The 6 biggest challenges of equipment transport

Stagefreight’s varied client list means we take on plenty of different equipment transport jobs. That’s why we’ve decided to round up some of the things we’re entrusted with—including a few you might not expect!

1. Band stage equipment

stage with overhead lighting

The key concern with band stage equipment transport is protecting it in transit. Lighting equipment is a big area of concern, since it can be very delicate. We also need to think carefully about when we’ll load (and unload) the equipment, as we need to set up the equipment as quickly as possible when it arrives.

You can learn more about what we transport in our A–Z of band stage equipment. It has a detailed rundown of what ‘band stage equipment’ means in practice.

2. Specialist stage equipment

people jumping
Pepperland had its performers (and audiences) jumping for joy.

As you might expect, most stage equipment has something to do with sound or lighting. However, from time to time we need to transport something a bit more unusual.

One of our previous clients was Dance Consortium, who used a unique trampoline floor during their Mark Morris Pepperland production tour. This floor needed specialist assembly (and disassembly) and we also needed to load it strategically with the show’s costumes, lighting and audio equipment. Our organisation skills really came to the fore, as we had to drive straight to Edinburgh after the Bradford leg was completed.

You can read more about our work on Dance Consortium’s Mark Morris Pepperland tour in our exciting behind-the-scenes Pepperland case study.

3. Art exhibitions

cans stacked in a pile

Theatre and music events are the things we’re best known for, but we also transport goods for corporate events. A recent example comes from the Clayton Cardiff hotel, who needed help with goods for an art exhibition! The exhibition featured art pieces made from recycled items, and required careful transport as a result.

We’re always open to specialist requests for corporate events, so don’t be afraid to get in touch. We love outside-the-box ideas (though we ensure the goods stay inside the box during transport).


lego buildings

Yes, you read that right; LEGO sculptures are a frequent component of corporate event trucking. They’re a popular choice for marketing conferences, brand launches and a whole range of corporate events. They come in all shapes and sizes, too; we’ve seen sculptures using anywhere between 10,000 and 800,000 pieces! We’re very careful when it comes to loading and unloading these plastic masterpieces, and we keep loose bricks and bare feet far apart. We’re professional like that.

For an example of the sort of stuff we transport, check out these amazing sculptures created for the Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

5. Specialist transport jobs

BFG going to Primrose Hill

But LEGO isn’t even the weirdest thing we transport. As you can probably guess we’ve moved some weird and wonderful items, but one recent job took the biscuit (or rather cake, in this instance).

A previous job saw us working with Mr Kipling and Michelle Sugar Art; these two had teamed up to launch a new Roald Dahl cake range. As part of the launch, the two had created a 7-metre tall sculpture of the BFG, made from 7,500 cakes! Our job was to get the sculpture to the top of Primrose Hill in London’s Regent Park. The task took three days to complete, as well as some innovative thinking. Luckily, no cakes were harmed in the process.

Read more about our adventure in our BFG case study.

6. Timing

person holding stopwatch

Although we’re responsible for lots of different stuff, our jobs all have one thing in common—a strict focus on timing. Our transport jobs cover live events, theatre tours and corporate events and just like the entertainment industry they have to run like clockwork, since the show can’t go on without the stage equipment.

Besides planning the most efficient routes, we need to consider other challenges like unforeseen traffic problems. That’s why all our drivers get specialist training in planning routes and taking a proactive approach to solving unforeseeable travel challenges. As such, our team never misses their cue and arrives on time, every time.

We’re also trained to drive in an eco-friendly manner. Read more about our eco-friendly stage trucking fleet for details.

Your carriage awaits

We hope you’ve found this overview of our equipment transport informative! We’ve faced some interesting challenges as part of our event transport services, and we look forward to plenty more in the year ahead.

Wondering if we can help you with your own transport needs? Take a closer look at our Services page to get a more in-depth look at what we offer. You can also call us directly on 0113 797 898.

10 years of Ramfest

Did you know that Ramfest turned 10 this year? Join us as we look back at the highlights of this fantastic festival.

