An online search for stage equipment will pretty much blow the mind of any potential buyer. The market for stage decks and stage products has expanded massively in the last few years and with it the amount of choice available.
Once the realm of professionals and events companies only, there are now stage systems and stage equipment to suit every budget and requirement you can think of, from the largest live music event to the mobile solo performer just looking to be raised off the floor.
Probably the most most confusing thing about stage equipment is the large variations in cost, as the stage decks and staging systems often look identical in pictures, so it can be difficult to see why one would be £100 per Deck, and one that looks and measures the same should be £300.
The danger here is that buyers just tend to automatically go for the cheapest option, without understanding why the cost differences are there, and whether the units are really suitable for what they want from it.
The main questions you will need to address with stage decks are size and weight, loading capability, portability, weather resistance, expansion possibilities and aesthetics.
Here at Stage Concepts we only supply stage equipment that meets the very highest specifications for quality, so you can be sure that you are buying the best available no matter which style or price point you’re looking at.
Can you handle the size of the stage deck ?
Stage decks come in several thicknesses, usually tops of 12mm, 15mm and 18mm chipboard or plywood, right up to heavy duty 22mm laminated ply.
With the industry standard stage deck size of 2m x 1m with 15mm top, you are already at such a considerable weight and size that would put it beyond average mobile usage, certainly for transport in a standard car or lifting by one person.
A professional heavy usage 2m x 1m deck with 18mm or even 22mm top and heavy duty aluminium frame will weigh in at 45kg, just for the top deck.
The same size stage platform with medium weight aluminium frame and a 12mm ply top will come in at 29kg, so significantly less, while the newer stage systems such as our Ultralight platforms will come in at just 16kg for the same size. Obviously these lighter stage deck options are preferable for anyone, as moving heavy equipment around is never ideal, but it all depends if their specification is suitable for the intended usage you have in mind.
Just how portable can a stage be ?
Portability is a consideration in all stage products, but it covers many levels. If you have a full team, with vans and tools for your events set up, then your ideas and expectations of what’s considered portable will be quite different to that of a solo performer who takes their stage deck with them in the back of a car. That will differ again if the equipment is going into a school environment or workplace.
The important thing is that all needs can be specifically catered for with the correct stage equipment choice, which is why we like to talk to our customers prior to any purchase, allowing us to guide you through what’s best for you.
Whilst all the stage equipment that Stage Concepts supply has some form of removable legs, they differ in design and type depending again on intended usage. Some are quick fix systems, and some use a traditional bolt on fixing. They come in various lengths to allow different heights of stage, and can be fixed length tubing or adjustable tube or box sections. The newest and simplest type as featured on our Ultralight range is an all in one platform ‘riser’ unit which is a real innovation for both portability and structural rigidity due to its supporting the entire underside of the stage platform. They are available in 3 set heights and are set to become the next industry standard due to their amazing strength and durability for such a lightweight and portable design. Deck frames and legs are generally aluminium, and the type of materials (lightweight, medium, heavy duty) will differ according to type and cost, but generally the design will stay the same throughout the range.
How much weight can the systems handle ?
While all professional stage decks have similar load bearing ratings, it is obviously subjective to the amount of usage the deck will be receiving. While a 12mm thick top may have an on paper rating of 500kg per square meter, and will take the weight before any breakage occurs, it will be subject to a certain amount of flexing and bowing once you exceed 50 – 60 % of that max rating. An 18mm thick top with the same load rating will obviously fair much better with load spreading and general rigidity, the trade off being the physical weight of the extra material.
Flex at these 500kg ratings wouldn’t be an issue for someone standing giving a speech or singing, but a dance troop in full flow, or exhibition stand with large crowds will obviously suffer, so intended usage is possibly the most important factor when deciding what type of stage deck is right for you.
Talking of dancing or exhibition stands, it’s also a big consideration to plan the size of floor area required. The larger stage deck systems not only provide the stable weight loading, but are designed for secure interlocking with each other for creating a safe large stage area, whereas some of the lighter weight types are a more temporary ‘push together’ fitting, or are not designed to exceed a certain set number of decks joined together, so may not be suitable for constructing the overall size you require. Its also good to factor in any possible expansion you may need to add on at a later date. Its best to get it right first time, which is why we prefer to personally advise on the different stage deck systems and their suitability to you
Suitability for the situation
All the stage equipment that SC Projects supply is suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage. The finish options available are either purely aesthetic such as black rather than natural aluminium, or in the case of powder coating, is there to provide a much better protection from wet weather and the general knocks and scrapes that come with transport and repeated set-up / takedown.
The wood deck tops are available in various finishes, from natural wood which can be used as is, or varnished, to classic hard wearing carpet or the newer polymer ‘safe grip’ textured finishes. With choices available to both frame, legs and deck, you are able to create a real custom look for your system.
Safe to use anywhere ?
Safety is a big issue when placing any stage equipment into a public area. If people can fall off something, walk into it, fall over it or fall down it then you as the owner are responsible to put measures in place to stop that happening as best you can. All of SC Projects stage decks and stage systems come with extensive options for safety railings, guards, chairstops, handrails, wheelchair ramps and step units, in conjunction with the secure grip finish options available on the deck tops, you have a wide selection available to cater a stage system to your exact needs that will meet all current regulations for public use.
We have selected stage equipment ranges from several manufacturers in order to give the best choice, and to cover all situations. If you’re kitting out a School Hall or Drama Studio, Church or Community Centre, then we have you covered with our foldable Alustage Ultralight stage range.
If you’re looking for workhorse equipment for Shows, Exhibitions and Functions, and want something more ‘industrial’ , than you can look at the classic designs from the Alustage SCA stage range, which cover medium and heavy duty usage with a large catalogue of add-ons, fittings and fixtures and custom options.
Hopefully you are now asking yourself a few questions about what stage equipment you really want. The best thing to do next is call and ask us ! We are here to help, so there is no reason to make large purchases uninformed of your options.
From the V&A museum and Saatchi Gallery, to Warner Brothers Studios and Crystal Palace FC, our truss systems and bespoke designed truss constructions have found homes in a wide selection of both public and private events and for a variety of tasks.
We have also supplied trussing and stage deck systems to the Next and TopShop group, Harley Davidson, Jump Giants Trampoline Park, alongside the many private individuals and trade customers that have purchased everything from a singular stage deck right up to a large festival stage roof system.
Large circular truss lighting rigs and stage platform systems for film sets, structural truss arches and walkways for exhibitions and shopping centre events, vehicle plinths and truss for showroom displays, truss based obstacle courses, and the supply of full professional sound and lighting packages means Stage Concepts can fulfill your project requirements no matter how large or small they may be.