Live with Chris Beehan from Stageset

Backstage with Live

Live: Tell us about yourself and Stageset.

Chris: Stageset Structural solutions for the Events industry. Head office in Sydney with Branch in New Zealand and outpost in Brisbane. 

We pride ourselves in being the go-to company for all your staging needs in Australia and New Zealand. We have the best products and people and strive to deliver a quality engineered product and service to the Events industry. 

I have been doing this for 25 years now, starting as a loader and backpacker in London looking for anything to pay for my next world adventure. The job building stages has taken me all over the world and met some amazing people who we are still in touch with today.

Live: From building your first stage for The Rolling Stones to touring with Michael Jackson, tell us about the highs, lows, weird and whacky parts of your gig?

Chris: Back in the day it was all ‘high’s’ not too many lows as we were young free and seeing the world, following the rock stars and living our version of the way they did as well. The world tours were hard work, long days, 20 hr load-outs, long flights, overnight shifts, rain hail or snow… always gotta make the show go on. 

There were upsides, weeks off with full pay, 5-star hotel accommodations, business class flights on Michael Jackson tour, enjoying local Slovenia beaches and towns on Bryan Adams to hanging in Athens for a week sightseeing… all part of the job… Not to mention the ‘Wonder-bra fashion tour of England and Ireland’, now that was a handful… ha ha

Live: What is the most unique performance or event you’ve set up the stage for?

Chris: 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games was one of the hardest and longest projects I have worked on, and probably the most rewarding as well. 

We built the worlds largest stage in the middle of the MCG, 100m diameter circular stage constructed from square bays… oh and on a slope, compound curved stage…+ 100m long hydraulic bridge for all the athletes to enter the stadium + many other stages. Great project over a year I worked on this

Live: Tell us about the design and architecture behind the sets you supply?

Chris: The Stageset products were created and realised from many years of working in the Staging industry, designing and fabricating stuff with Edwin Shirley Staging. I wanted the best-looking stage products with sufficient rigging capacity for the size roof. 

This was determined with going through 10 years of rigging plots on stages we had worked with to come up with the ideal specs. Vandermeer Consulting Engineers in Sydney worked closely with us coming up with a workable, freight friendly, labour friendly ascetically pleasing structure. The roof lifting mechanisms we came up with that has given us a real market edge.

Live: How many parts go into creating some of the biggest sets?

Chris: The larger stage designs take months of project management and many components that all need to be checked, maintained and packaged for freighting to site. Then same again after the show, packed away and ready for the next one.

Live: What is the lifespan on all the products? Tell us about your impressive focus on minimising waste and lowering the impact on the environment.

Chris: Stageset mainly uses Steel, Aluminium, Plywood and PVC fabric and everything is designed to be used over and over again and depreciated over time. For the more bespoke designs, we use sustainable products and re-use where we can eliminating mass stuff heading to landfill.

Live: How do you store all the bits and pieces?

Chris: The staging products are stored in steel stackable stillages and nally bin crates designed to contain, protect in travel. Most of the equipment is galvanised so can be stored outside, the painted steel, wood and fabric is stored inside the warehouse

Live: So tell us a little bit more around your experience working with Live Event Logistics and the role that you have collaborating with them at certain times.

Chris: Live Logistics provide a fantastic seem less end to end freight and Logistics service, we mainly work together on the Stageset international ventures, namely servicing our New Zealand Operation Stageset NZ Limited with sea container freight and airfreight between Australia and NZ

Live: Where are the main innovations you see in building products for set constructions?

Chris: Stage construction is always top-heavy on labour, freight and storage requirements. Stageset have spent many years trying to eliminate as many of the costly components to deliver slick, efficient and easy to construct. 5.5T Electric screw jacks are used to lift our stage roofs. 

These are cutting edge and provide a modern, safe efficient lifting solution that can be moved and used on multiple products anytime as they don’t need to stay with the already erected stage. 

Packaging and labelling add efficiency and consistency with the products. Stageset Cad department deliver detailed drawings for the stages and sets and can be counted off the drawings saving valuable time for all.

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