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Rooftop clear-top tent gala celebrating the automobile

April 1st, 2016 / By: / Project Briefs, Projects

Petersen_00368RG Live Events pulls off a rooftop grand reopening gala that celebrates the history of the automobile.

For the multitudes of people who have a love affair with the history of the automobile, Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., is a wonder. The expansive three-storied automobile museum that showcases the impact and artistry of the automobile throughout the years reopened in December 2015 after 15 months of construction and renovation. And to celebrate, the museum hosted a stunning rooftop grand reopening gala under a clear-top tent, filled with chrome decor, mirrored tabletops and live entertainment.

Designed for car lovers

Los Angeles-based RG Live Events collaborated on the gala with the Petersen Automotive Museum for months and designed the event to reflect both the unique architectural features of the museum’s new building and the textural elements of an automobile. “I was inspired by the fluidity of the building’s facade and wanted to bring the excitement of the exterior into the event space we constructed for the gala,” says Diana Rayzman, RG Live Events’ executive producer.

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The 82-by-196-foot Losberger structure was provided by Van Nuys, Calif.-based Town and Country Event Rentals. The structure provided a venue for an RG Live Events’ visual interpretation of automotive history presented through live entertainment and 3-D projection. Photos by Scott Clark Photo.

To mirror the steel ribbons of the building’s facade, Rayzman worked closely with Alexis Rochas of STEREOBOT to create four 180-foot-long curved ceiling structures within the expansive tent installed on the third floor of the museum’s parking garage.

The client requested a structure large enough to accommodate up to 800 people, as well as provide everyone involved with a high level of comfort. “Because of the large guest count we could not use our standard tent sizing and specs,” Rayzman says.

Van Nuys, Calif.-based Town and Country Event Rentals & Services provided a Losberger 82-by-196-foot clearspan structure for the main reception tent that hosted 750 guests, and featured a huge performance stage, an elegant combination of different table shapes and sizes and seating arrangements, as well as oversized bars throughout the reception area.

The event’s focus stayed true to automobiles, even throughout the dinner catered by Drago Events, Beverly Hills, Calif. Photo by Scott Clark Photo.
The event’s focus stayed true to automobiles, even throughout the dinner catered by Drago Events, Beverly Hills, Calif. Photo by Scott Clark Photo.

What lies beneath

Because the weight of people and equipment was heavier than that of the cars normally parked in the third floor parking structure, RG Live Events’ crew reinforced the floors underneath with shoring to ensure the structure was fully sealed. The entire structure was required to pass weight inspections.

The crew also installed many layers underneath the tent to protect both the museum’s parking structure, as well as the tent and design elements within. The recently renovated parking structure floor included Neogard® coating, “which to our knowledge is a very expensive application,” Rayzman says. “Therefore, we did everything in our power to protect it during installation and throughout the event.”

To add to the challenge, the new flooring was not fully cured at the time of installation, which required RG Live Events to develop a floor protection plan. The crew added 27,000 square feet of carpet face down so the softest part was against the new floors. On top of that they added more than 400 sheets of 4-by-8-foot plywood to create pathways for equipment to get in and out during installation. The tent flooring consisted of 4-by-6-foot beams and more than 400 additional 4-by-8-foot plywood sheets, which were finished for the event.

Guest seating was designed using modern chrome dining chairs and mirrored tables, provided by Revelry Event Designers, Los Angeles, Calif. Photo by Scott Clark Photo.
Guest seating was designed using modern chrome dining chairs and mirrored tables, provided by Revelry Event Designers, Los Angeles, Calif. Photo by Scott Clark Photo.

Scheduling and last-minute changes

Access to the third floor of the garage was 6 feet, 6 inches, which meant that everything had to be transported up via shuttle and/or pickup trucks. The crew then used forklifts to raise equipment and tent and design components to the lot. “A normal project installation takes about a week but because of the many logistical challenges that came with this event, we started three weeks out,” Rayzman says. “Out of those three weeks, we were given one week for the actual install.”

Toward the end of installation, RG Live Events added an extra bay to the main reception tent and changed some of the smaller tent sizes to allow for more vendor room. The front-of-house tent changed from a 10-by-10-foot structure to one that was 15-by-15 foot. And the talent/performer holding tent upgraded from a 10-by-30-foot to 40-by-45-foot structure.

Throughout the evening, RG Live Events presented a visual interpretation of automotive history through a fusion of live entertainment and 3-D projection, ensuring that all things automotive were the stars of the event.

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