Dubai, UAE based Al Laith Event Services supplied a huge steel stage and roofing system for the Formula 1 Championship Abu Dhabi's after event concerts at Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. These were headlined by Kanye West, Linkin Park and Prince respectively, and attended by capacity audiences of 40,000.
Working for event producers Flash, Al Laith also designed and built all of the relevant and related production metalwork infrastructure needed on site including an extensive FOH mix area, side screen supports and wide wings, delay and spot towers, wheelchair access platforms, etc., as well as all the Mojo barriers and even the concession stand framework.
Flash was promoting the entire "Yasalam" weekend of F1 connected events in and around the city, which included appearances by 64 leading international artists across several venues. The project was managed for Al Laith by Ross Cameron, working closely with Flash Events' project manager, Jean Carl Saliba.
Jo Marshall, director of Al Laith Event Services comments, "The big challenge was the scale of the project - it involved a massive amount of kit, approximately 30 of our top crew and enormous amounts of pre-planning, which all paid off with an extremely smooth delivery".
Ferrari World Stage
The 35 metre wide by 30 metre deep stage used is now a standard stage/roof product available from Al Laith, built from Serious Stages Space Truss, offering fantastic weight loading capacities and an impressive 17 metres of headroom. One of the initial criterias for the roof was to hang a 16 metre wide by 10 deep Lighthouse R7 LED screen upstage, weighing just over 11 tonnes.
The stage was positioned just in front of one of the enormous and graceful triform arches of Ferrari World. It included 32 metre wide wings each side to accommodate two Lighthouse L7 side IMAG screens, plus 3 columns a side of low res Martin LC Plus LED, and lots of lighting, which was integral to the overall stage production design by Steve Shipman (who was also the lighting designer).
The concept involved an industrial cityscape look sweeping across the width of the stage, below the spectacular curvature of the Ferrari World building designed by Benoy Architects. The side wings featured areas clad in different textured metallic roofing materials which complimented the LED screens perfectly. The cityscape idea was completed with the placement of specific lighting fixtures - including 8-way Moles, PixelLine LED battens, PARs and LED moving lights producing a panoramic urban illumination effect.
Steve Shipman had plenty of room onstage for his creation that catered for all the headliners, including the huge upstage LED screen, multiple roof trusses and 6 trussing pods with fabric infills, forming an upstage ceiling.
The stage features large technical areas both sides for monitors, dimmers and power distribution, and was finished in silver skins to enhance the metallic environment.
Al Laith's crew of 30 including a team of roof specialists started the site build 12 days ahead of the first show, with the actual stage build commencing further 5 days later. They were joined by 6 riggers from UK based Serious Stages for the main stage construction, all co-ordinated on the Yas Island site by Al Laith's Ross Cameron and in the office by Freya Downton.
It's the second year that Flash has staged the F1 weekend events. This year the programme was extended and the production values were upped substantially. Says Lee Charteris, "Al Laith were one of only 2 contractors who supplied equipment and crew for all the events we were running over the F1 weekend (the other being portacabin/toilet contractors Byrne). This was because we knew they could supply the right kit, quality, service and enough top crew simultaneously".
The Ferrari World stage now stays in place until January, where it will host a series of other major concerts promoted by Flash.
Also for F1 In addition to the Yas Island concerts, Al Laith also supplied an 18 metre Orbit stage erected on the Corniche for "Beats On The Beach", four free concerts tied into the nearby F1 fanzone area run by Carlo Boutagy. Artists playing here included Kelis, Sean Paul, The Beat and a selection of leading Middle East performers, and the events were enjoyed by up to 45,000 people each night.
The brand new Flash Forum structure, located about a kilometre down the road from Ferrari World, was run as a 1500 capacity premium lounge/nightclub running 11 p.m. - 4 a.m. for the duration of the F1 festivities by the legendary Skybar from Beirut. Al Laith supplied all the internal staging and decking for this international jet setter's paradise. Highlights included a Friday night 'secret' gig by Prince which helped kick the F1 weekend of knife edge car racing, dynamic live performances and serious socialising off to a rocking start.
Whilst everyone was partying, Al Laith's work for the weekend didn't stop there!
For Mubadala, a big government agency running the F1 Fanzone on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, they designed and installed a 4-sided scaffolding structure, 35 metres wide, made from Space truss, complete with a clearspan roof. This was a popular edutainment zone, filled with a myriad of simulators, interactive exhibits, games and F1 related elements for young people keen to learn about motorsport - and other potential career opportunities - in a fun environment.
Meanwhile, back in Dubai, just an hour down the road, Al Laith also provided equipment and structures for 6 separate corporate events!
Other companies involved in the Ferrari World concerts were Delta Sound, who supplied a K1 system, CT who provided all the video kit, Eclipse (LC Screens), Gulf Show Power (power, distribution and technical support) and PROTEC (lighting).
The result of the 2011 F1 championship was all down to the last race in Abu Dhabi, won by Sebastian Vettel who also took the Drivers title in his Red Bull car, giving the team a spectacular double as they also took the Constructors Championship.
For Al Laith, supplying F1 "Yasalam" followed hot on the heels of their construction of the amazingly beautiful, hugely acclaimed 14-arch, 2000 (seated) capacity Katara Open Air Theatre venue in Doha, the main venue for the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film festival.
This is just the start of what promises to be a very busy season throughout the Middle East for the Event Services division of the company, launched just 8 months ago.
For more press info. on Al Laith Event Services, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 1865 202679/+44 7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. For more general info and to contact Al Laith direct, check http://www.allaithscaffolding.com or call +971(4)338 8882.