one-stop shop when it comes to event production for your music festival or event. We have expert technicians, engineers and crew members, we offer top-of-the-range event equipment hire, and our stage hire options can cater for over and above 10,000 attendees giving us one of the largest capacities in the South East.

So if you’re putting together a music festival in the Spring or Summer of 2021, don’t hesitate to get in contact with a member of the Outdoor Stages team to arrange an initial consultation.

Event Sound, Lighting Plus Staging & LED Screens

The Sound & Light Hire Company Logo

The Sound & Light Hire Company Logo

Looking to Hire Sound or Lighting Equipment For Your Events? Here We Talk About Sound, Lighting, Staging & LED Screens

Here at the Sound and Lighting Hire Company, we provide all manner of event production services. From small pick up and play services such as iPod party package, to substantial international awards shows in London. We really do offer one of the most all-encompassing ranges of event sound and lighting services within the UK.

We also offer specific services such as sound hire or provide the full monty of event production services if you’re hosting a much larger event such as a conference or exhibition. So let’s dig into our hire packages and services into a little more detail, as you may be surprised by our enormous spectrum of capabilities.

Event Production Services in Surrey, London, Berkshire and Hampshire  

We’ve said this many times before, but there is no event too large or too small for us. We really do cover an enormous range of sizes. From a couple of dry-hired speakers for a children’s party, right up to a full custom-built stage, lighting and rigging, and sound equipment complete with experienced engineers and technicians to run your production.

Regarding the smaller event, we’ve provided equipment for numerous parties, celebrations, weddings, and even outdoor cinemas! At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve provided the equipment and team for productions as large as cage fighting matches and the O2. We are pretty much the only company in the South East of England that has this range of capabilities when it comes to event sound and light services.

So in case you have something in mind for your event, be it a glitzy award show or an intimate wedding reception, let’s delve a little deeper into our specific event hire packages and services to give you a better idea of how we can help you.

Event Sound Equipment Hire 

For many of you, sound equipment hire might be all you need to run your event smoothly. That’s fine, even though we provide audio equipment for (and produce) huge events such as festivals, we are just as competitive for the little guy! We have a range of dry hire packages for speaker systems.

Whether you just want to hook up a phone or a laptop to a speaker for some background noise at a barbeque, or you need a large speaker hire for a wedding or anniversary celebration, we’ve all got all manner of sound equipment hire packages to suit. The best part? Those speaker hire packages start at just £60. Can’t say fairer than that for a party of up to 70 guests, can you?

But what if you want to take things up a notch. For instance, what if you’ve hired a live band for your event? Fortunately for you, we’ve got specialised hire packages for that too! Whether you’ve got a solo performer, or you’ve splashed out on a local band, we can cater to your every need. You can even have one of our sound engineers as part of the hire package to set everything up and professionally produce the event for you.

But what if you’re organising something different? After all, not all events are birthdays or weddings. Yep, we can do that too. We offer complete AV hire for conferences, including wireless microphones and projector hire, for example. When it comes to sound more specifically, we often supply line array packages to significant public events such as festivals, award shows, and product launches. We really mean it when we say there’s nothing really beyond the scope of our capabilities.

But what if you need more than sound? What about lighting? Well, the clue is in our name, and as it happens, we’re not too shabby at that either.

Event Lighting Services Surrey, London, Berkshire and Hampshire  

A lot of the events we’ve just spoken about also require lighting. Live bands and DJs, for example, often depend on lighting to make their performances much more immersive and compelling. Similarly, can you imagine a wedding dancefloor with any disco lighting? It just wouldn’t work.

When setting up our company over a decade ago, we were acutely aware that you often can’t have event sound without lighting and vice versa. That’s why we put just as much effort into this side of our business as we do the other, often combining sound and light equipment hire packages.

In many ways, lighting can be split up into what we would call ‘performance’ lighting and ‘atmospheric’ lighting that helps to set a mood or an ambience. Referring to performance lighting, we’re talking about event lighting equipment that is pretty much necessary for the production in question.

For instance, most DJs require an array of lasers and disco lights, rather than just a small set of speakers and decks. Or, if your event is a gala dinner, award show, or fashion event, you’re going to need spotlights to illuminate and follow your presenters and models as they move across the stage or catwalk.

By contrast, atmospheric LED uplighters can completely transform the look and feel of a venue by ‘washing’ it in a specific colour. Likewise, if you’re having an outdoor wedding, you can create a truly magical atmosphere after the sun sets with thoughtful festoon lighting. Or perhaps you’re going for a spookier feeling and want to hire UV lighting to make both people and objects glow in the dark.

