Reading Festival

Project Summary

We have worked on Reading every year since 2004.

Some stats from Reading 2016 - 28 bookings, 771 man hours, 73 Crew (1 Birmingham, 11 Bristol, 51 London, 10 Manchester) including 12 Crew Chiefs, 3 Telehandler Drivers

Gallowglass Event Crew Arriving at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew setting up the sound rig for Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew working through the many Flight Cases at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew Installing the Sub Woofers onstage at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew installing the first light at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew working through the many Lights needed at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew setting up the BBC Introducting Stage at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew making some last minute checks to the lighting rig at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew working onsite between stages at Reading Festival
Gallowglass Event Crew onsite working on all stages at Reading Festival

Case Study (2015)

Festival Republic appointed Gallowglass to support the load in, setup, de-rig and load-out of all stages, except the main stage, at this year’s Reading Festival.  Having worked on Reading every year since 2004 and for Festival Republic every year since 2009, Gallowglass had established a strong working relationship with the client and the other contractors. We knew the site layout, and the relevant stages to deliver the appropriate kit to. All of which made us the logical choice for the job.

However, this was a highly complex project, involving a wide range of tasks over seven individual stages within a tight time frame: a three-day build and a two day de-rig. Our own mission was to complete the job even more efficiently than in previous years. 

In the lead-up to the build, meetings were held to anticipate and prepare for any potential hurdles; also to determine the best manpower resourcing for each day and each stage. 

Gallowglass would need to provide competent, skilled and reliable crew, focusing on those with prior Reading experience. This included Senior Crew Chiefs, licensed Forklift Operators and First Aid-qualified crewmen.  

We worked alongside Colour Sound Experience, Siyan Stage Lighting, Adlib Sound and Light, Pictureworks, Creative Technology, ESS Hire and Dimension to successfully install equipment on: 

  • Stage 2 - NME / Radio 1 Stage
  • Stage 3 - BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage
  • Stage 4 - Festival Republic Stage
  • Stage 5 - BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage
  • Stage 6 - Lock Up / The Pit
  • Stage 7 - Alternative Stage
  • Stage 8 - BBC Introducing Stage 

Tasks included ground rigging, light, sound, all associated cable running and management, control desks and full backline installation, indoor and outdoor screen set up and crowd barrier layout on all the above stages. 

The project involved over 70 crew from several of our regional crew bases working over the course of five days, throughout the build and de-rig. We totalled 771 man hours on-site and more than 2500 miles travelled to get to and from the festival.

We worked as an integrated unit: 4 stages were completed ahead of schedule, which allowed crew to be redeployed to support other stages. The end result was a resounding success. 

Our own post-event debrief concluded that this success was down to three key factors: 

  • Our extensive knowledge of the site, including experience of the effect that unpredictable weather conditions can have on it – and the ramifications in terms of safety.
  • A meticulous attention to detail and production deadlines.
  • The allocation of crew with the most appropriate skills and experience - ensuring that the distribution of kit was run as efficiently as possible.

What Our Clients Had To Say

“For the last 7 years, Gallowglass have been involved in the load in and load out of 9 of the 10 stages at Reading. Their involvement this year has been no different to the previous 6. Crew are punctual, well prepared, have the correct PPE and work effortlessly and tirelessly to ensure that all tasks are completed within the scheduled time. In addition, all crew are flexible, and are well organised enough to be deployed to any task that needs doing. I can’t fault them on any level, and hope that we can continue to work together.”

Nick DaviesFestival Republic

“Reading Festival is one of the largest music festivals in the world. Thus, when it comes to the organisation of such an event, it is crucial that when selecting suppliers, there is a focus on ensuring those selected are not only competent, but are familiar our with kit, procedures and work ethic. With tight time restrictions, ever changing weather conditions and an incredibly large site to navigate around, we knew there was only one supplier to go with. By using Gallowglass for crewing assistance we can be confident of having reliable, hardworking and very experienced people to complement our team, with the added assurance that our regulatory obligations are covered by using a company with such a high regard for Health and Safety and staff welfare. Utterly reassuring when planning our workloads!”   Thanks to their involvement, we were able to ensure a world class event was delivered, further strengthening their reputation as the UK’s leading crewing company.”

Phil Towle – Operations Director – Spektrum Events

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