Page last updated at 05:56 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 06:56 UK

Fabric designers cover U2 stage

U2 stage in Barcelona
U2 opened their tour in Barcelona and will appear in Cardiff in August

A touring stage for U2 that is one of the biggest ever made has been partly designed by a Welsh firm.

Architen Landrell in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, were approached by the main architects only a few months ago to provide the fabric elements.

The Irish band kicked off the European stage of their 31-city tour in Barcelona last month.

The designers had to make three stages to be used in rotation - one live, one being dismantled and one being set up.

The stage was a collaboration between the lead architects Mark Fisher Studio, structural engineers Atelier One and steel company Stage Co as well as Architen Landrell, which has had a base in Chepstow for the past 20 years.

Architen Landrell made the green PVC fabric which covers the structure, an estimated 1,500 sq m in total for each stage.

Teams of employees from the 45-strong staff were flown to Barcelona for the first two shows last month to set up the stage and to provide guidance and assistance while the shows ran.

Bono on stage
Each stage will be assembled and dismantled 45 times

Kate Cox, project manager from Architen Landrell for the stage, told the BBC Wales News website: "This is just by far one of the largest staging structures, if not the largest, ever to be put together.

"We've worked with rock and pop a lot over the years and it's working with the same people who say, 'Oh yeah I remember the Stones in '89' or whatever.

"With rock and pop, everything happens really fast so it's quite exciting and exhilarating.

"We were approached in early spring to do the fabric for it. It's a very fast-track project and there were so many aspects - from a staging perspective it's awesome, from a trucking perspective it's awesome.

"Because of the way it tours, there are three stage sets so they sort of hopscotch each other. One will be playing, one will be being dismantled and a third will be being transported and erected."

Ms Cox explained the fabric was a blackout fabric so the steelwork underneath would be concealed.

"The outer is a very light green colour chosen by the band. It's just not white and not green. I think it was mostly for lighting - it's close enough to white so it doesn't interfere with it."

Ms Cox has never seen U2 in concert but hopes to see the finished product in action in the UK, with the British leg concluding in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 22 August.

It then moves on to North America.

U2 stage in Barcelona
The 50m high, 390 ton stage wiill be transported in 180 trucks and take four days to build in each venue



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