Blog

What a year!

09th December 2019

It’s been a fantastic, hectic year here at Gorilla Marketing & Events, and we’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in several new projects in 2019, whilst returning to many old favourites too.

Because we’re almost always working on open-air events, summer is an incredibly busy time for us, and looking back it’s unbelievable we managed to pack so much in. But the people here at Gorilla not only love their work but have the most amazing capacity to deliver above and beyond our customers’ expectations, time after time.

Our season really got underway in April with the London Marathon and Half Marathon. We were asked to provide the signage towers and gantry. Back in 2018 we needed to be able to install them along the whole course in a much shorter time than usual, owing to the Heads of Commonwealth Conference being held at the same time.

This presented a challenge for us, as our existing designs used the excellent Cuplok scaffolding system but because of the number of signs, it could not be deployed sufficiently quickly. In six weeks we designed, developed and assembled our new product, the Rapid Deployment Tower, partnered in this by Star Events. These were quick to install, immensely stable and are now a commercially available product. Needless to say, we used them again this year, saving time and money for the organisers.

As the evenings began to lighten, we were called by the organisers of MoonWalk London, the annual night-time walking marathon that raises funds and awareness in aid of breast cancer. They needed an eye-catching but stable arch feature for the starting line of their event to act as a photo backdrop, viewing platform and focus for the event.

We helped MoonWalk London develop their ideas into a design featuring twin platforms supporting an inflatable arch, with illumination and a safe vantage point overlooking the start line on either side. We designed and installed the platforms around the arch, providing two VIP standing areas accessible from a set of steps at the back.

Later that month, we were back presenting TT Mayhem on the Isle of Man for the fifth (more like 7 years year in a row. TT Mayhem, the touring show featuring Moto trials / Mountain Bike Freestyle, Flatland BMX – motocross, BMX and flatland athletes performing on temporary ramps structures, quarterpipes and other stunt furniture. TT Mayhem is months in the planning, and this year was no exception. Working with the IOM Government, we began with the show conceptualisation and design, before embarking on-site mapping and booking in the MTB, Moto Trials, and Flatland BMX athletes to thrill the crowds with global stars.

We joined British Summer Time, Hyde Park, London, in July, which is a superb event we’ve worked on several times in the past. When we began work at BST, we had been asked to create “The Havana Bar” – a food and drink area with a Caribbean beach-shack theme, all rusted tin roofs and weathered signage despite being built to modern specifications.

We’ve since expanded our role there to create continuous platforms and steps servicing the VIP marquees and sanitation blocks, and in 2019 we had our teams on-site for 5 days putting it all together, and 2 days taking it down.

This was our first year working at a number of festivals this year, starting with Standon Calling in July where we built two bridges essential for safely linking areas of the event for pedestrian traffic, and two tower platforms for the security staff.

Like all of our temporary structures, these start life on our CAD system, where we design them to withstand the stresses and strains of heavy use, inclement weather and overloading. Our four-person team then took the designs and the components to Standon Calling and built the towers and bridges in just three days.

By mid-August, we were at Boomtown 2019 for the first time, to put up an astonishing 55 security towers around the perimeter of the undulating 360-acre greenfield site. This was quite a challenge for our team of seven, their telehandler and their 4×4 vehicles. But they kept to schedule, prompting plaudits from the Boomtown team, who said, “On challenging terrain, the team had all towers in place and ready in 9 days, we were pleased and impressed with the results of our first year working with Gorilla.”

This was the weekend where gales were causing extensive damage and even the closure of festivals, but thanks to our design techniques, honed over years of designing and delivering these products, our towers were easily able to withstand the worst of the wind, where other constructions, elsewhere in the country, simply failed catastrophically.

Our final new festival for 2019 was the famous Shambala, which came with an interesting brief – to design and build two bridges capable of carrying foot and buggy traffic, seven security towers and five other temporary structures including marquee facades and DJ towers. As the delighted organisers at Shambala explained, “We needed a number of temporary structures to be designed and built around the festival site and … the team from Gorilla worked with us throughout the process to design, install and de-rig them quickly and efficiently, and we were delighted with the result.”

From conceptual design to finished structures and features, we always strive for total customer satisfaction, so feedback like that is music to our ears. Every customer has very specific challenges that require equally well-tailored solutions. Our goal is to be able to win their trust by excelling at every stage of their project, so they can have the confidence to bring us back time after time.

This also completes a season of events for Oakley (UK and Netherlands), Monster Energy (On Trade Events), and Pure Legal ( attending the British Superbike calendar of events).

Now the nights have drawn in, and we’re more often found in front of our screens and CAD systems, sketchbooks and spreadsheets – planning and designing the stages, towers and other features for all the festivals and fairs for 2019. See you there!