Richard Kent at Aerial Rigging Techniques and Radiohead’s production manager Richard Young turned to LS-Live to help re-design and build core components of the Radiohead stage set following its tragic collapse in Toronto in 2012.
Due to our decades of experience in aluminium engineering, structural design and set fabrication, we were brought in during the early stages of the rebuild to provide our expertise. Demanding in terms of time, logistics and complexity, the project challenged all of LS-Live’s resources across a period of three weeks, involving structural assessments, re-drawing detailed components from scratch, reverse engineering, testing, manufacturing, modifications and final assembly.
Having evaluated the damage to the winch frames, main truss syste, flying video screen and transport dolly, our team of structural engineers and designers began to create drawings of the original set from scratch, making alterations along the way.
We stripped the winch frames to analyse what was damaged beyond repair, removing all slewing motors and gearbox assemblies in the process. We measured and redrew all the components, incorporating requested modifications to video tile positions and cable routing.
We used new aluminium for the new winch frames, cut using a specialist abrasive water jet technique because they were too thick for laser cutting. After machining, we assembled the complete winch frames, installing fully tested slew motors and NDT (non-destructive testing) crack-checked cable management reelers.
LS-Live also re-designed the main truss system, to improve access and installation of the winch reels. We worked with independent structural engineer Lee Coverley to ensure the new designs could safely accommodate the weight load, before commissioning James Thomas Engineering to manufacture the system.
Finally, we supplied a 60ft by 32ft rolling house stage for the remainder of the tour and two 24ft by 12ft side LiteDeck platforms for the technicians. All was delivered on time and in budget after an emotional few weeks.