For two days, 22 workers have pieced together a monstrous stage at Memorial Field, but it will stand for only one concert: the Beach Boys.
The band won’t fit under the Festival At Sandpoint’s traditional tent and stage, so organizers rented a separate stage.
It arrived from Portland on two semitrucks and will cost the festival $15,000 to use.
“They have a big show and it (the stage) is probably one of the largest setups in the Northwest in many years,” said George Lathrup, Festival at Sandpoint’s production manager.
The festival tent has only a 40-by-40-foot stage. It won’t come close to holding the three semitruck loads of equipment and instruments the Beach Boys will need for their Thursday show.
“The festival stage was created for symphony concerts,” Lathrup said. “But as the festival has progressed, some of the acts have proven to be a little bigger than the intent of the stage.”
The temporary stage for the Beach Boys will be nearly 100 feet long, 5 feet high and erected alongside the festival tent.
“There’s no doubt it will be the biggest show ever played in Sandpoint,” Lathrup said.
Patrons heading to other festival concerts will also notice a change in the main-stage tent. Instead of performers facing the football field grandstand, organizers have pushed the tent back against the Pend Oreille River.
The move allows people to sit down the entire length of the football field with the mountains and Pend Oreille River as a backdrop.
“One of the beauties of the field is the view of the water and mountains so we decided to take better advantage of that,” Lathrup said.
The only drawback could be for nearby homeowners who have long complained about the loud music from the field. The new configuration on the field will have performers blasting their tunes directly at the homes rather than into the grandstand.
“It’s kind of an experiment,” said Festival Executive Director Connie Berghan. “We will have to wait and see how it works.”