MSA Designs new M:CAT Touring Flying Runway Product for Suspekt Show

Photo by Peter Kayser

Motor Stage Automation (MSA) is a company that loves challenges! So Christian Vigsø and his team were delighted to be asked to design a bespoke flying runway solution for a recent massive show by popular Danish hip hop phenom Suspekt, for their only live appearance this year – at Parken stadium in Copenhagen.

In the process, MSA devised a new modular quick assembly touring product – M:CAT – which is now available exclusively from MSA, a fresh and innovative Danish enterprise working internationally and specialising in the art of designing and delivering stage and show automation and movement elements.

Christian was initially approached by Suspekt’s lighting designer and set designer Johnny Thinggaard and their production manager and show director Jonas Friis, who wanted a flying 45 metre walkway to enable the band to traverse between the Main and B stages throughout the carefully choreographed performance.

With VIGSØ Dryhire already confirmed as the event’s lighting supplier, MSA – part of the Generator Group – also presented the best solution for the show’s required automation engineering.

Collaborating with German partners HOF Alutec, M:CAT – a new fully customisable, foldable-and-stackable flying catwalk system based on standard trussing infrastructure and perfect for touring – was born!

Dennis Klostermann, co-CEO of HOF noted, “As always, it was very exciting to be working with Christian again. He often comes to us with offbeat and interesting projects which are out of ‘normality’ and these usually require quick thinking solutions and rapid development!”

Normally trusses have a maximum of 4 connection points, but M:CAT has 8 connection points. M:CAT comprises 3-metre-long, 2-metre-wide sections of modular catwalk for maximum flexibility. Corner sections are available for creating multiple shapes – circles and triangles can also be added as required – and the 8-way fast-click pin-based trussing connection system is robust and requires only a hammer to assemble!

For a super-fast load in at Parken, all the hoists were mounted in HOF MLT2 trusses which were rolled into the venue simultaneously for positioning and to get the structure into the air quickly and efficiently.

Custom lifting brackets were fabricated to align with MSA’s automation system, in this case powered by 22 x 500kg Kinesys Apex vari-speed hoists which can run at speeds up to 30 metres-a-minute, connected to a Kinesys Mentor4 safety controller, lifting – in this instance – a total weight of 3.5 tonnes to millimetre precision.

The automation system was rigged on a ‘Mothergrid’ installed into Parken’s roof for the gig constructed from HOF MLT Two truss, a pre-rigged product which is very flexible with a high load capacity. It was flown using 2 tonne Chainmaster D8+ hoists.

Attached to its underside were 60 x DVT-Light PJ-5 LED wash luminaires, easily accommodated as the base is made from trussing elements. This also enabled some cool visual trickery for the Suspekt show, as when it first started descending, everyone thought it was just a moving truss and part of the lighting rig, rather than transport for the band! As you can imagine, this dramatic stagecraft received roars of appreciation from the fans! The 45-metre system used for the Suspekt show fitted expediently into one 40ft artic.

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