Could you create the River of Light Trail?


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This year’s River of Light Trail was a spectacular 14 day display. This outdoor illuminated art gallery that provided Liverpool City Region residents with a treat will return later in the year for visitors. Liverpool’s world-famous waterfront was lit from sunset until 10.30pm. Two kilometres featured 11 stunning audio and visual installations including City Dreaming, Talking Heads, Rainbow Bridge, Exponential, Absorbed by Light and more.

Live event riggers are important specialists that create the environmental ambience surrounding a host of events. These include festivals, pop concerts and art exhibitions. They install the infrastructure for the scenic, lighting, sound and audio-visual elements of a live event. An apprenticeship as a Live Event Rigger is a 36 month programme. You’ll emerge with an industry recognised qualification: Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) National Rigging Certificate, together with specialised skills that could take you around the world.

Live event riggers build sets from designs and plans, working closely with other professionals on site to create the desired environment for an event. They are able to take drawings and scaled plans and understand how to turn them into reality. They are able to advise on the best ways of lifting items into place safely and precisely using appropriate equipment and accessories. These may be expensive items such as large commercial lights or pieces of art and scenery.

Importantly, what goes up must come down, so live riggers are responsible for break-down as much as build-up at an event. This may also be done to a tight timescale. Think of a band on tour where stage sets are dismantled within hours of a performance ending and loaded onto vehicles for transport to the next venue.

To rig items safely you’ll need to understand basic physics, so an apprenticeship will teach you the practicalities of how to estimate loads and forces. You’ll also learn about allowable loads on structures, how to rig and de-rig a hoist and safely attach or sling loads. Much of the work is likely to be conducted at height, so a head for heights would be a useful quality. You’ll be taught the advantages and restrictions of a range of access equipment to be able to rig things tens of metres above the ground. Other useful skills you’ll acquire are an understanding of the basic properties of trusses and tubes and the assembly, compatibility, orientation and alignment of equipment.

Working as a member of a wider team to bring the event together, other professions will look to you for an explanation of what you’ll be doing and how their activities can complement yours to build the environment efficiently. Fortunately, your apprenticeship is comprehensive and includes how to inform members of the production about rigging activities, explaining what you’ll be doing to achieve their objectives.

If you would like to be an apprentice Live Event Rigger you must be a minimum of 18 years old for health and safety reasons. You need to be physically fit and able to work at height. What level of qualifications will you need? A minimum of 3 GCSEs (Grade C or above) in Maths, English and Science together with having basic IT skills would be ideal. Apprentices starting without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this prior to completing their apprenticeship.

If you would like to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities, Apprenticeship Support by Be More provide impartial advice and information on Apprenticeships in the Liverpool City Region.