Event Tech provided the staging, load-bearing roof system, multiple structures, and rigging package at an employee appreciation party for a local Maryland company and their 3500 employees and friends at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry National Park.

The main stage consisted of:

  • a 48’x35’ stage deck
  • an 82’x14’ downstage thrust
  • covered production sound wings
  • a load bearing 6-post climbing roof system
  • FOH control position
  • multiple single-tower lighting positions

In addition, Event Tech provided turf protection flooring to protect the historic grounds from production traffic.

FBT (Folding Ballast Truss) System

Using our FBT system under the stage deck, more than adequate ballast was provided for the roof system. We were able to meet the IBC (International Building Code) requirements of 90 mph wind ratings for the structure.

Since we were building on a historic site, no ground penetration was permitted. The FBT system uses no stakes or ground anchors. Guy wires connect the roof to the ballast without exceeding the main stage footprint.

At previous events, this roof system would have required over 56,000 lbs. of water as ballast and a minimal stage height of 6’ to conceal the ballast system underneath. With the new design features of the FBT, we were able to achieve the same 90 mph wind rating with only 7200 lbs. of water ballast and a 4’ stage height.

The key to the FBT system is the ability to connect the bases of the roof towers together.

Event Tech Director of Production, Alex Wells remarked, “Tying the tower bases together provides additional stability to the entire structure. It increases safety and allows our designs to achieve the same wind ratings with less overall ballast weight.”

Tower bases connected with FBT and the crew poised to raise the 4th tower

Weather Monitoring Service

This event was also an opportunity to take advantage of a private meteorologist firm to monitor the weather conditions at Ft. McHenry.

Event Tech contracted Weather Decision Technologies to monitor the weather around the clock. Gone are the days of technicians looking at the skies and checking onsite anemometers for wind gust readings. WDT gave us precise weather data regarding upcoming weather events on our show site.

Even more, WDT saved the client money! On the first build day, lightning was moving into the area. Because of the localized data and alerts from WDT, we decided to break the crew early for lunch. When the crew came back, we were building once again without losing any time for what would have otherwise been a weather delay.

WDT provided weather updates via text message, email, and phone calls to onsite supervisors.

Lighting Towers

In a different application, the FBT System allowed us to build single-tower lighting positions in the audience areas. Fixtures hung 30’ in the air with an unobtrusive, low-profile 10′ x 10′ footprint. Most notably, no guy lines were specified by the engineer.

One example of a FOH lighting tower incorporating an FBT base.

Above all, the event was a success for the client, producer, and Event Tech. We are continually improving our systems making them easier to transport, faster to deploy, and safer for crews and patrons.



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