Outdoor Events Unfolding

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Outdoor EventsAcross most of the United States, summertime means outdoor concerts, festivals and other community gatherings under the open sky. This week we’re spotlighting one of the innovative products helping bring these events to life.

Sounding Terrible. “My wife Anne and I had been doing event sound and lighting for years, and sometimes we worked on old mobile stages owned by the City of Pittsburgh,” recalls Dennis Pranevich, Co-Owner of Annie’s Showmobiles in Finleyville, Penn.

He says these old mobile stages were basically boxes opening on one side; the sound projection was terrible. During his years in the sound business, Pranevich had put sound systems on many older box-like mobile stages. “Sound frequencies bounced around, and you got a low feedback hum you could not eliminate,” he notes. “If you used equalizers to get it out, you lost your bass and low drums. You really defeated yourself by trying to correct it.”

Betting the House. “When Wenger launched its Encore model Showmobile, this really opened up possibilities as a real concert stage because it’s acoustically correct – it’s not a box,” explains Pranevich.

When they learned the San Jose Symphony was selling its two Showmobiles and related performance equipment in a bankruptcy, the Pranevichs mortgaged their house to buy everything.

Snowballing Success. “We had 15 jobs our first year, including some big jobs at Heinz Field and PNC Park,” explains Pranevich. Since then, business has snowballed to include community events, county fairs, etc. Summer is the busiest season; most business is from word of mouth.

“We’ve done large concerts with our Showmobiles, including the Charlie Daniels Band, Davy Jones of the Monkees and many other big names,” explains Pranevich, adding that their background in staging musical events differentiates them from many other rental firms in the area.

“We’ve found a niche market – many of our customers cannot afford to rent a major event stage from anyone else and they find us an affordable option,” he concludes.

Valuing Amenities. An article last week in The Line (which focuses on the creative scene in Minneapolis-St. Paul) outlined ways that U.S. cities are attracting residents with amenities including parks, retail and schools. A vibrant arts/culture scene is another important factor. The article cites U.S. Census data confirming recent population migration trends to urban areas, from rural and suburban ones.

We salute Annie’s Showmobiles and the other special event/rental companies across the country who are supporting the events that improve the quality of life for all of us – wherever we live.

View Time-Lapse Showmobile Demo by clicking on the following link: Weng_2014_ShowMobile

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