Prolyte Campus blog: Trends for Roof Systems and Touring Structures

There’s definitely a trend for productions and touring structures to get larger and more heavy, like for Metallica and Rammstein. Even though PA and video equipment have become lighter, we see more and more set pieces, motion or special effects in the production, contribution to a growth in total weight.
Some bands, like Rammstein have their complete own set, which travels the world. For example, the Bruce Springsteen production used a Prolyte roof structure for their tour in Scandinavia, which proved to be more efficient from a logistic point of view, it saves enormously in transportation. That’s one of the benefits from Prolyte’s global network, we have our structures placed in many countries, so touring productions do not need to take the roof structure with them. This could mean a great saving in production costs, as well as contributing to create a smaller ecological footprint.

Acorn Event Structures used a Prolyte Space Roof for Creamfields, UK

For Dance festivals we see a trend for more elaborate set decoration and the integration of video, light equipment and set pieces into one structure. This means that rigging these structures becomes more complex, sometimes this offers a challenge to do it save, specially under time pressure. In these structures Prolyte truss is often used as a “coat rack” as we call it, just a frame to attach all equipment and set pieces to. We often work closely with Layher to make this possible and to make it safe!

Prolyte Space Roof and XXL Roof

The Prolyte Space Roof is a modular roof system based on a space frame structure. The roof can be suspended from standard Prolyte CT towers. The Standard Space Roof is 37 x 22x205 meters in size. But can be build a wide range of dimensions, bigger and smaller. The benefit of this roof are the rigging possibilities and accessibilities for a rigger. Every 1x1m in square there is an easy accessible riggingpoint avalaible which can handle significant loads. Depending on the position of that riggingpoint in the roof, such a rigging point can handle 2000kg as a single point. In combination with the specially designed top canopy, which guarantees efficient water drainage, this roof is a very flexible and user friendly stage structure.

Prolyte Space Roof for Dance Valley. Project by Interstage, The Netherlands

The Space roof can handle in general 30 tonnes live load, divided over the complete roof structure plus a PA load of 4 tonnes per side. Although this is the standard live load this roof can handle, we do get frequent request to see if we can fit in heavier productions. For Metallica we made specific calculations and some extra re-inforcements to get the 55 tonne production in, where for Rammstein we we’re able to support the 48 tonne production set.

In close contact with the rental or staging companies which own the stage, we’re always able to find a solution to make it possible to squeeze the production in the roof structure, although there are limits. The Paul McCartney 2016 tour with 85 tonne was too much for the roof. Which of course is not a shame, because there are just a few stage structures which can handle those loads.

Apart from the Space Roof Prolyte has also developed the XXL roof, a gable top roof structure, this roof can handle approx. 30 tonnes divided load, when needed we can add extra towers in the back.

No need to say that, depending on the structures size and shape, the loading capacity can greatly differ. For example, dome or arch shaped structures are more favourable in loading terms.

Prolyte XXL Roof by Aku's Factory, Finland


Safety awareness

We definitely see a growth in demand for roof structures, whether these are for small to mid-scale events or for the larger events and festivals. We also see a slowly growing awareness towards safety aspects in the build of roof structures. One of the biggest challenges for our industry in this moment.

Because a manufacturer of stage structures can rely on old design tactics, replace aluminium parts into steel if the aluminium is not sufficient, but without understanding the real basics of stage structures, they will never design structures which can guarantee a safe and reliable product for years.

Prolyte Space roof for Cheek, by Starlight - Bright Group, Sweden

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Another great Campus. Like always, Matthias is able to bring the rather complex and dry facts in a very interesting way. Thumbs up!

Ben Dehmer CB Akustik