Well, 2021 is upon us! The past year has felt so long and yet so short at the same time, but it looks like we as a nation and industry are finally turning the corner in relation to COVID-19. The vaccines have been rolled out, case numbers and deaths are falling, and we may restore some sort of normality by Easter.
Better yet, for the events industry, there is plenty of pent up demand for events in 2021 after nine months of cancellations, postponements, and slightly underwhelming virtual versions of in-person events. We've had no choice to respond by investing even more int new stage equipment to cope!
But before we delve into that, let's take a moment to reflect on 2020 and explain why 2021 is already set to be the busiest year on record for Outdoor Stages.
2020: The Year of Events Stolen by Coronavirus
In many ways, it feels like a lifetime ago when coronavirus took hold back in March 2020. We were setting up and rigging stages on the road in Europe for the world's biggest drum and bass festival when organisers had no option but to pull the plug.
From then on, you'll have noticed from our blogs that we haven't been ones to sit still. We still managed to pull off a number of events in line with COVID restrictions, and we'll be looking back at those in a recap post shortly (so stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled!). But there's no point skirting around the elephant in the room, plenty of events were cancelled or postponed, leaving us with the strange feeling of not packing everything up and attending site every single weekend of summer like we usually do.
However, what we've noticed is that the events industry has really pulled together and decided to "go big or go home" next year. Those who have cancelled or postponed haven't merely pushed their bookings to next year. Interestingly, pretty much every single one of our annual summer clients (such as Samfest) have increased their festival stage hire demands for next year's version of their events.
In other words, if 2020 has been "cancelled" as many commentators have called it, then 2021 is going to be the year of triumphant celebration. Events are going to be bigger and better than ever before. We know this because we've seen some of the plans in advance and let's just say clients right across the board have been upping the ante when it comes to outdoor stage hire.
Given the circumstances, we've had no option but to increase our already impressive range of stages to keep up with demand! So let's tell you a little bit more about our newest acquisition.
Outdoor Stages Invests in New Outdoor Stage for Summer 2021
We've wasted no time in gearing up for what could be our busiest year on record. Talk about a phoenix rising out of the ashes! We used the lull in proceedings that was 2020 to carry out extensive research and gather feedback from our existing clients, and there were some clear trends.
Once again, something we've picked up on in the past is that there are plenty of events that find our 6m x 4m outdoor stage too small and our larger models (such as our 8m x 10m arc roof stage) too big. So we've decided to expand what we often call our "medium-sized" selection of stages to include a 7m x 5m outdoor stage.
Once again, it's arc roofed and already booked up for most of summer 2021! The reason demand for these stages is so high is due to two types of events. The first is local events such as outdoor music concerts or regional festivals that require a big enough stage to accommodate 500+ attendees. The second is large national and international festivals that want a small stage for their more intimate performance venues, for newcomers or small-label-sponsored stages.
As usual, it complies with all Eurospec 9 requirements, and we have all of the necessary load and wind documentation on standby to help you with your local authorities as well as national health and safety regulators. Given that it's already booked for several weeks of next year, it's worth restating the reasons why you need to get your stage hire services booked in early for 2021.
Why You Need to Book in Stage Hire Services Now for Summer 2021
If you're fresh into the outdoor event industry, then it's vitally important to understand that stages aren't commodities that can be easily hired as and when you please.
There are only a finite number of suppliers that can supply festival stage hire in England, and the bigger your stage requirements and associated extras, the fewer suppliers you'll have to choose from. That means as soon as that pool of available stages has been booked up for the dates of your music festival or concert, that's it, their gone (barring a cancellation).
What complicates matters further is that the UK and European outdoor events season is packed tightly into six months of the year. From April to September, the events schedule is packed to the rafters. There are over 7,000 outdoor events per year in the UK alone! Most if not all of the stages for those events will already be tied up a year prior.
So what does 2021 look like? Well, you guessed it – busy! Not only do you have to contend with all of the established event companies taking up their usual slots on the calendar, but you also have all of the one-off events for 2020 being transferred over to 2021. To top it all off, there are plenty of new festivals and events that were either looking to launch last year competing for slots for this upcoming summer.
Therefore, if you don't get your act together within the next couple of months, finding a stage that's suitable for your specific demands and within your allocated budget could be akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.
In normal circumstances, we ask for at least three months' notice. But that might not be enough in 2021. We already have many weeks with no wiggle room booked in for the upcoming summer, and we are sure it's a similar story for the select number of stage hire companies in the industry.
If you leave it until March for a summer date, it's likely that the only way we can help you is if a client cancels on us at the last minute. That's rare, but it does happen from time to time. Of course, if you're reading this and it's already March 2021, then it's worth picking up the phone to us. You never know, we might have something available, and we'll always do our best to help. Even if that means pointing you in the direction of another outfit.
But regardless of the unique nature of 2021, it still makes sense to at least start the booking conversation about six months ahead of your proposed dates. That way we can work with you to navigate any of the restrictions or limitations related to your venue and talk through what you're likely to need in terms of extras so we can start to pencil in what we'll need to put aside for you.
Speaking of extras, don't forget we offer everything you could possibly need, including some more new 2020 additions – power generators!
Stage Hire Production Extras for Your Summer 2021 Event
While festival stage hire is obviously crucial for outdoor events that require them, you won't get very far with the mere physical structure. You need a full suite of audio visual (AV) equipment to make them come to life!
Fortunately for you, no one does it better than us. You see, many stage hire companies offer additional equipment hire services as a method of bringing in extra revenue. They even frequently sub in equipment to meet client demands (a common source of frustration for clients who have since moved across to partner with us).
By contrast, here at Outdoor Stages, we have our own sound, lighting, and AV departments led by some of the most well-respected and knowledgeable staff in the industry. We are part of one of the biggest event companies in the country. What that means for you is not only is the standard of equipment we supply second-to-none, but it's also installed and operated by highly-experienced engineers and technicians who live and breathe their work every day of the year.
Better still, by offering everything you could ever imagine, we take a massive load off your plate. Rather than trying to organise and facilitate six different contractors all working on one stage, you can benefit from one point of contact, and a well-oiled machine of staff members working in the background to make all of your requests a reality. You also reap the benefit of enormous cost savings by tapping into our economies of scale.
Referring back to the equipment itself, we stock an extensive in-house equipment inventory covering all event production aspects. For example, we have over 120 square metres of industry-leading 3.9mm pixel pitch LED video panels on standby, ready to build the stage-accompanying video screens of your choice.
When it comes to sound, we only use the best brands in the business, such as Shure and d&b audiotechnik. Our lighting and special effects options offer the same guarantee of performance of quality with leading brand names such as Showtec. Finally, new for 2021, we've acquired a fleet of power generators to help out for those events that are exceedingly remote.
In short, using us as a turn-key stage hire services solution for your event, it's fair to say you're in pretty good hands.
Contact Outdoor Stages Today to Book in Your Festival Stage Hire for 2021
So, 2020 may have been a year to forget. But by all accounts, it looks as though 2021 is going to finally kick off the decade off in style. The problem is, the race for outdoor stage hire is well and truly on. If you don't move quickly, you could find yourself scrambling to find one that fits your needs and budget.
Here at Outdoor Stages, we've expanded our inventory once again, so we have a vast range of stages and configurations to choose from. But hurry, because their availability is fast disappearing!
To avoid missing out on what could be a historic summer of celebrations, just shoot us an email or pick up the phone to speak to a member of our friendly team. Even if it's just to gather some advice. We are here to serve you.
We look forward to hearing from you!