When you go to a concert, especially a massive open-air gig at a venue like Wembley Stadium, it’s easy to be so overwhelmed by the sheer spectacle of the event that you won’t stop to consider the logistics behind making it happen. 

But the logistics, especially where significant load-bearing on a fragile and very expensive football pitch is concerned, can be a major problem. It’s crucial to get the sums right before you bring in a seventy-five+ ton crane to erect a monster five-hundred-ton stage on a million pounds worth of turf. Get the sums wrong and the results won’t only be disastrous, they’ll be astronomically expensive.

Luckily, solving our clients’ problems is a big part of our job – and we’ve got the experience to do the maths. It’s an important calculation so let’s take a closer look at the issue.

Where load-bearing is concerned, protecting a surface from people isn’t the headache. The headache is the stage and what it takes to build it. Consider this photo of the U2 stage.

how to build a stage on a sensitive surface temporary flooring

Not only does the stage itself weigh several hundred tons, there are also giant screens and King Kong-size speakers to contend with. So, what’s taking the heaviest load in this picture?

Actually, this second picture describes it better.

temporary overlay for building concert stages

Those four vertical supports you see are doing the heavy lifting (literally!) and, once that ring-beam the engineers are building is added to those supports, each of the verticals will be loaded with twenty-five tons per square metre. That’s a lot of weight, and the only protection between the supports and that invaluable pitch will be the aluminium panels the supports stand on. And here’s something else to add to the equation – the pitch can only withstand about five tons per square metre.

How can you ensure the pitch is properly protected? Here’s the Floorbox solution…

A standard Temporary Road panel consists of ten panels of aluminium planking, all joined and riveted together to form one large panel. It doesn’t matter how many other panels are laid on top of it in the same direction, the load dispersal when the panel sits on the ground will never change.

However, if you cross the panels so that each panel is laying in a different direction from the panel underneath it, you can disperse up to 5 x more weight than if you loaded the panels in the same direction. And when you consider that building the stage will also involve bringing a lot of other heavy plant – including a crane – onto the pitch, you can see how that clever little solution will get you out of a lot of trouble long before the concert has even started.

So, just in case U2 or The Rolling Stones ever play in your garden and you need some Trackway to protect the grass, here’s the calculation…

 …actually, we’d better not. The factors involved in this maths are constantly changing so if you find yourself in this situation, give us a call and we’ll be very happy to do the calculating for you.   

And there you have it. Now, if anyone asks, “How do you get a seventy-five-ton crane and a five-hundred-ton stage onto a football pitch?”, you know the answer.

Of course, the even more correct answer would be: “Talk to Floorbox”.

If you’ve got any specialist flooring problems you’d like us to solve, get in touch. We’ve got the expertise and the products you need, and we’re always here to help.

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