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Concrete & Grass chooses UK staging company

Concrete & Grass, a two-day music festival held in Shanghai, featured a 22m Orbit stage and two V-towers for the main stage supplied by a UK staging specialist with a depot in the city. The company introduced the equipment to China in September.

The festival is presented by Split Works, a China-based music company founded in 2006 by Archie Hamilton and Nathaniel Davis. It is a subsidiary of Split United, one of China’s most influential music industry organizations, with offices in both Shanghai and Beijing.

Split Works also organises the annual JUE | Music + Art Festival in Beijing and Shanghai, and co-presents the Contemporale concert series with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Concrete & Grass was held on 16-17 September at the Shanghai Rugby Club. Launched in 2015 as Echo Park festival, it was rebranded last year. The September event  featured 70 acts from around the world, including Thurston Moore, Princess Nokia, Toy and Gacharic Spin.

Main stage and support

Star Events has been working in China for 10 years, and has supplied Concrete & Grass for the last three years from its depot in the city. Star Events said organiser Split Works moved the company’s staging solutions to the main stage after its 17m Orbit roof on stage 2 was the only performance space to withstand torrential rain in 2016.

The company used an 80-ton crane and a six strong crew to build the bigger stage. Star Events claims its solution provided significant savings in time and resources compared to the local system it replaced.

Jo Xie, operations director at Star Events China, commented: “It is still very rare to see cranes building stages in China. Most are based on scaffold towers and are very labour intensive. The Orbit roof took about six hours, which was a great achievement for its first turn in the country.”

The Shanghai music festival coincided with Star Events’ busiest week in China. In addition to the contract with Concrete & Grass, Star Events supplied an arena project while prepping a second job for the 22m Orbit at Yangtze River International Music Festival in Zhenjiang the following week.