What’s Ramfest?

man receiving award

Ramfest is an annual music festival hosted by Southowram Cricket Club. Since its inaugural event, Ramfest has raised several thousand pounds for a range of different charities. Its final show took place earlier this year in July.

Southowram Cricket Club

Southowram Cricket Club is a village cricket club that first launched in 1977. They welcome players and supporters of all ages and abilities, with two teams in the Spenser Wilson Halifax Cricket League.

The club can be found in the Calderdale village of Southowram, at the bottom of Ashday Lane. In addition to its picturesque location, it boasts a well-stocked bar selling Samuel Smith’s fine ales. Its ground, facilities and local engagement made it the perfect venue for Ramfest.

Stagefreight’s Involvement

man standing next to van door

Stagefreight are proud to have supported Ramfest in their fundraising efforts for the last 10 years. We’ve volunteered our time and skills in how to set up and run a live event at every single festival. There are too many memories to recall, but you can read more about last year’s festival in our 2018 summary.

During the final Ramfest our Managing Partner, Ian Uttley, told the Halifax Courier:

“To think it all started ten years ago with four pub speakers and a gazebo that blew over the roof with the first gust of wind, to be where it is now, producing such quality sound and light system in Calderdale is truly amazing.

“This couldn’t have been done without the support of the hardworking volunteers of the Ramfest Committee and the local Southowram community and businesses.”

The Ramfest Charities

Over the last decade, Ramfest has helped out a lot of different charities. We’ve rounded up some of the ones we’ve helped below.

Home-Start Calderdale

During its operation, this was a charity that worked with 1,500 families and 700 volunteers over two decades. They visited struggling families once a week, to offer a listening ear or a helping hand.

Forget Me Not Hospice

This children’s hospice supports children with life-shortening conditions, as well as their families. They help hundreds of children through their Hospice at Home service. They also have a purpose-built building at Russell House in Huddersfield.

Child Development Unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital

Calderdale Royal Hospital opened in 2001. Today it provides a full range of outpatient services, as well as an A&E department and day case surgery.

The Charles Sykes Epilepsy Research Trust

This trust assisted in the care and treatment of people suffering from epilepsy.

Andy’s Man Club

Based out of Halifax, Andy’s Man Club aims to half the UK suicide rate for men under 45. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45 in the UK. By getting them to talk about their feelings, the registered charity aims to improve quality of life for both men and their families.

Heartbeat of Sport

Heartbeat of Sport is a registered charity that raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest. They provide training in CPR, and they also provide defibrillators to sports clubs, schools and universities.

Sue Ryder

Founded in 1953, Sue Ryder offers supports the bereaved and sufferers of terminal illnesses. They provide over two million hours of care to people every year, with over 11,000 volunteers and 1,000 medical professionals supporting their work.


This charity has been helping children with cancer (as well as their families) since 1976. They work out of Leeds in multiple different facilities, and also organise a series of family events.

Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust

The Laura Crane Trust fights cancer in young people aged 13–24. They do this by funding social and medical research, focussing on cancers that affect that particular age group.

Help For Heroes

This charity provides lifelong support for injuries, illnesses and wounds sustained in combat. They help both service personnel and military veterans serving in the British Armed Forces.

Motor Neurone Disease Association

This registered charity has been raising funds for research since 1979. Their research focuses on motor neurone disease and supports people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Overgate Hospice

Overgate Hospice is Calderdale’s only Halifax-based hospice. It cares for people with life-limiting illnesses, and has been doing so since 1981.

Leeds Cares

Formerly known as Yorkshire Cancer Centre, Leeds Cares has a range of healthcare-related goals. These include supporting healthcare staff, enabling the provision of quality healthcare and enabling groundbreaking research. Their fundraising arm, The Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal, provides specialist medical equipment, R&D and home comforts for patients.

Ravenscliffe@Spring Hall Project

This is a cafe supporting Post-16 students with personal learning. It also helps them to prepare for post-school life.

Calderdale Young Carers

The Young Carers Service works with children and young people who live with the ill and disabled. It offers a range of services including respite activities and school or family support.

