Excerpt from the article in TPI Magazine:
Despite being a famed destination for football fans, there are a multitude of reasons why touring artists don’t often put on shows at St. James’ Park, most notably the one single tunnel with its limited height restrictions to load-in and -out.
This was where KB Event’s prior experience of the venue came into play; undertaking site meetings, agreed schedules and operational methods with the technical suppliers, promoter, Kilimanjaro, and St. James’ Park before getting approval for production.
The tunnel in question has a height restriction of 3.67m. Megacube Artics, even with their air
dropped, stand at 3.9m. Rather than having to unload everything in the car park or on the service road and run equipment in with forklifts and local crew, KB Event devised a method of operation that managed to get two trucks at a time under the stadium and parallel with the VOM road.
“We could then ramp out onto the VOM ramp or run forklifts to the back of the trucks and load into the bowl, which saved a great deal of time and reduced crew required for the loading and -out,” said KB Event’s Stuart McPherson.
Despite this plan, access remained tight, and the manoeuvre required accomplished drivers to get the trucks into place and back out again as well as a robust traffic management plan for other delivery vehicles. To compound this, the venue had historic stone plaques and sensitive flooring areas which the artics had to travel over. “The venue was quite rightly protective of these,” McPherson stated, explaining how KB completed a risk assessment and managed the process to ensure minimal time was spent crossing the plaques. “No plaques were damaged in the production of these shows,” he confirmed.
Space was at an absolute premium. “We had to work very closely with the Kilimanjaro and the SC Productions team to plan arrival times and dates of vehicles, where they parked and how they manoeuvred.