UK: Star Events supplied the cavernous Mayfield Depot with seats in two custom-built arenas for the Manchester International Festival (MIF), which wrapped on July 15.
The first was for the world premier of Yael Bartana’s What If Women Ruled The World, the second for choreographer Boris Charmatz’s 10,000 Gestures, one of MIF’s final fixtures.
Set opposite Manchester Piccadilly, Mayfield Depot is the under platform area of a semi-derelict Victorian railway station. Boarded up for years there was minimal natural light as Star Events built a single stand of 430 QP Grandstand seats. To accommodate Saygel & Schreiber’s What if Women Ruled The World set design, the system included a 166mm rake onto the existing ‘stage’ plinth and around the venue roof support columns.
The solution for 10,000 Gestures’, ‘thrilling blizzard of movement’, one of the final shows at MIF 2017, was a horseshoe configuration of 520 seats in three 333mm rake stands incorporating an upstage landing for show control.
New Order’s run of gigs at Old Granada Studios, in front of Star Events’ performance wall, also finished on July 15, after Star had provided a 22m Orbit stage and support structures to Blink 182’s turn at Castlefield Bowl the night before.
Ahead of MIF, the company’s busiest summer in Manchester saw it supply the Courteeners post-Ariana performance at Emirates Old Trafford, the Manchester One Love event, seen by a billion people around the world, and Radiohead’s rescheduled show at the same venue.
Take That also rescheduled their planned three nights at the Arena with one huge show at Etihad Stadium delivered in the round on one of Star’s new Ultra stages, prior to it going to Wembley for Adele.
Pete Holdich, Head of Structures at Star Events, commented: “We staggered the Mayfield build schedules to accommodate our other commitments and to allow rehearsals to take place. Manchester has a huge music and arts heritage that attracts A-list players and events every year so no surprise that as a major supplier we have so much happening there.
“The success of this run of shows, from the Courteeners to MIF, was a fantastic response by all involved, from performers, promoters and event organisers to suppliers and audiences.”