Some of the Ramfest’s band highlights

musicians performing on stage
The McCarrons

Ramfest has seen some fantastic performances over the years. However, since there’s literally too many to list, we’ve brought together some of the highlights. Many are local bands, and several have been part of Ramfest for multiple years.

PsychoslinkysRoute 66Reflections
International Party DoctorsGeorgia FarrarAcoustic duo Chris McParland and Lucy Littley


In EchoesEgo StatesThe Googles
The McCarronsThe Lightning JacksMy Brother Jake
Paddy McCalionJake SmallbonesCircus Circus
My Brother JakeSons of RobinWhile The Cats Away
Mike Raffone and The BluetonesMya RickettFogfield
Vegas ElvisEye of ElenaFork Handles
To OblivionDarran JacksonRox Off
Three and a Half MenLewryDJ Ben Bottomley
Michelle Versey


One Man Population


Ade Payne and The Wild River Band

Why we loved Ramfest

musicians on stage

Ramfest was a great party, full of talent and good atmosphere. It was wonderful to see the local community supporting local causes. It also gave Halifax its own annual Glastonbury—a music festival it could call its own.

A special thanks

Since Ramfest was always a fantastic collaboration, we’d like to thank all of the fantastic people who made it happen, including:

  • The official Ramfest committee
  • Southowram Cricket Club
  • The annual Ramfest volunteers (including our own Stagefreight crew, who set up the bigger stages year on year and handled the acoustics of the event)
  • All the bands over the years
  • Our corporate partners, like Universal Live (an event producer in Bradford) and Electric Design (a marketing agency that supported with promotional designs)
  • Tube UK, for providing the sound kit
  • Andy Steer, for taking brilliant photos (check out his Twitter and website)

Share your memories of Ramfest

Did you attend one of the Ramfest festivals? Why not share some your memories with us, as we pay tribute to this fantastic fundraiser? Post your photos, videos and memories of the event online, using the #ramfest10years hashtag so we can find them.

We at Stagefreight are very proud of our involvement with Ramfest over the years. Moreover, it’s been a great chance for us to show what we’re capable of as an event transport company.

Over the years we’ve established a reputation as one of the best transport companies in the music industry. We understand how important timing is to any show, and we’ll make sure everything arrives on schedule. We’ll also plan the most fuel-efficient route, and once we arrive we can build the stage or advise on lighting choices—which we’ve done, among other things, during Ramfest’s ten years.

Get in touch today by visiting our Contact page, or take a closer look at our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest updates. You can also call us directly on 0113 797 898.

The Biggest Comedy Events in Europe


For many people, comedy shows are no laughing matter. They’re the perfect opportunity to see some of the best comedians in the world, and you want to find one that’s just right for you.

With our experience in event haulage, we know a thing or two about a great comedy show.

Whether you want to see some old favourites or you’re planning to put your own show on the road, we’ve rounded up some of the best comedy events Europe has to offer.


Mount Olymprov

Tuesday 4th–Saturday 8th June 2019


If you’d like some sunshine with your silliness, you may want to consider Mount Olymprov.

This Greek comedy festival, now in its fourth year, takes place at the Alpha.Idea theatre in downtown Athens.

This year’s show features performers from across the globe; countries as diverse as Greece, Bulgaria, Australia and Ireland are all represented in this year’s lineup.

 There’s an impressive selection of shows to look forward to. 

The Bat! is a 12-person improv show that takes place entirely in the dark, while Just Play! takes inspiration from objects borrowed from the audience. Meanwhile, Connected—by The Challengers—aims to highlight the connections that bind all of us together.

If you fancy having a go at improv yourself, a dozen different instructors are available for coaching sessions during the festival itself.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to take a break from the improv, join the other festivalgoers on a trip to the island of Agistri. With plenty of plantlife, sandy beaches and a tranquil atmosphere, it’s the perfect way to unwind.

Read more about the show here.

The Edinburgh Fringe

Friday 2nd–Monday 26th August 2019

man playing guitar in front of brick wall

This annual event bills itself as the single biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet.

It runs every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital, with thousands of performers from around the world taking part. 

