26 Mar 2021

March 2020 was the beginning of the closure of all theatres and public performances in the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak. The Arcola theatre in East London was one of the first to reluctantly shut its doors, a move which Executive Director Ben Todd immediately saw as the opportunity to begin planning for the future. His goal was to unveil an open air structure including a stage and seating for 80 people.

“That need to move outside was a way of saying, ‘Let’s do something proactive towards taking some control of our destiny,’” says Todd, “rather than sitting there praying for Covid to improve, [or] the government to allow us, and to hope that we can then suddenly move back indoors.”

A year on, and all across the globe theatre makers are looking forward to a return to culture and the arts, a summer of outdoor shows and entertainment. Hidden in the Suffolk woodlands, a playhouse called Thorington theatre is currently making home in a Second World War bomb crater!

Plans for many open air theatres will propose to have the aisles and seating spaced to allow for social distancing. Air gaps will be present to allow for a continuous air flow with air quality will be key. For many arts organisations, this new approach is simply a continuation of their norm. For example, The Culture House in Grimsby has offered a mixture of both indoor and outdoor performances since 2010.

“Outdoor arts is more accessible because it’s in democratic open spaces,” says The Culture House’s head Charlotte Bowen. “So, it removes the barriers to engagement, which historically have been people not thinking something is for them, [or] that they can’t afford it.”
The key to making a success of outdoor cultural events will be the quality of the experience for those attending. And a major factor in this will be how well ‘powered’ the events are – how lighting, stage equipment, sound systems, food stalls and other facilities are set up.
This is why the products supplied by Pop Up Power Supplies® will play an important role in the future of all outdoor arts. Their pop up and in-ground units are already used extensively by local authorities, theatre companies and festival organisers across the UK and facilitating the return to culture.

The range of Pop Up Power Units, In Ground Power Units and Power Bollards are an extremely safe and flexible option for power. Each unit benefits from a secure lockable lid, preventing public access for increased safety. Only the cables protrude from the power unit and these can be easily covered by cable protectors to reduce trip hazards.

The durable, easy to use units are designed to provide power and other services when you need them, but are hidden when you don’t, so there is no need to hire temporary generators.

To discuss how the range from Pop Up Power Supplies® can transform the potential of your town or city centre in time for Summer 2021, please contact us or call 020 8227 0208.