When we talk about rigging in a large event context it refers to a wide range of lifting and hoisting equipment that are used to hold equipment in place. The equipment that is held in place is vital for the event and includes things like audio equipment, lighting equipment, video screens, and set pieces for that specific event. These can often be suspended in mid-air, overhead, or in a vertical position, so it is vital that the correct rigging and hoisting equipment hire is implemented to ensure that every person on site is safe at all times, and that the equipment is in the correct position to work as expected.
There are a few different areas of event rigging to consider, the first being the term flown rigging. This is the process of hanging equipment from a venue ceiling or another structure where an event is taking place. This could take the form of motor hoists that are used to lift equipment up and down a chain when required, or it might be that it forms a static drop wire suspension at various points in the arena. Flown rigging allows for equipment to be set up and tested at a lower height where it is accessible before being lifted higher up to the position where it will be located during the event.
Ground supports are structures that are built to specifically hold production items and equipment in place. These will have vertical legs and a grid ceiling and, in most cases, allow for the grid to move vertically in a similar way to overhead rigging. Ground supports are fantastic in that they provide an event production team with the means to build self-contained designs that are not reliant on the rigging point that the venue might have in fixed positions. In some event spaces this can cause problems to the overall aesthetic of an event production. This can cause sightline issues in some venues, depending on the capacity and shape of the venue.
Catenary wires are wires, ropes, or chains that are held in place horizontally using tensions. This allows for graphics, banners, fabrics, and other items of lightweight nature to hang in place seamlessly. If a large event is to be in place for a large number of days in succession catenary wires allow for a quick, safe, and secure way to install materials that are to stay rigid in the same position for the entire run of the event. The wires are quite thin in most cases, so they do not provide an issue for attendees of the event looking from a distance.
Another apt rigging and hoisting set up for large events is that of tank traps and towers. These are used in venues where there is no overhead rigging available and the location does not allow for a suitable supported ground structure. A wind-up stand, tank trap, or truss tower can be used instead, sitting on the floor with equipment attached to the top. It is definitely a more discreet way to deal with hoisting and rigging equipment, but it is often confined to lighter equipment only, and it can take up too much floor space depending on the event taking place.