As you might expect the Edinburgh Fringe has a diverse range of shows to enjoy, including dance, opera and standup events.

However, the Fringe has a particular reputation for quality comedy shows, with plenty of top talent for patrons to choose from 

Old favourites like Al Murray, Reginald D Hunter and Milton Jones are all attending this year’s Fringe, as well as newer faces like Henning Wehn & Adam Kay.

If you want to try something a little different, there are plenty of other options to choose from; shows such as Improvabunga! offer a more unpredictable comedy experience, while others like Daliso Chaponda look at the weird world of disgraced historical figures.

Whatever your tastes, there’s something for everyone to look forward to!

For a wider look at the wonders of the Edinburgh Fringe, check out the official website.


Barcelona Improv Group

Monday 4th–Sunday 10th November 2019

triumphal arch Barcelona

Looking for something surprising and unexpected? Look no further; this festival celebrates improv comedy in all its shapes.

The Barcelona Improv Group takes suggestions from their audience to create a freeform, one-of-a-kind experience. Their work takes theatrical improv to a new level, with the joy of discovery and emotional depth its primary motivation.

The Big If 6 festival, hosted by the group, offers improv shows and workshops for all improv fans.

Although this year’s lineup has yet to be announced, last year’s festival featured a diverse selection of performers.

Highlights included British musical soloist Phil Lunn, London long form group “Do Not Adjust Your Stage”, and international group “True Story”.

There will also be a comprehensive programme of workshops if you fancy a go at improv yourself.

To learn more about the Improv Group, and get the latest updates on this year’s show, go to the official website.

Utrecht International Comedy Festival

Friday 6–Saturday 7th August 2020

Utrecht cathedral

This event is the biggest comedy festival in The Netherlands, attracting comedians from several different countries.

Next year’s show will mark its eighth year in operation, and there’s plenty for comedy fans to enjoy.

Comedians at the festival come from places like The Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, the UK and Canada.

This ensures there’s plenty to offer both foreign visitors and local comedy enthusiasts. 2019’s show featured local talent like Berit Companjen, Yunus Aktas and Patrick Meijer, while the likes of Tamar Broadbent, Lauren Pattison and Maisie Adam represented the UK. 

If you’ve got a hunger for some good food alongside your comedy, have no fear; the festival’s Food Street offers a variety of food trucks with international cuisine to savour!

For more details on next year’s show, visit the official website.

Leicester Comedy Festival

Wednesday 5- Sunday 23rd February 2020


If Edinburgh isn’t too practical for you, you might want to consider the Leicester Comedy Festival instead.

Founded in 1994, the festival celebrates British comedy while supporting new talent.

The festival has only gone from strength to strength since then; this year’s show ran for 19 days, and featured over 870 events across 72 venues.

Some huge names made an appearance at the festival, too; stars like Jo Brand, Johnny Vegas, and Zoe Lyons were in attendance, as well as the likes of Sarah Millican, Jason Manford and Rich Hall.

If you’re looking for something more family-friendly, 2019 saw the launch of the first UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. This was a programme of shows, workshops and events aimed at children 12 and under.

Although 2019’s show has come to a close, 2020’s show is still on the horizon. Look for more information about the show at the official website.

Altitude Festival

April 2020

man wearing helmet and ski mask
Image Credit: CSG Ltd

This unusual festival takes place at the Mayrhofen Ski Resort in Austria.

Co-founded by Marcus Brigstocke (who’s appeared on QI, The Now Show and Live at the Apollo) and Andrew Maxwell (Mock the Week, Love Island), it’s a great way to enjoy some top comedy in truly gorgeous surroundings.

Brigstocke and Maxwell were in attendance at this year’s show, and joined by top comedians like Terry Alderton and Zoe Lyons.

There was also plenty of new talent on display like former bouncer Emmanuel Sonubi, and Altitude newcomers Naz Osmanoglu and Abigoliah Schamaun.

And with an extensive ski area surrounding the festival, this is one event that’s tough to beat!

For the latest information on this festival, visit the official Altitude Festival website.


