The National Eisteddfod of Wales (Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru)

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Building Pavilions in Wales

The National Eisteddfod of Wales (Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru) is an annual festival of Welsh language Music and Poetry. Attended by over 150,000 visitors, it’s considered to be the largest festival of its kind in Europe – held in a different location each year, alternating between North and South Wales.

In previous years Steeldeck has supplied dry hires to the festival, but in 2022 another company pulled out of supplying the main stage at short notice. We stepped in and built the stage and Choir riser, a total of around 300 decks. Subsequently, our Manchester team were approached in March 2023 by Technical Manager Llyr Jones to quote for staging and seating hire in the two main pavilions.

The Pavilions are large marquees built in a field (the Maes). Capacity for Pavilion 1 is 1,000 and Pavilion 2 is 500, so it was necessary to arrange the seating to be tiered whilst considering the height of the marquee. As the event is televised, the seating tiers needed to incorporate camera platforms and technical control positions, as well as being securely braced to ensure camera stability. The way in which our seating tiers are designed and constructed means that Steeldeck were the ideal supplier to provide a bespoke solution for the Eisteddfod, including smart black upholstered seats. We have the flexibility and capability to design our tiered seating from the ground up to meet specific requirements.

“The whole Steeldeck team were brilliant, from the initial email right through to the build. A large number of the audience commented on the seating, and how secure the seating unit was compared to the usual tiered seating systems. Staging was built to our exact requirements, and nothing was ever too much work for the team.”

Llyr Jones, Technical Director, National Eisteddfod of Wales

The starting point was a very rough sketch from the client, which enabled us to put together an initial quote. As further details on the marquee specs came through, we were able to update the design to accommodate the marquees. We adjusted camera risers at the request of the BBC to suit their requirements, and the organisers wanted to maximise the size of the stages in both marquees, so we added in additional decks to create more wing space and a whole row of deck in Pavilion 1 to increase the stage depth.

Due to the size of the structures and nature of the site, it was important for us to schedule a site visit as soon as possible to survey the ground levels. We can work with changes in ground level, but it can have a big effect on the leg lengths and bracing requirements.

Our client was extremely pleased with the outcome. Our transparent and continuous communication with their on-site team allowed us to monitor the progress, provide visual confirmation of our capability to construct structures perfectly suited for their needs, and showcase our commitment to health and safety.