11th Hour Shunt Steelhouse to Success

The Steelhouse Festival near Ebbw Vale, South Wales celebrated its 7th anniversary in July 2017, with headliners Skindred and Saxon earning rave reviews, supported by local company, 11th Hour.

Cardiff-based production specialists 11th Hour, who had previously worked at Steelhouse in a limited capacity, saw their responsibilities expanded and enjoyed a highly productive week.

Max Rhead, Steelhouse Festival Promoter and Co-Organiser, said: “We teamed up with 11th hour to provide the power solutions for the Steelhouse Festival back in 2016. We were incredibly impressed with their knowledge and professionalism as well as the quality of the equipment that they supplied. So, when the requirement for a new stage and lighting supplier presented itself for 2017, we immediately contacted director Andy Hopkins and the boys to expand this partnership and supply many more of the technical elements of the festival. As well as supplying all the elements that we required for Stage, lighting and power they were able to advise us on alternative configurations and time/cost saving solutions that proved to be a great help to the smooth running of the event”
The build took 5 days to complete, with 5 crew on site daily. Mains power and distribution was supplied for the whole site, covering main stage and production (4 100kVA sync), catering (40kVA), bars and toilets (2 100 kVA sync) and tour-buses (40kVA). Two of the company’s newly acquired 100kVA Bruno generators made their debut at Steelhouse. 11th Hour also installed a 12m by 10m stage under a CLT structure, adapted with 3m by 3m and 6m by 4m cowsheds for production and load-in, respectively. The stage included a built-on thrust and rolling Litedeck risers.

A FOH structure, all stage-lighting (by Chauvet Professional, Aurora Production and Martin Audio) and site lighting completed the picture. Veteran headliners Saxon closed the event on Sunday night accompanied onstage by their legendary Flying Eagle prop. To enable the safe suspension of this 800kg addition, 11th Hour sourced Super Truss from Fine Line Lighting of Bristol to create an independent ‘goal-post’ structure to support its weight.

Conditions at the site deteriorated rapidly during the build and the performances, creating very demanding conditions for the 11th Hour team. Hafod y Dafal sits at over 1,000ft above sea level (officially the highest music festival in Britain) in an exposed position. Persistent rain resulted in crew members working shin-deep in mud to maintain the smooth running of the show. 11th Hour ensured that in spite of the added pressure brought on by the elements, the show’s production team was able to manage events punctually and with maximum rock and roll impact.

11th Hour Business Development Manager, Jason Venables, commented: “Steelhouse is a brilliant event with a real community vibe. The conditions at times were pretty challenging but everyone on site, including Steelhouse’s excellent volunteer workforce, worked very hard together to make sure that the whole thing went off without a hitch. We prepared very carefully and so were able to adapt to anything that was thrown at us -including the rain – and in the hands of a dedicated team, the gear we installed worked efficiently to ensure a safe and enjoyable time was had by all.”

Max Rhead concluded: “As a family friendly festival, we nurture a close ‘team spirit’ throughout the site and for the duration of the build (and beyond). The staff and technicians from 11th Hour have most certainly become valuable additions to the team, and are very welcome additions to the Steelhouse ‘family’. It’s important to us that we have a smooth (relatively) stress free working environment at the festival. We know that this atmosphere is transmitted to the audience at the Festival, and is part of what makes the event so successful. We therefore select our suppliers very carefully to protect this valuable asset. 11th Hour have fitted in perfectly with our team, and we’re looking forward to a long and successful partnership.”