Eastern European Comedy Festival

Various shows throughout the year

Sihastria Monastery

This London festival is dedicated to comedic talent from across Eastern Europe.

Consisting of several smaller shows throughout the year, each one offers a diverse cross-section of European talent.

Countries as diverse as Turkey, Finland, Serbia, Italy and Croatia are all represented, making this an excellent way to expand your comedy palate.

Comedy Borsch events bring together about half a dozen comics from across Eastern Europe, all of which perform in English for your benefit.

However, last year’s festival boasted several solo outings as well.

Romanian standup Victor Pãtrãşcan ruminated on nationality, immigration and half a dozen other topics, while Radu Isac took things in a silly direction with the show “Good Excuses for Sociopaths”.

2020 shows are due to be announced, but you can count on next year’s show being as dynamic and diverse as the last one. For further details, visit the official site here.

Has this comedy festival roundup tickled your funny bone?

Want to put on a live event of your own?

Bring the house down with our professional event haulage service. We’re dedicated to getting you up and running on time, every time.

We know that when it comes to live events, the pressure is really on.

That’s why our experienced lead driver takes control of trailer planning, ensuring everything arrives when it’s supposed to, and by taking the most cost-effective route.

Our drivers can even assist with lighting choices and help build a stage with your team.

As well as long tours, we can provide transport for one-off shows too.

Whether you want to put on a pop-up event, make a last-minute venue change or add to an existing lineup, Stagefreight are ready to help you out.

If this sounds like something for you, browse our services, or call us today on 0113 797 898.

Music Events that Shaped the Music Industry

As a company specializing in music transport, we’ll never pass up the chance to talk about major music shows!

In honour of World Music Day and Make Music Day UK (which both fall on the same day –  21st of June), we’ve decided to highlight some of the music events that changed the music landscape forever.


No discussion of music and music events is complete without the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. The legendary festival ran over four days in August 1969, with more than half a million people attending. But Woodstock wasn’t just a hotbed of musical talent. It was a cultural touchstone we’re still discussing, long after other festivals have faded from our memory.

Why exactly was Woodstock so impactful?

The music

The lineup is certainly a part of it; it included amazing performers like Joan Baez (currently on her farewell tour with us helping out), Santana, Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix, and boosted the careers of several musicians. But it stays in our cultural memory because of something less tangible than stages and celebrities.

The reason behind it

Woodstock was a response to contemporary issues like Nixon politics and the Vietnam War. It was an explosion of optimism and shared humanity in a bleak decade, aiming to promote values like freedom, love and basic human rights. The sheer mass of people attending created an atmosphere of acceptance and cooperation; people ate, bathed and lived together in celebration of life and music.

The brand of music

The ‘brand’ of Woodstock changed the way we marketed music; it acted as an umbrella for music we associated with mass cultural and political movements. It also catalysed the idea of ‘demographics’; distinct groups of people we could market products to, for better or worse. We continue to see Woodstock’s legacy in modern-day festivals like Glastonbury and Lollapolooza.

The legacy

Woodstock remains popular because it’s an event that could only exist at a specific moment in time, and modern-day festivals can’t truly replicate the atmosphere. It was unpredictable and unconcerned with the ideas of branding and marketing it would eventually give birth to. In an era of meticulous planning and corporate sponsorship, Woodstock’s flash-in-the-pan spontaneity has made it the most legendary of music events.

Tupac Shakur’s Hologram

Many people consider Tupac Shakur one of the world’s all-time greatest rappers. Tragically, he died in a drive-by shooting when he was just 25 years old. But the Coachella music festival put his talent back in the spotlight, if not in the way we were expecting.

Why was the Holo-Tupac so impactful?

In 2012, Snoop Dogg was joined on stage by Tupac, or more accurately, a 2D projection of him that used theatrical techniques first outlined more than 430 years ago. It was the first time an artist was projected in front of an audience of 80,000 and performed ‘live’ with a co-star.

Tupac went on to perform ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘2 of Americaz Most Wanted’ with his fellow rapper before departing the stage again.

