Soapbox at the Village Green Festival

Client: Metal Art Projects & Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Location: Chalkwell Park, Westcliffe-on-Sea

Area: 100 sqm

Value: £50,000

Procurement: Designers and Contractors


Established in 2003, Metal are a champion of the Arts promoting the need for investment in the UK cultural sector.

Alongside providing multi-disciplinary residency space for artists in Liverpool and Southend-on-Sea, Metal also organise free day festivals in both Liverpool and Southend.

Fleet designed and constructed the venue for Metal’s Village Green Festival in Southend, Essex. The Stage or ‘Soapbox’ was designed as an anti-tent structure and is a fully demountable timber framed stage and canopy. Our ambition was to elevate affordable, off-the-shelf materials in order to create an elegant and delightful structure. Timber battens and polycarbonate sheets have been innovatively used to fabricate a very efficient structure capable of taking loading well in excess of 1 tonne.

The translucency of the polycarbonate allows the stage to glow, internally within the stage space during the day as the sun shines on it, and externally at night as strategically positioned L.E.D’s pulse to the rhythm of the performance. Permanent ground works are scheduled in readiness for next year’s event, which will incorporate a mass fill mound with a pattern of exposed concrete pads, that will for one day of the year provide foundation for the Soapbox, and for the remaining 364 an abstract mixture of soft and hard landscaping leaving a memory trace of the festival viewable by satellite.

Fleet Architects