Gearhouse drew attention to the progress of the South African market when it was named Favourite International Production Company by the U.K.’s Total Production magazine.
"We’re extremely proud of this achievement and the recognition from the European industry leaders for our hard work," said Gearhouse MD Ofer Lapid, who collected the award at the February 17 ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
"For the group to be nominated alongside international players of the calibre of Stageco, Jands Production Company, Spectra, Ampco, Flashlight and Clair Brothers Audio is a success in itself, never mind actually winning the award," he added.
Production services is a fast-growing sector in South Africa, where there’s scope for further innovation and development. The lead-up toward the 2010 World Cup and the event itself may raise the bar on local services and delivery.
Now in its seventh year, the annual Total Production Awards pays tribute to the best of the international technical production services industry. It includes categories for tour managers, sound engineers, lighting designers, video directors, set designers, transport companies and riggers.
This year’s awards bash was opened by London-based, all-girl band Ipso Facto, with an all-star cast that included Mike Rutherford of Genesis, legendary U.K. promoter Harvey Goldsmith, and famous production designers Mark Fisher and Patrick Woodroffe.
Cunninham described the ceremony itself as "massively upgraded and reinvented." Eleven of the awards were presented at a lunch hosted by the Production Services’ Association, with the remaining 15 handed out at the gala dinner in the evening.
Other winners included Brilliant Stages (set construction), Stageco (staging), XL Video (video services), Fly By Nite (transport), Rock-It Cargo (freight), Showsec International (crowd management), Eat To The Beat (catering), Adlib Audio (sound) and MA Lighting HSL (lights).
The Best Venue award went to London’s O2 Arena, while Cunningham chose the Goldsmith-promoted Ahmet Ertegun Tribute show featuring Led Zeppelin for his Editor’s award. Live production of the year went to Genesis for the Turn It On Again Tour.