+1 206 949 1626

Supporting Circus Arts and Stunt Development

Aerial Suspension and Liability Management Planning

In literal terms, there isn't a more risky endeavor your event production can undertake than hiring aerial performers. Suspending performers requires a liability management strategy (LMS) from the onset of planning. I offer a specialized approach to production rigging for aerial suspension by managing my Client's liability exposure. In a highly organized manner, every safey consideration is explored and a solid plan is developed. My project estimates are detailed and typically accurate. They include labor and equipment and in some cases, reasonable rigging crew accommmodations. All estimates account for following established rigging standards. This is my SOP and serves as an element to shelter my Client(s) and myself from liabilty. Whether you are a performer, producer, or designer, your Liability Management Strategy (LMS) starts with hiring the Jolly Rigger.

When contracted as "Performer Support," I am working for the performer(s) and prioritize their needs in production planning. In addition to always focusing on their budget, safety and their performance aesthetics, my goals for the performer in this arrangement center around implimenting their LMS. I provide a thorough, professional suspension plan that my Client submits to the venue and their end-client for review. I then provide tailored documents to my Performer Client(s) that are designed specifically for their LMS. I prefer to make my own arrangements for any sub-rental equipment because I am certain I can get my Clients a lower rate and better equipment. I will serve as installation lead if the task requires more than one rigger. Scheduling and logistics are all incorporated into my rigging estimate. In this arrangement, I serve as performance operator, and perform and document pre-show inspections. Arrangements can be made, at a reduced price, for the performers to take on the responsibilities of their own pre-show inspections. In this contractual arrangement, I look to the performer to provide compensation and to cover all rigging expenses.

Inversely, to serving as Performer Support, my role as Production Support places me in a position to manage liability for the production, or Producer, side of the event, not the performer. Working directly with venue management becomes a major part of their LMS. The performer(s) will be tasked with providing their performance data, including costumed body weight and performance live load, in an effort to develop a profile of professional competency. The performer(s) will be required to show proof of insurance and must sign a comprehensive imdemnification contract, structured to protect the Producer, End-Client, the venue and the rigging team. In this contractual arrangement, I will provide estimates and billing to the production, not the performer(s).

An intergral part of any LMS is to adhere to entertainment rigging standards. These are not regulations, which are equatable to laws. The standards I am referring to are the procedural practices I am required to adhere to to meet a minimum degree of safety and that are outlined in the primary industry source materials utilized to train ETCP Riggers. These standards are even more important to adhere to for critical loads (human suspension). For these reasons, the following standards will be met without exception and at the expense of any Client situation (in no particular order):
Load capacity of the suspension structure (venue) will be verified at the on-set of planning.
A Working Load Limit (WLL) of all rigging system components will meet a minimum Working Load Limit of 7:1.
All rigging components will be of domestic origin and/or meet QA assurance requirements.
Without specialized winch and winch control, any automated performer suspension will be on a redundant motorized system.
Performer's costumed performance weigh will be verified.
No synthetics will be used in a critical load system. They may be employed only for stabilization purposes.
Following system set-up, a rehearsal will be planned for trouble shooting all aspects of the installation. This will include time to make any adjustments that are deemed necessary by the installion rigger.
All fasteners will have a safety mechanism, such as a lock washer, twist lock gate or mousing, implimented and/or added.
All fasteners within the critical load system will be of Gr80 steel or high strength aluminum with a 27KN rating.
The Production Rigger will be allowed to make the final decision on all matters related to rigging and system operation, which includes stopping the performance.

First, determining the venue's load capacities allows for the performance to be considered. It is always necessary to postpone commitment to a Client until this fact is established with certainty. I will work with the artist to closely determine their performance's "live load" so that we bring to the table the ability to safely state we can meet the venue's capacity. After receiving written confirmation from the venue's administration that their performance space structure can take a dynamic load of one ton (a reasonably safe load capacity for a single 140 pound aerialist performer), we then focus on apparatus suspension and planning it's reveal, if necessary? When providing Performer Support, I require an indemnification contract to be signed by the performer and their management, if applicable, to eleviate me of any and all liability not directly associated to the suspension of their apparatus. I may also request that the Client provides a deposit for materials, rental equipment necessary for any construction/fabrication required to safely suspend the performance apparatus, and for Rigger accommodations, if applicable?

An aerial dance troop hung for a corporate party.

Nymphs hanging in an atmosphereic pose for a corporate party.

More Nymphs hanging in an atmosphereic pose for a corporate party.

Trapeze acrobat serving champagne at a Pacific Northwest tradeshow.

3D render of designed permanent aerial rigging point.

Aerial and Acrobatic Rigging Services

The integral parts of a safe acrobatic hang are not so obvious to the producer, venue management, or performer. It is my belief that quality entertainment rigging starts with an ability to to educate while executing.

Verify Venue Load Capacities

Confirming that the venue can handle the stresses added by aerial performance is an absolute first step in safe performance.

Planning the apparatus suspension

Multiple kinds of apparatus, revealing the performer and apparatus, and hoisting the performer for the performance are all crucual planning considerations

Fabrications and Custom Building

Taking your performance project through conception to completion means greater liabilities.

Managing Liabilities and Standards

We protect all parties involved, especially the audience, by following industry standards. So knowing them is crucual.