MDL Beast Soundstorm is always an incredible event to be a part of. The four-day music festival held in Riyadh features 200+ artists across seven stages on a 5km site. 2023 was another fantastic year and Showforce was proud to provide crewing support to Production Glue to assist them in the delivery of the event.
With a highly experienced crew manager heading up a team of international crew chiefs, international crew, climbers and local crew almost 3000 man days were amassed onsite.
Crew numbers started small with 12 crew a day onsite growing to 100+ as the event build progressed. Crew were tasked with supporting the production team and its suppliers throughout the build, show days and de-rig.
During the build the crew worked alongside audio, lighting, rigging, video, SFX, aiding companies such as Tait and PRG. Many of the tasks assigned required our skilled crew and experienced climbers e.g. they assisted with the rigging of motor points; assembled truss for lighting and audio equipment to hang from; installing multiple delay towers and unloading multiple containers and allocating equipment to the correct departments and locations around the venue.
For rehearsal days and show days the Showforce crew worked around the clock to provide 24-hour cover. On 13th December our team had one day to perfect changeovers for the headline acts on show days. The crew never missed a single deadline with all set and equipment changes completed with time to spare. There were some fabulous performances including an incredible set from Metallica on the opening night. With massive production values the Showforce crew were under pressure to perform well, especially as part of the set featured kicking giant inflatable balls into the crowd. These were stored under the stage with one team of our crew in position to roll them to the front of the stage, and another waiting to kick them into the crowd.
As you would expect of a project of this scale, the de-rig is as large, if not more so, undertaking than the build. Meticulous planning is required to make this work. All departments work together, often in tight spaces, with precision to ensure they’re not disrupting another company’s workflow.
Our team were onsite from 3rd November – 29th December with 46 crew members working on Christmas Day to ensure the successful completion of the de-rig.
“Just wanted to drop you a note to say how fantastic the crew were here in Riyadh for us on the special effects team at Big Beast. Nothing was ever a bother for them, they did everything we needed with good grace and humour and were brilliant. I’d like to single out the regular leader we had, I’m sorry I never got his name, but he spoke English and kept the team happy and working all the way through. They showed up when we needed them and smashed it.
“Thanks again Wacker, the Showforce team here have been exactly what me and my team needed and we’ve loved having them by our side. Hope to see you again soon.”
Michael Morey, Crew Chief, ER Productions
Thank you for all your hard work you did for us performing Soundstorm. It was a real pleasure to work with you and your team and everybody was really willing to work hard. We had a great time and wishing you some good days today and tomorrow.
John Mulder Metallica Production Manager.