The technology 

The hologram was created by the company Digital Domain, who had previously worked on CG marvels like Benjamin Button and X-Men: First Class. It was actually projected and staged by a company called AV Concepts, who have provided holographic visuals for artists like Madonna, the Gorillaz, Celine Dion and the Black Eyed Peas.

The technique is known as ‘Pepper’s Ghost’, which projects an image onto a piece of angled glass that is then reflected back on stage. This creates the illusion of the ghostly presence (hence the name).

The creators of Holo-Tupac had the consent of Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur (who died back in 2016). It took the Digital Domain team six weeks to truly bring back Tupac to the stage.

The response

The reaction from people at the time wasn’t all positive though.  Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz felt the hologram was unnecessary in a show packed with talented rap artists. The Atlantic was far less complimentary, describing it as ‘crass and exploitative, a mutually agreed-upon sham between performer and audience, the high-tech evolution of the Elvis impersonator.’

The future of holographic music stars?

The Tupac hologram is unlikely to rise again anytime soon; it was created as a Coachella exclusive and only Tupac’s estate has access.

It was also incredibly expensive according to Gizmodo it cost somewhere between $100,000 and $400,000 to produce. But it opened the doors more to resurrections of music legends; with enough money and willpower, we expect to see anyone from Elvis Presley to John Lennon take the stage in future shows.

It’s almost inevitable in an industry where resurrection is the order of the day.

The appeal is obvious: musicians who died before their prime can get a new lease of life for modern audiences.

But we don’t know how audiences will react to it on a mass scale, or if interest in a costly, finicky technology remains going forward. That said, the Jackson 5 are considering the use of a young Michael Jackson hologram in a future tour, with projections of the singer appearing as far back as 2009.

The idea of resurrecting (or reverse-ageing) stars isn’t unique to music. The Star Wars film Rogue One featured digital recreations of deceased actors Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher, while Jeff Bridges appeared as both his older and younger self in the Disney film TRON: Legacy. With CGI and holographic projection bound to improve, the potential they offer in music and beyond is truly endless.

Live Aid

Charitable giving has waxed and waned in popularity over the last few years, but Live Aid gave the idea a massive boost. Its repercussions were felt inside and outside the music industry, even if it wasn’t quite the success story we imagine it to be.

Why was Live Aid so impactful?

The stars and size of it 

Live Aid was a 1985 dual-venue benefit concert organised by Bob Geldof, lead singer of The Boomtown Rats. It was the first of its scale as two concerts for the same purpose took place simultaneously; one in London and one in Philadelphia.

The satellite link-up (one of the first event satellite link-ups the world had seen) ensured a global audience of an estimated 1.9 billion across 150 nations.

To put the size of the global audience into perspective that’s the equivalent of 40% of the world’s population at the time.

The live concert in Wembley Stadium drew a crowd of 70,000 people and the John K Kennedy Stadium had around 100,000 people attending.

The goal was to raise money for sufferers of the Ethiopian famine, attracting an all-star lineup in both London and Philadelphia. Performers included Queen, David Bowie, The Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin, with more than 1.5 billion people watching the concert. It raised over £110 million for its cause.

The future stars

Live Aid brought bands like U2 into the spotlight, helping them gain a foothold in the USA and establishing Bono as a top-class performer. It also gave a massive boost to other bands; Queen’s albums soared in the charts, and paved the way for a solo show at Wembley the following year. Later shows by the likes of Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones helped to transform Wembley into a top British music venue.

More generally, Live Aid aided the meteoric rise of many musicians who performed for it. As The Guardian reports, a combination of events helped boost the profile of Live Aid’s stars. Television coverage drove sales from fans with disposable income, at a time when cheap CD players were giving old music a new lease of life. This perfect mix of factors gave rise to similar music events like Concert for Diana, Nelson Mandela’s birthday concert and – of course – Live 8 in 2005.

The charity reality

Outside of the music industry Live Aid created the term ‘extreme poverty’, and arguably catalysed celebrity fundraising from Brad Pitt to Oprah Winfrey. But Live Aid itself wasn’t without its problems. American music magazine Spin published a damning article on Live Aid in 1986, which argued Live Aid’s efforts had contributed to Ethiopia’s troubles rather than fixing them. Meanwhile, Birhan Woldu, poster child for the Live Aid movement, has argued that her fame has adversely affected her, making it difficult to find employment or support her family.

