The annual Event Production Awards (EPAs) returned to The Lancaster London Hotel on March 1st 2017 for their sixth outing. Now firmly embedded in the event industry’s annual calendar, the EPAs recognise and celebrate the hard work and achievements of key suppliers and contractors to the industry. With a total of 18 awards up for grabs on the night, Ascot Structures was delighted to secure the accolade of ‘Best Structure Supplier’ from an eight-strong shortlist of the industry’s leading players.
Having selected Ascot Structures as their winner, the EPAs’ judges commented that the company had invested in innovative products that moved the industry forward, whilst demonstrating its ability to work with other suppliers. In addition, they highlighted Ascot’s successful design and management for interiors.
Commenting on the award win, Dan Owen, Ascot Structures’ sales director said: We’re absolutely thrilled to be chosen as the UK’s ‘Best Structure Supplier’. The competition was certainly stiff so to stand out from the crowd and be recognised by an industry awards as firmly established as the EPAs is a real achievement. Our company ethos is to be innovative whilst maintaining exceptional standards of delivery and service so to have that dedication recognised and rewarded is fantastic.”
Ascot Structures was approached by the production team behind Portsmouth’s Oktoberfest in mid-September having realised that the project was more complex than originally thought. Our first site visit was on 30th September, less than 4 weeks before the event was due to take place. We identified the challenges and gained a full understanding of the client’s objectives:
- Design a structure that was sympathetic to the venue’s existing architecture.
- Incorporate the in-situ steps and statue to create an amphitheatre.
- Maximise the space available to meet the requirements of their license, as the event was a sell-out allowing no room for flexibility.
- Create clear site lines and a clear view from the top of the steps, across the site, to the stage on the bottom level.
The event site itself presented multiple challenges for the Ascot team that had to be factored into the design:
- The site is located directly in front of Portsmouth Guildhall and council offices and is a main thoroughfare within the City
- The area allocated for the bar was situated above an underground car park and the council was only prepared to allow 0.5 tonnes per sqm, as there were no official calculations.
- A wind model flagged up a vortex within the area, that had to be factored into all calculations.
Further site visits were conducted with structural engineers and representatives from Portsmouth Council’s building control team.
The 0.5 tonnes per sqm weight loading specified by the council was vastly insufficient and incapable of taking the weight of the tent. We carried out a series of tests and subsequent calculations, with the assistance of our structural engineers, to prove and document that the floor could take greater weight.
The solution that we designed was the erection of three separate tents:
- 10m x 40m A-Frame on a 3m leg for the bar
- 18m x 40m Polygon on a 4m leg, incorporating the architecture and scenery where appropriate
- 20m x 40m A-Frame on a 4m leg for the stage
Further challenges presented themselves from the outset, on the first day of build there was wedding for 600 people being held in the Guildhall and the Great South Run. Work had to begin immediately if the structures were going to be ready in time for the event. To solve the issues we created a 5 metre thoroughfare around the event site.
Other interesting elements of the project included the removal of paving stones above the car park and the demounting of flag poles, that would have impeded the build. When the project came to an end, the town centre was returned to its previous state within three days, a day ahead of schedule.
Ascot Structures delivered a stunning, freshly fabricated structure for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. With 200,000 attendees over four days, this high-profile event is renowned for attracting many of the world’s leading automotive brands. Goodwood’s production team proactively sought a new and dynamic temporary structure, to showcase the consortium of top end motorbike manufacturers.
Ascot is the only tent company in the UK to supply the newly developed Vision structure – this stunning feat of engineering comprises black framed, horizontal glass panels that create sloping walls, assembled using a unique cantilevered roof. The Vision’s main features include high ceilings, uninterrupted views and a free flow of pedestrian traffic. This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, was the first time the Ascot Vision had been used for a public event in the UK.
The structure was required to showcase over 60 motorbikes, from the key motorbike manufacturers, at what is generally regarded as the pinnacle, motorsport exhibition. Exhibitors included: BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Kawasaki and the Piaggio Group. The organisers were looking for a facility that was completely open and allowed for the free flow of visitors from both sides.
Prior to the event, Ascot’s design arm worked closely with Goodwood Festival of Speed’s production team, to ensure that the structure met their demanding requirements. This included additional investment, to alter the structure’s configuration to suit the client’s brief, such is the versatility of the Vision.
Ascot installed a 15m x 35m structure on a 21m x 35m raised floor, constructed from Ascot’s modified Layher scaffold system, that produced a centrally located internal space of 5m x 35m, and a covered floor area totalling 15m x 35m (525sqm).
The structure was completed with two full length staircases on either side – the first measuring 35m in length, and the second 25m. Included was a 5m access ramp, to ensure it was fully DDA compliant, whilst allowing the maximum footfall through the stand.
The facility took just 3 days to build, with the scaffold grid built on the first day, the structure assembled and craned into place on the second, and glass and finishing completed on the third day.
Once the event ended, the team returned to site to dismantle the structure, and the ground was left in near perfect condition.