There’s something about stage transport

We’re passionate about all things theatre, music, ballet and event transport. But there’s always something special when it comes to stage transport.

We’re having a closer look at what new team members can expect when completing stage transport services.

We’ll also have a closer look at some of the 2018 stage transport highlights from across genres.

The 101 of stage transport

Step 1: Get the details

A crucial part of stage transport is finding out the full brief. Step one is therefore to always find out what equipment is involved, what size, how to handle the equipment (as you’ll see in the 2018 highlights, there can be some surprises when it comes to stage props) and what the full tour details are.

Step 2: Equipment planning

Once you know what’s on tour, it’s time to finalise which trailer and how many trailers you’ll need. For regular urban destinations, we recommend the Stagefreight urban trailer; it can handle the same amount of equipment, but has a smaller overall size making it ideal for city venues. This step is also where that detail insight will come in handy, as any additions for handling the equipment safely can be factored in.

Stagefreight truck at Lyceum Theatre
ready for our cue

Step 3: Team planning

You’ve got the detail, and you know what’s needed, so now it’s time to assemble your team. They’re not quite the Avengers (though they’re pretty close in our book), but if you need an extra hand the Stagefreight team helps each other out – no matter the challenge or the destination.

Step 4: Route planning

Once the team size is under wraps it’s time to plan the best routes for the tour. Our team is experienced in leading fleets of different sizes and can adapt to a variety of timing requirements.

Step 5: Timing checks

Which brings us to step 5. – never missing a cue. Just like on stage, we plan and manage the stage transport so well that no one ever misses their cue.

The above points are a broad breakdown of what to expect from stage transport jobs. The exciting thing about working in stage transport is that you never know what the next job is going to be.

To give some more context to this, here are some exciting stage highlights from the year that was.

Stage design highlights of 2018

Previous years saw paddling pools used on stage by Beyoncé and Rammstein using a fiery cauldron. And who could forget the Miley Cyrus tongue slide ? (Though many may well be trying to do so).

The world of stage events always has something new to offer, so here’s a collection of stages that wowed and awed the audience in 2018. They also represent an interesting challenge to the stage transport industry.

1.U2 Experience and Innocence Tour

U2 is famous for their imagination when it comes to their tours, and the Experience and Innocence Tour is no exception.

The stage design features a 29-metre long LED video screen, which is double-sided, and the band can actually climb inside it.

The screen is known as the “barricage” and brings the audience even deeper into the experience.

This stage technology is also connected to augmented reality; audience members are actively encouraged to get their mobiles out to view a virtual version of Bono himself emerge during “Love Is All We Have Left”.

2.Eurovision 2018

Florian Wieder, who took inspiration from Portugal’s historic connection with the sea, created the stage design for 2018’s Eurovision. The set represents a wave, as well as the hull of a ship.

While this was a stunning design, the performance by Moldova continues to grab attention due to the intricate choreography and unique use of stage props. It just proves that timing truly is everything.

3.Burberry Catwalk Show

As part of London’s 2018 Fashion Week, United Visual Artists created an archway of light for the Burberry catwalk.

Models walked beneath the prismatic light installation that represented LGBTQ+ communities around the world.

rainbow LED lasers Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash
rainbow LED lasers

The overall light show also paid homage to creative director Christopher Bailey, who was leaving his role at Burberry after 17 years.

The installation was made of 3,000 rainbow-hued lasers. Now that’s a lot of lasers.

See the laser archway in all it’s colourful glory on

4. Drake’s tour

Canadian rapper Drake’s latest tour of 2018 was packed with the latest technology and stage design trends.

The “super democratic” tour had a variety of visual tricks including 200 drones, a LED stage floor that transforms into a scorpion to pay homage to the rapper’s latest album, and a flying Ferrari.

Yellow Ferrari Photo by Dexter Flexter on Unsplash
ready to take off …sort of

An interesting part of this stage design is that it’s based on a basketball court, meaning the audience surrounds the LED floor from all four sides. This also posed a challenge to Drake, as he was completely surrounded by his fans and needed to provide a 360 performance.

To see the exclusive stage images, visit

5. Swan Lake Reimagined

It’s been 30 years since Swan Lake was last developed for the stage. The team at the Royal Opera House took on the challenge of reimagining this ballet classic in 2018.

Previously Anthony Dowell’s production was the staple for Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake, but choreographer, Liam Scarlett, and designer, John MacFarlane, took on the challenge of a new interpretation in 2018.

Part of the reimagining was to create an entire new Act IV and to interpret the ending into a more bittersweet version as envisioned by Scarlett.

The costume choices –classic tutus over the previously used long skirted dresses- were a homage to the classic ballet origin associated with Swan Lake and weren’t the only considerations setting the scene for the return of Swan Lake.

The set design was created to ensure the mood of the ballet came across with particular focus being put into the landscape background.

In June 2018, the production was even broadcast live across the world via BP Big Screens.

Here’s a look at how the design was achieved:

The reviews of the production included praise for the tutu choice and overall costume-designs, the use of dry ice for the lake scene and the first-rate performances by the dancers.

We firmly believe that there’s something truly magical about the stage and stage transport. There may well be something about Mary, but there’s certainly something about stage transport in our books.

Why not have a closer look at some of our previous transport work in our case studies?

Or if you’ve got a show to put on the road, contact our team on 013 238 0805 to arrange your stage transport today.

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