Fieldays site takes shape

MAN OF STEEL: Wazza Forbes, from Totalspan Sheds, helping to construct one of the many sheds at the Fieldays venue.
MAN OF STEEL: Wazza Forbes, from Totalspan Sheds, helping to construct one of the many sheds at the Fieldays venue.

While a massive 980 exhibitors prepare to show off their wares at Fieldays next week, one guest is promising to turn up whether it's wanted or not - mud.

Despite MetService's 10-day forecast predicting rain all of next week, Fieldays chief executive Jon Calder was confident the wet conditions would not put a dampener on the event, which opens next week at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton.

The sites were well laid out and if it rained, it was business as usual, he said.

"While we hope for nice, fine dry conditions, a bit of rain isn't going to affect the sites, not like it would have 20-30 years ago."

Hire company Showscape, based in Cambridge, has worked on about 300 sites at Fieldays this year.

"We've had to bring in about 500 cubic metres of bark to spread out over the sites," said operations manager Kevin Wanless.

One of Showscape's largest sites is a treacherous driving range for the Ford Ranger - where 90 tonnes of stone, 450 cubic metres of sand and around 20 tonnes of logs have been laid to show off the abilities of the vehicle.

Event goers will get to have a go in the passenger seat next to professional drivers and experience the rugged track themselves.

Warren Forbes was gearing up for his fourth Fieldays with Otorohanga-based outfit Total Span Sheds. He was putting the finishing touches on a 7.5m x 12m steel clad structure yesterday.

He said Fieldays was a handy tool for the potential customers to compare a broad range of sheds in a short time.

"There's a lot of competition around the place with sheds, but without people having to go to Hamilton, they can see everything they need to see here in two days."

The shed had taken him about a week to construct and a smaller 3m x 3m model would go up in time for opening day, June 11, he said.

Calder said some final landscaping was still to be done.

"This week is all about fine tuning, but that will run through to the early hours of Tuesday night in preparation for opening on Wednesday."

Site places were sold out in December and to cope with demand, organisers created 28 large outdoor sites that were sold almost immediately when they became available in January, Calder said.

"We have had this year unprecedented demand. We still have 100 companies sitting on our waiting list. From our perspective, it's all pretty encouraging."

The theme for this year's Fieldays is "managing resources for a competitive advantage".

Waikato Times