Rigging Analysis for Cirque du Soleil's "Varekai"

Posted by Tom Baughman, Principal

Cirque du Soleil Stage and Rigging in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.                                                                                    Photo:  Justin Brady

Cirque du Soleil Stage and Rigging in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.                                                                                    Photo:  Justin Brady

Madden & Baughman completed a rigging analysis for a Cirque du Soleil production in Portland, Oregon’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 

Built in 1958, the Coliseum roof trusses were designed to support weight from suspended equipment for concerts and other arena events.  However, the combined weight of equipment for “Varekai”, the 2015 production from Cirque, exceeded the arena’s specified maximum weight for event rigging.

Using original building drawings, historic steel codes, and information gathered on site, Madden & Baughman analyzed the roof trusses for rigging loads provided by Cirque du Soleil and assisted the building operator in determining rigging configurations to safely distribute the loads to the roof trusses.  After the rigging was installed, Cirque du Soleil performed to sold-out audiences from May 6 to May 10, 2015.