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Changing A Paradigm: Yvan Miron & Stageline Lead The Mobile Stage Revolution

Outdoor festival productions loading production equipment on portable stages must consider safety concerns for the best possible show.

Disruptive Technology

These first mobile stages caused a great deal of consternation in the production industry. Even before the expression “disruptive technology” existed, Miron witnessed first-hand the industry’s reluctance to embrace the idea of a mobile stage.

These mobile structures mechanically transformed rapidly into a stage, and therefore the set-up time, labor, and crew were reduced by 75 to 90 percent when compared to the constructed stages of the 1970s and 80s. The construction companies that built and dismantled the summer festival stages, often using unskilled labor, were now being confronted with game-changing technology and Miron’s determination to create a safer and a less onsite labor-intensive installation. The wooden and scaffolding structures were about to become extinct in the wake of the mobile stages proposed by Miron and Stageline.

Early on, a promoter in Vermont called on the new Stageline company to be part of a Willie Nelson concert. When Miron and his team pulled up, the questions were immediate. He recalls, “The technical director asked, ‘What is this?’” He tried to say he couldn’t rig anything on it. I showed him how, answering all of his questions, and then he said, ‘Well, we haven’t seen anything like this before,’ but we did the show and sure enough, it flew.”

Miron had a vision and decided that he needed to orient the mobile stage industry, moving away from promoting shows to fully forming Stageline in 1987. His goal was not only to create mobile stages that could withstand some of the harshest weather but would also leave a reduced ecological footprint thereby reducing the restoration work once an event was over.

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Miron still serves as president and CEO of Stageline, and at almost 70 years old, he’s lost none of his passion, character and discipline. His interest and concern for safety and building a product that offers what show promoters and artists require is quite notable in an era of cost cutting, restructuring, and re-engineering.

Stageline founder Yvan Miron and one of his company’s creations.

Used mobile stages are constantly being upgraded to newer and more robust standards at the plant in Quebec. It’s not uncommon to see a 15-year-old stage refitted and upgraded to newer standards, and today’s stages are designed for a 30-year life cycle. Miron smiles and suggests that he’s “sure they’ll last longer than that.”

His determination is reflected in everything that Stageline does, including a fully LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building built in 2008, reducing the company’s overall physical footprint despite the considerable research and development, engineering, and production work involved in producing mobile stages.

Stageline stages are now in 45 countries and used for an estimated 20,000 events a year, and the company’s rental fleet is 115 stages strong. All are designed to go beyond current industry safety standards and there has not been a single casualty involving a Stageline product. Every stage is verified by independent structural engineering certifications from all U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

Talk about portable – a Stageline SAM550 loading into an airplane.

Others have followed in Stageline’s footsteps to design and build mobile stages, but it’s difficult to outshine the original. “Who can say they’ve been lucky enough to be credited with creating and implementing an industry standard?” Miron asks. We’re pretty sure that there aren’t too many members of that club.

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