EXCLUSIVE: 20 Trucks, Last Minute Tweaks & 4am Packdowns - On Tour With Paul McCartney

1 December 2017 | 9:37 am | Neil Griffiths

A Day In The Life Of Paul Mcartney's Production Manager.

Pic by MPL Communications

Pic by MPL Communications

More Paul McCartney More Paul McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney is set to kick off his highly-anticipated tour of Australia tomorrow night in Perth and in a theMusic.com.au exclusive, we take you behind the scenes on the Beatles legend's One On One tour. 

Led by Production Manager, Mark "Springo" Spring, there are many different departments working together (a permanent crew of 70) to ensure McCartney's live show goes off without a hitch, with twenty or so trucks required alone to transport the equipment from gig to gig.

Just moments before the music icon takes to the stage, there will be last minute tweaks within production — the lights, the sound, the video, the pyro, the instruments, the seating, the stage — the list goes on.

Spring, who has toured with McCartney since 2002, says the crew and trucks normally arrive to the venue each show day at 6am. 

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

"When we arrive at the venue the first thing we do is scope it out before we get to work," Spring says.

"We need to make sure all the different areas are marked off. Then we bring the rigging in."

The rigging alone fills two trucks.

"This is always the most challenging part of what we do as we carry so much rigging," Spring continues.

"This tour has so much special equipment to make sure everyone in the audience has the best visual and audio experience possible. So getting all that equipment up quickly and safely takes a significant part of the day."

It takes approximately 45 minutes to empty each truck, but the rigging will take all day to go up, with changes being made throughout the day.

The stage is built at the opposite end of the arena from what will eventually be its final position. This is done so the stage can be built safely as the impressive stage lighting and sound are built overhead and once this is finished the stage can literally be rolled underneath it.

"Once we've hung all the stage sound, lighting and video equipment and it's all at the height it will be used at during the show, we'll roll the stage underneath into place," Spring says.

"We will have put all the back line gear — monitors, instruments, speakers, amplifiers and so on — on the stage too."

Spring and the crew are required to have everything in place for around 4pm when McCartney arrives for soundcheck, which he says "has to be the most stressful part of our day".

"A lot goes into that short amount of time between having the equipment up in the venue and Paul arriving for soundcheck," Spring says.

"We need to make sure everything works and the seats all fit in so Paul can get straight on and do his job, which is why people are here."

He continues, "As soon as the soundcheck is over we need to make sure we are ready for the doors to be opened to let the audience in. At the same time it’s our only opportunity to fix any last minute glitches we might have identified during the soundcheck."

The only time the crew manages to get any rest is during the concert, though most will be found watching the show anyway… how could you not?

"The moment Paul leaves the stage, the crew start taking everything down," Spring explains.

"We have to take everything out in pretty much the reverse order to how it came in but we can do it in almost half the time. Normally four or five hours after the final song we are all out of the venue."

By 4am, just 22 hours after bumping in, the trucks are on their way to the new venue because the show must go on.

For more details on McCartney's tour, click on theGuide or scroll down.