Upgrading The Forum (Part 1)


Way back in early March we were delighted to receive the news that we had been award a grant from Arts Council England for £40,000 to upgrade and improve the equipment and infrastructure at The Forum.

The plan for the grant was to address the following;

  • Renew ageing sound equipment
  • Replace lighting with next-gen LED lighting fixtures
  • Improve accessibility for both artists and audience

We were all ready to go with the project and planned to start at the end of March, then with the rest of the world we ground to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last event at The Forum was held on Saturday 14th March and we closed our doors the following Wednesday with staff being placed on full furlough for the next 5 months.

It wasn’t until August that some team members came back to work on a part time basis and we could again start to look getting on with the upgrade project. With the Forum planning to stay closed until at least September it was a great opportunity to carry out some of the major work so we got started.

The project is still on going and will be quite some time before everything is finished but read on to find out what we have been up to so far.

Stage & Lighting

Our first job was take out the stage and give underneath a big clean, we were expecting to find all sorts of treasure under but were disappointed that it was just mainly broken drum sticks, picks and empty bottles however we did find this interesting shark-man action figure.

The next job was extend the stage, the stage at The Forum is made up of stage blocks and they have never fit the width of the hall so we had 2 extra pieces of staging fabricated to fill in the gap and also extended the rear lighting truss by an additional meter to keep every centred. We also removed all the old lighting fixtures and cabling ready for the new fixtures.

We had our first delivery of equipment which mainly consisted of the new lighting fixtures, LED Par Cans, LED Moving Heads, LED Spot Lights, LED Bars and a new lighting console to control them.

Over the next few days we installed the new fixtures onto the trussing and began to program the console, the lighting console is also able to controlled remotely via iPad.

The Lighting rig at The Forum now consists of;

  • LightShark LS-1 Console
  • StairVille PixelBeam 160 x4 (LED Moving Spot Lights)
  • StairVille MH-200 Pro Spot x6 (LED Moving Heads)
  • ADJ Hex Wash 7 x2 (LED Wash Moving Heads)
  • ADJ Inno ColorBeam 12 x2 (LED Moving Heads)
  • ADJ Megabar Pro x2
  • StairVille ShowBar TriLED x10
  • StairVille LED Flood Panel x6
  • StairVille LED Par56 x4
  • StairVille LED Par64 x6
  • StairVille AF-180 LED Fogger x2
  • Antari F1 Fazer

Come back for Part 2 where we move on to upgrading the sound and video equipment in our cafe/bar.