For better or worse, Live Aid’s impact on the world is undeniable. It transformed the way we listen to music and donate to charity.

We will see echoes of it in concerts for years to come.

Beyonce at Coachella

Of course, industry-changing music events aren’t just in the distant past. Music is in a constant state of change, and this year one of its brightest stars revolutionised one of the world’s biggest music events.

Why did Beyonce have such an impact?  

The first and her message

Earlier this year, R&B legend Beyonce became the first black woman to headline Coachella; one of the USA’s largest, most prestigious music festivals. Her 27-song set included more than 100 dancers and marching band members, set against a whirlwind of black history and culture. Her costumes and music choices drew inspiration from many different sources including ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, the Black Panther Party of the 1960s and even her own fans (via a black bee motif to symbolize her fans who are known as the Beyhive).

The message of empowerment was rolled into the outfit choices, the stage symbolism and the performances overall.

The reaction

Needless to say, her performance has been rapturously received. Rolling Stone’s Suzy Exposito described it as 2018’s Woodstock, while Rebecca Haithcoat said ‘it might be the most inspired, singular, thoughtful and downright beast of a stage show we’ll ever see.’ DJ Khaled was similarly effusive, proclaiming the festival should be renamed Beychella in recognition of her performance.

In the long term Beyonce could inspire more diverse, innovative festivals at a time when some people think they’re too homogenous. The New York Times refused to cover Coachella altogether a couple of years ago, arguing that smaller festivals had a narrower focus on theme and music. Her 2018 performance has certainly countered that.

The future

But what does this mean for festivals going forward? In the short term, it sets an incredibly high standard for future Coachella performances. Beyonce’s show was the product of intensive rehearsal, passion and coordination; TMZ reported she was rehearsing 11 hours a day in the run-up to the festival. It will take a performer of rare talent and dedication to unseat her as the festival’s queen.

Beyonce could be just the start of a new breed of performers; ones that take festivals in a more original and meaningful direction. There’s no telling what could happen next, but now is a golden opportunity for festivals (and their stars) to stand out from the crowd.

The Reading and Leeds Festival

A little closer to our own home is the annual Reading and Leeds Festival. Like Live Aid this is a dual-venue event. It started as the National Jazz Federation Festival in Reading alone. The 70s brought on the progressive rock and hard rock line-up that the festivals are renowned for today; and it wasn’t until 1999 that Leeds actually joined the festival. Now both festivals have a mix of indie rock, Brit pop and rap.

Why was Reading Festival so impactful?  

Genre begot genre 

Although it started as a one music genre festival (namely jazz), it soon opened its doors to related genres, which then encouraged an ever-increasing expansion of acts. The 60s were jazz based, which then led to rhythm & blues acts like The Rolling Stones performing. Rhythm & blues led to progressive rock with acts like The Jam coming in the 70s which then led to Jethro Tull, Nirvana, The Stone Roses, The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill making their mark at the festival in later years.

Amongst all the world-famous musicians, one’s band impact on the festival still shines through today. In 1991 the band Nirvana performed twice at Reading and it was their first appearance at the festival. Lead singer Kurt Cobain caused a stir by arriving on stage in a wheelchair and wearing a medical gown, which was his own parody of the rumours of his mental state within the press at the time.

Their second and last performance at Reading was released as a live album and DVD in 2009  called ‘Live at Reading’.

The album holds a universal acclaim score of 93 out of 100, further helping to boost the festival’s global appeal.

The reaction

Although the festival lured many big music names to Yorkshire, the council wasn’t always 100% behind the events. Between 1984 and 85 Reading lost council permission to use the fields for the festival and it wasn’t until 1986 that Reading Festival returned to its original location (well, the field adjacent to the original ones, but it was practically home).

The 1987 festival had a record attendance.

