Star Events Flashes Its 100-Footer

Bedfordshire-based stage and rigging company Star Events Group is claiming to be the first to produce a stage canopy with a width of 100 feet.

Because of the patented processes used in the manufacture of the couplings that hold the structure together, it’s been able to design a roof that’s nearly 20 feet wider than anything else available and has near double the load-bearing capacity.

The new roof is the latest product from the company’s Star Orbit range, which was launched when Star Events Group bought the bankrupt Orbit Stages from a liquidator at the beginning of 2004.

The money it paid enabled the liquidator, Robert Gilderthorp of Gilderthorp & Partners, to come close to settling Orbit’s (estimated) half-million pounds worth of debt, while Star Events Group picked up the company’s stock, patents and design rights.

Using what Star Events Group director Roger Barrett described as “a giant Meccano kit,” the company has worked on improving the Orbit designs before sending the new specs to structural expert George Wemyss for thorough analysis.

“The new system has almost double the weight-handling capacity of the older Orbit systems still being used by most of the U.K.’s other staging companies,” Barrett explained. “For example, if a given format of the old Orbit stage could hang six tons of lights, the same format of the Star Orbit system could deal with well over 10 tons.

“This is particularly useful when dealing with the increasingly heavy video screens and moving lights that are in use nowadays.”

The new design, which includes a load-bearing proscenium hood at the front, debuted at the BBC’s “Last Night Of The Proms” at Scotland’s Glasgow Green September 10th, with the official product launch planned for late October.