The tight logistical and economic constraints of touring rock concert stages mean that the utilitarian aspects of their construction frequently dominate the form of the finished structure. In place of expediency, Genesis wanted their stage to have an anti-industrial, organic quality that could reflect the understated Englishness of their music. At the same time, the stadium the tour was booked through Europe in blocks of three and four nights ‘back to back’. Whilst this is normal (if rather hard work) for an arena show, it was unprecedented for a bespoke stadium tour travelling with a custom-built stage. The final design was an efficient structure that concealed the rectilinear primary structure beneath expressive curvilinear surfaces.
To meet the logistical challenge, the design was based around four complete systems of rented StageCo components that ‘leapfrogged’ between venues. The production equipment (lighting instruments, LED screens, PA and band gear) typically arrived at the stadium on the day of show, ten hours before the audience were admitted. To make the load-in flow quickly, almost all work was undertaken at stage level. The design ensured that the various production departments occupied the stage without overlapping each other. This meant that each department could lift its equipment into the air without waiting on other departments to clear space. The lighting equipment on the curved finger trusses was loaded at stage level and pulled up dedicated tracks. The 250ft wide curved LED screen - a custom fabrication of Barco O-Lite tiles arranged in varying densities across pressed aluminium battens – was designed to be erected in less than three hours. It hung from a curved fascia truss that contained an array of intelligent lights. The truss contained all the rigging for the screen. It was lifted up from pre-built towers; once in position the carts of LED panels were parked below and the screen lifted into place.