Lighting for a gig in a tent


Well-Known Member
We were hired to do a 3 camera video shoot plus sound and lights for a debutant ball being held in a tent measuring 120' x 60'. We could not have any cables on the floor.

Here's how we did the lights.
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The second and third pictures were repeated on the other tent poles

We had our machine shop create custom brackets to attach our fixtures and truss to the tent poles. The picture below shows a bracket with a single rigging point. This was used to hang the truss from chain since tent poles can move or sway due to wind and can not be hard connected. The picture also shows the same bracket with a pair of 2" O clamps attached, these were used with a 2' piece of steel pipe to attach fixtures to the other four tent poles.

Good thinking with those brackets. Did everything work out OK.
Those brackets seem like a very cool idea. I've alway found myself strapping things to poles and beams. So time consuming!
Shiny! I wish I had a machine shop. (I wish I had gigs.)
So you put the brackets on, hung some chain on that, and tied the truss to the chain? That's a neat idea. I'll have to file that away for next summer (tent season).

Any plans to sell those brackets?
Just curious, are those Star Pars and Shakespeares?
Hi Len,

The brackets are a part of our new product line and are available for any OD pipe. We can also make them for square tubing if required.


You are correct on both counts. I am a diehard Altman fan, have been since the early 70's when I used to sail with Ronny.
aargh...... 'es a sailor! (me too)

Question: did you have a rain plan (did you need one?) and where did you get power from?

The event was rain or shine. The tent had side walls and was nicely heated. There were about 700 people in attendence.

There were two power sources, land power from the kitchen of the country club which looked to be 50 amp 208v and a 57 kVa genny that we tied our distro into.
Just curious as to the load rating of those U-bolts?
I don't see washers either.
Looks pretty solid! It's often the simplest of ideas that is the greatest.
I think that we would all like a metal fabrication shop but care must be taken whenever you build anything for a show.

Simply grabbing some part from the hardware store and welding or bolting them together can result in disaster if care is not taken to ensure that the individual items will tolerate the load and stresses placed upon them.

Also, if the item is used in a manner different to its intent, you may find that it will fail, no matter the load rating. A classic example of this is the suspension on a F1 race car. The arms are designed to withstand enormous amounts of load when it travels up and down. However, small lateral loads will cause them to break.

There is also the issue of liability when you make your own equipment. Something to keep in mind.
Yes I know. We basically don't get to do any work however. We have a good amount of tools for working with like, wood, but we can never do anything with metal accept use the normal L brackets and nuts and bolts and everything. Just thought it would be cool to be able to do.


Having my own machine shop is a result of 33 years in the production business. We make all kinds of custom gear.

For example:

A rack shelf for laptop computers so they sit level in a slant top case.

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And lots of custom patch panels

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