No matter the type of lighting hire you need for your event, we can accommodate your requirements. Better yet, we can set up any of those lights in the specific manner you need them. Trusses and rigging are no problem for us. In fact, we set them all the time. We’ll work with you to understand your requirements, balance them against the limitations of your specific venue, and then provide you with a lighting solution your 100% happy with.

But of course, several events need more than mere sound and lighting equipment. For instance, what about your stage?

Staging Services Surrey, London, Berkshire and Hampshire

What would a live band or DJ be without a stage? Or an awards show for that matter? Most event productions need a stage or a set. Whether you’re putting on a corporate event in London, or you’re having a marquee wedding in Hampshire, you need a stage to provide a focal point and a better viewing experience for your guests.

This is a cinch for us too. Since our company is part of one of the most prominent event production companies in the UK, we can build all manner of trusses and staging. We’ve already joined forces to design, develop and work on some of the biggest events in the country. But we can take that superior experience and bring it to your smaller-scale event. Whether you’re looking for outdoor stage hire for your small-scale festival, or you’re merely looking to hire a stage for a live band, we can handle all sizes of events.

While sound, lighting, and stage equipment are critical tenets of most event productions, we also offer much more specific event services and hire packages.

LED Screen Hire Surrey, London, Berkshire and Hampshire

LED screens and LED video walls continue to increase in popularity, thanks in large part to their versatility. Our high-resolution LED video wall screens grab attention and can give your event that stand-out factor. Whether you want a solid wall built or to separate the panels across a truss structure for a more abstract effect, our cost-effective LED screen hire can set your event off perfectly.

Perhaps you need to show footage of your event if your attendees need help viewing what’s taking place on stage. Or maybe you think they would add a perfect visual display to your lighting show. Either way, LED screen hire can give your event that extra little bit of je ne sais quoi. You can hire these flexible pieces of equipment either on their own or as part of a more comprehensive event production hire package.

Bespoke and Ready-Made Event Production Services

It doesn’t matter whether you intend to dry hire equipment from us, or you want to have us exclusively design, build and execute all aspects of your event production, we are always flexible to the meet the specific needs of our clients. In many cases, we listen to your requirements and recommend one of our “off the shelf” ready-made event production packages, which will include all manner of event sound and lighting equipment, and in some instances, staging and personnel too.

In other scenarios, we have to work with our clients to shape and refine the vision for their event. Completely starting from the ground up, going through each of the design, assembly, and implementation phases together. The truth of the matter is we’re happy to do either. If you know what you want, and just want to get a cost from us, that’s fine. If you would like us to walk you through everything you need to have your event run precisely as you had intended, we’ll do that for you too.

Our event production services team have literally “done it all” in this industry, in many cases getting the T-shirt too! Whether you’re putting together a crucial corporate conference in London, or you’re planning the wedding celebration of a lifetime in Berkshire, we can do almost anything within the event space.

What Makes the Sound and Lighting Hire Company Different for Event Production Hire?

While we could tell you all about how our customer-centric approach and attention to detail stand us apart (which is true by the way), it’s perhaps best to focus on more tangible aspects such as our inventory.

It might be hard to believe, but we own everything you see available for hire on this site. All of our equipment is stored on-site, and we’re continually inspecting, maintaining and rotating our stock to ensure the equipment we provide you with never lets you down. Over ten years since launching our business that’s still the case, and we pride ourselves on our flawless track record.

But in many ways, state-of-the-art equipment is only half the story. You could have the best sound and lighting equipment in the world, but if you don’t have expert sound engineers and lighting technicians to operate them, then it might not mean much. Our staff are used to working in high-pressure situations where getting it wrong isn’t an option. From corporate events to personal celebrations, we understand that getting it right matters and we take that a “that will do” approach. It’s excellence or nothing.

Best of all, we consider ourselves friendly and approachable. Whether you need some on the spot training for your speaker hire, or you need a technician to run the sound and lighting for the live band at your wedding, we are always on hand to listen to your needs and provide our professional service with a smile.

Finally, despite what we feel is a premier event production service, we are incredibly competitive on price. In many instances, we can’t be beaten anywhere in the UK for what we offer in terms of equipment and price. So why not get in touch to discuss what you might need for your next event? We’re here for you, seven days a week.

Surrey & London’s Number One Rated Sound, Lighting and Stage Hire Company

Here at the Sounds & Light Hire Company, we have decades of experience when it comes to providing first-class sound and lighting hire across Surrey, London and Hampshire. Whether you need a stage hire in London or sound hire in Guildford, our reliable team are always on hand to provide you with exemplary customer service and support. Read more