Preparations are in motion for Fact Durban Rocks 2014 after the success of last year’s event where Hirezone supplied the full technical for a record crowd of 13 000 people. Hirezone were involved with numerous festivals and corporate events in KwaZulu during 2013, their ongoing successes attributed to a dedicated team under the systematic leadership of Richard Gild.

Most success stories speak of zeal, but Gild had an added advantage when starting his business in 1995 and officially creating Hirezone in 1998. Qualified as a Chartered Secretary he could avoid several knocks and bruises new companies tend to face; practical minded, he rarely makes emotional purchases.

Looking back to the eighties, Gild found himself fresh out of the army, and although having a CIS qualification, he was unable to find work. “A friend of mine worked in the AV Industry and they dealt with schools. I started repping for them, but soon went on my own,’ Gild explains.

He started a sales company, providing data projectors for corporate events. “But people wanted to rent them as they were very expensive. A 400 Ansi Lumen would cost R50 000,’ remembers Gild. The rental company took off, laptops to rent included. “With a picture you needed sound, so we supplied PA Systems,’ he said. Lighting was the slowest to take shape. “We were always known as an AV company,’ said Gild. “I can’t remember which year it was, but I bought four MAC 250+s. There was no Robe at the time.’

Over the years, Hirezone has built up a relationship with lighting supplier DWR Distribution. While Gild personally prefers sound and AV technology, his lighting and stage gear list includes an Avolites Pearl Tiger Touch Prolyte trussing, Le Maitre Hazers and consumables like clamps and DMX cables.

Hirezone’s big break came with their first International Aids Conference held in Durban in 2000. This propelled them forward and they have never looked back.

Fact Durban Rocks

During 2013, the Hirezone team enthusiastically supplied the technical for Fact Durban Rocks, hosted at the People’s Park, Moses Mabhida Stadium. This huge party saw a fantastic line-up particularly for fans of House, Hip Hop and Kwaito. Artists included Black Coffee, Khuli Chana, BIG NUZ, DJ Tira, Mafikizolo, DJ Cndo, DJ Fisherman, Lvovo, BHAR, Mahoota vs Vetkuk, Shimza, Zakwe, Sphectacula & Naves, King Sfiso, Bhashkar and more.

The rig, with Adrian du Preez creating the lighting design, included 8 x Robin 600 E Spots, 6 x Robin 600 Beam, 12 x Robin 100 LED Beam, 8 x Martin Mac401 Wash, 4 x Philips Selecon 800 Watt SPX 15° – 35°, 4 x 8 Way Blinders, 4 x Martin Atomic Strobes, an Avolites Tiger Touch and an AVO Cube. The PA was a D&B Audio V Series. The show incorporated 66 x LED Panels.

“It’s an awesome venue,’ said Gild. “The client was very excited. I am always anxious with shows, but when you do the drawings and it all comes together it’s really tremendous.’ He teasingly adds, “My crew is as good as their boss. Many of them have been with me for a long time. I also feel that infrastructure is important.’

Skyy Vodka Durban

Another highlight was when Kilowatt AV asked Hirezone to assist them with the Skyy Vodka Elevated Experience. “This was an awesome design, held on the top of a grandstand at the Moses Mabhida Stadium,’ said Gild. “Dillon Jearey from Kilowatt AV gave us the drawing and specs, which included a 3D render and visualisation.’

For 500 invited guests only, The Skyy Vodka’s elevated experience saw visitors treated to an elevator ride with a twist. The doors opened a few floors below the VIP area where young woman at a slick counter offered guests tall glasses of Vodka and cranberry juice. On the top floor, entertainment was provided by performers like DJ Black Coffee and Khuli Chana.

Lighting for the event comprised of 8 x Robin 600E Spots, 6 x Robin 600 Beams, 12 x Robin 100 LED Beams, 2 x Robe 2 500, 18 x Martin 401s and 80 x LED Parcans, MVS Hazer and ZR 44 unit. Also included were 36 LED panels, an AVO Cube and an Avolites Tiger Touch.

“Power was the main challenge and we pulled two 63Amps on 100m runs as there was no power up there,’ said Gild. Getting everything up via a normal lift proved interesting, and everyone felt sympathy for the carpet installation team who had to go up and down with stacks of 1m tiles.