Serious Stages’ first major festival of the ’23 summer season began with a sold-out Download Festival at Donington Park Circuit, providing the stages and site structures.
Accommodating the multi-ton technical production and scenic elements, the main ‘Apex’ stage was a Serious 25m TZ 6-post roof, including a ‘Super Bowstring Arch’ with a 10-tonne capacity. This was linked to goalposts for screens and audio by Download’s iconic Totem décor, creating a spectacular 67.2m wide focal point.
Metallica brought in five cylindrical video towers, as part of their European festival tour set, which meant Serious switched to two side-by-side front-of-house structures (rather than the festival’s usual four storey FOH with rear video screen).
A 40% increase in audience size meant that the production team paid particular to the PA design to ensure good sound quality and dispersion for this discerning audience. Serious provided more delay towers, installing six 12m Lunas and three 12m Asteroids in the mainstage arena.
Serious Stages Operation Manager Abbey Thomas comments:
“It was great to support (Festival Director) John Probyn and Live Nation’s Download Festival team to deliver this 20th anniversary, biggest ever Download. All of the headliners brought sets that looked stunning on both stages. Sometimes it’s easy to forget they’re performing on 220 tonnes of Serious steel and stage engineering.”
The Serious crew worked through the weekend, with significant overnight changes to the stage, adding a front-of-stage thrust built overnight for Bring Me The Horizon
Working through a sun-baked build, crews stayed well hydrated and completed their installation ahead of schedule for the technical teams to bring in PA, lights and screens. Another change to this year’s site saw the 820sqm Assisted Viewing Platform (AVP) relocated to stage right in the sloping main audience arena.
The second ‘Opus’ stage was a Serious 22m Supernova, 5 bay configuration, with new goalposts creating a 42m wide frontage. Featuring bands including Ghost, Placebo and Evanescence, Serious also supplied the front-of house- tower and AVP, as well as over 800 sqm of stage decking, with ramps and steps, FOH towers and AVP platforms in three tented stages.
All of stages and site structures were designed and manufactured at Serious’ Wells headquarters, and with their long lifespan, the company is committed to minimising its carbon impact through re-usable components and logistical efficiency to minimise transport.