The future

Although there’s been some location drama at Reading and various venue changes for the Leeds based festival (originally at Temple Newsam Park before moving to Bramham Park) the Reading and Leeds Festival remains popular. It continues to attract top line-up acts with, Fallout Boy performing on the main stage this year. It’s nice to have a top music event that shaped the music industry just on our doorstep!

As you can see, music events past, present and future offer plenty of exciting lessons and opportunities. We at Stagefreight use our know-how and skills to make your next live event a smash hit.

Stagefreight’s staff brings dedication and passion to every single show. We’ll sort the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient route for your music transport plus our drivers support on-site too.

Get a team of pros to help you put on a fantastic live event.

And you never know; your next music event could well be the next to shape the music industry!

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The Most Spooktacular Music Events of October

At Stagefreight, we love live events; it’s a core part of what we do. And this October, you can look forward to some fantastic music events across the country.

Of course, there’s also Halloween to consider. And if you’re after some thrills and chills this month, we’re happy to oblige. We’ve pulled a list together of some spooky music events in October, and some more conventional choices for the faint-hearted.

Zombie Fest 3 East Anglia- Saturday 28th October

halloween music events merry go round

If you’re in the East Anglia area, Zombie Fest might be just what you’re looking for. It runs from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning at Mildenhall Stadium. The music lineup covers over 150 acts, and genres as diverse as R&B, drum & bass, hard dance and garage.

This music is playing at one of the festival’s 10 stages. This year’s event also offers a brand new VIP arena, fully licensed bars and a fun fair!

This event is 18+. To buy tickets, go here.


Fright Festival Brighton 2017- Saturday 28th October

halloween music events face paint

Billed as the UK’s leading Halloween festival, Brighton’s Fright Festival offers some of the biggest names in dance music. Some of the names announced include Majestic, Nathan Dawe, Crazy Cousinz and Yo Menza. Over 5,000 music fans are expected to see the acts, which are split across four frightfully good venues.

Besides the music visitors can look forward to onsite face painting, funfair rides, food stalls and even live scare actors. Tickets are available now here.


Lancaster Music Festival- Thursday the 12th to Monday the 16th of October

halloween music events guitar

If you’re looking to avoid the scares- or just get off the beaten track- the Lancaster Music Festival might be just what you’re looking for.

This festival brings together the very best music acts from across Yorkshire. Virtually every genre is represented, including rock, folk, acapella and experimental. There’s also several acts from further afield with London, Scotland and Brazil all represented in the lineup!

The festival is taking place at 46 separate venues across the city, ensuring there’s opportunities for everybody. Visit the official site to learn more and book tickets.


No Bounds Festival- Friday the 13th to Sunday the 15th of October

halloween music events swimming

This Sheffield festival covers music events, art installations, workshops and even coding sessions. It’s also a first; a festival that takes place at a swimming pool!

Running over three days, many of the events take place at the Trafalgar Warehouse venue. Visitors can look forward to seeing artists like DJ Seinfeld and Laurel Halo, art installations by Mark Fell and Mattias Jones, and attend a coding workshop with Alex McClean. Meanwhile, Heeley Swimming Pool is offering two ‘Wet Sounds’ sessions. What does this mean? There’s only one way to find out…

Tickets are available here.


FearFest17- Saturday 28th October

halloween music events steelworks

Continuing the trend of unusual venues, this festival takes place at Rotherham’s Magna Science Adventure Centre. Billing itself as Yorkshire’s biggest Halloween dance festival, it’s sure to be an excellent night out. With 30 acts playing across four separate venues, there’s sure to be something to whet your appetite!

This event is 18+ only. At the time of writing, tickets are extremely limited; act now to avoid disappointment.


As you can see, October has plenty of events to look forward to and we can help you add another one to the schedule.

Stagefreight’s experienced drivers will get all your props, lighting and other materials in the right place at the right time, every time. Each of our drivers can plan the most cost-effective, fuel-efficient route to your event, helping to keep your costs as low as possible. They can also offer support with lighting choices, and even help to build the stage with your team if required.

Visit our Live Events page now and get a fast, no-obligations quote for your event transportation.

Have a happy Halloween!