Blog Post
Jul 1

Redesigned Ballast System and Weather Data Service Provide Improved Safety for Local Company Employees

Event Tech recently provided the staging, load-bearing roof system, multiple structures, and rigging package at an employee appreciation party for a local Maryland company and their 3500 employees and friends at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry National Park. The main stage consisted of a 48’x35’ stage deck, an 82’x14’ downstage thrust, covered production sound wings, a load bearing 6-post climbing roof system, FOH control position, and multiple single-tower lighting positions.  In addition, Event Tech provided all backstage roadway flooring to protect the historic grounds from production traffic.

Utilizing our newly redesigned, proprietary FBT System under the stage deck as ballast for the roof system, we were able to meet the IBC (International Building Code) requirements of 90 mph wind ratings for the roof structure while staying within the main stage footprint.  What’s more, since we were building on a historic site, no ground penetration was permitted.  The FBT System uses no stakes or ground anchors.

At previous events, this roof system would have required over 56,000 lbs. of water as ballast and a minimal stage height of 6’ to conceal the ballast system underneath.  With the new design features of the FBT System, we were able to achieve the same 90 mph wind rating with only 7200 lbs. of water ballast and give the client their desired 4’ stage height.  The key to the new FBT System is the ability to connect the base of all roof towers together – even over un-level terrain.  Event Tech Director of Production, Alex Wells remarked, “Tying the tower bases together provides additional stability to the entire structure.  It increases safety and allows our designs to achieve the same wind ratings with less overall ballast weight.”

roof tower construction

Tower bases connected with FBT and the crew poised to raise the 4th tower

In addition to the new design features of the FBT System, this event marked our first opportunity to take advantage of a private meteorologist firm to monitor the weather conditions specific to the show’s location.  Event Tech contracted Weather Decision Technologies (WDT) to monitor the weather for us around the clock.  WDT played an important behind the scenes role in the event by giving us up-to-the-minute weather data during our build and throughout the event.  Gone are the days of technicians looking at the skies and checking onsite anemometers for wind gust readings.  WDT gave us peace of mind by providing crucial weather data regarding upcoming weather events.  And WDT saved the client money!  On the first build day, lightening was moving into the area.  Because of the localized data and alerts from WDT, we were able to break the crew early for lunch during the forecasted weather event.  When the crew came back, we were building once again without losing any time for what would have otherwise been a weather delay. 

WDT text message

WDT provided weather updates via text message, email, and even phone calls to onsite supervisors.


Additional FBT System applications in use at the event:

Main stage with lighting tower

Main stage and roof with a single-tower FBT system for lighting

In a different application, the FBT System allowed us to construct single-tower lighting positions in the audience areas – getting fixtures 30’ in the air with an unobtrusive, low-profile 10′ x 10′ footprint without the use of any guy lines.

FOH lighting tower

One example of a FOH lighting tower incorporating an FBT base.

The event was a success for the client, producer, and Event Tech where we are continually improving our systems making them easier to transport, faster to deploy, and safer for crews and patrons.

Blog Post
Aug 12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Contracted by the United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO) for the sixth year to integrate the sound at the 4thof July concert on the South Lawn of the White House, live production company Event Tech deployed HARMAN’s JBL VTX line arrays, Crown amplifiers and dbx signal processing to meet the strict demands of the venue and to deliver high-quality sound to the honorable audience.

Blog Post
Dec 30

On the eve of the Grand Prix of Baltimore, the Patron Tequila Secret Dining Society hosted 22 lucky guests...