High Wire Performer
Leading load cell company Broadweigh, will support the much anticipated Wires Crossed tightrope event in Galway, Ireland by supplying Monkey Rigging with the necessary tools to monitor the loads. The event, which was originally scheduled for August 2020, but has now been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation, is a European wide community participation project revolving around ‘funambulism’ – the art of tight-wire walking using a balancing pole. During the event, four hundred tightrope walkers from all over Europe will cross the Galway River for a duration of 2020 minutes.
Andrea Mammolenti, founder of Monkey Rigging explained:
“Monkey Rigging is working with Andrea Loreni – the only funambulist in Italy on the measurement of the tightrope walker setups. We are also collaborating with him for the technical design of the preparations for the Italian team for the event. The kind donation of the Broadweigh kit will give us peace of mind that the safety of the performers is taken care of from a load monitoring perspective.”
Andrea and his team at Monkey Rigging rely on Broadweigh load cells for all the work they carry out for contemporary circus and aerial performers. Sometimes they are used as part of the hanging system for the performers and in cases where continuous monitoring of the loads on the structures is needed. Andrea explained: “We are very loyal Broadweigh customers. In situations where the structure has sufficient but limited carrying capacity, it is vital that we monitor the loads and have continuous feedback, with the data collected by cells ensuring that these limits are respected. As for the spaces, we deal with installations in theatres, on existing structures not originally intended for hanging performers, or on structures and systems specially designed and prepared for performances.”
Monkey Rigging’s experience in circus and aerial performance often sees them brought on board at the initial stages of a project to offer its customers an optimal solution; combining the best artistic performance with the highest level of safety – always continually monitoring the suspended loads.
Andrea continued: “Sometimes our customer is the event organiser, sometimes the technical manager of the venue or the company of performers; and there is no one-size-fits-all solution – it is all dependent on the situation. It is becoming more common that event organisers ask us to monitor and log the performance in order to have data to attach to the declaration of conformity which must be delivered to the safety and health administration. The technical managers of the venues on the other hand, want to make sure that the performances respect the load limits that have been defined for the specific structure. Finally, when the companies we work with ask for our intervention, they ask us to not only to deal with the safety and efficiency of the structures set up, but also to communicate to other parties (organisers, engineers etc) on all issues concerning security, thus allowing artists to focus on the artistic aspects of the performance.”
From the first point of contact with customers, Monkey Rigging specifies the use of the load monitoring system as an essential part of the design and management of the systems they’re asked to deal with. To guarantee the safety of the artists and the audiences below, the ability to have all necessary information on what is being hung and the characteristics of the structures on which they are being hung, in addition to which forces are in action – both static and dynamic, is vital.
“Broadweigh is now an essential tool for us to carry out our work – not just something that is ‘nice to have’,” said Andrea. “We mainly use the original 2.4Ghz system because we normally need to release a report or log to the customer: the Log100 software is concise, but also simple to use and offers various operational and management possibilities. In cases where we have to work within space or timing limitations, when we are unable to connect the PC or simply need a smarter solution, we use the Bluetooth kit. The Smartphone has also become an essential tool for riggers and the opportunity to have a mobile app helps us to stay on stage without neglecting the monitoring of suspended loads.”
In every job undertaken by Monkey Rigging, the key element is to ensure that all the theoretical calculations produced in the system design phase correspond to reality and that these limits are respected during the performance. “Using Broadweigh has finally given us the opportunity to get feedback while helping us to refine and make some design procedures easier and faster,” explained Andrea.
He concluded: “The strength of Broadweigh is the experience behind the products which makes them an excellent choice for those who need professionalism and want to rely on a well designed, well kept and constantly evolving product. The support that retailers and the company itself offers to those who use their tools is also very important, with excellent customer care and continuous product innovation. We are so pleased that Broadweigh has chosen to sponsor us for the Crossed Wires event. While sadly the Covid-19 crisis will most likely have an impact on when the event will eventually take place, we are confident that when it does, and the eyes of the world are upon our performers, we can be 100% confident in their safety”
Monkey Rigging: https://www.monkeyrigging.com
Andrea Loreni: https://ilfunambolo.com/
Photo credits: Various