At Kew the Music, it’s not just the acts that are working hard - tonnes of equipment and a team of hundreds spend more than a week setting the scene.

Last night Simply Red kicked off six nights of performances that include shows from Will Young, Jools Holland, The Corrs and more.

As many as 45,000 fans will attend over the course of the week and, at 30 years old, Kew the Music is one of the gardens’ flagship events.

But by the time the first artists took to the stage, so much work had already been done.

The stage and arena takes eight days to build, with 50 trucks bringing in the massive stage and rigging, as shown in own series of pictures which show the venue taking shape.

And it’s heavy work. The roof of the stage itself must be strong enough to take up to 12 tonnes of equipment. Chefs cooked up 1,600 meals for the crew setting things up.

Kew’s senior commercial events manager Ellie Barnatt, who looks after all of the gardens’ big events, said: “Across the period of the build and the live event, we’ll have about 500 staff on site.

“They are doing everything from building stages, front of house, technical production, lighting, sound and all of the people who work on stewarding and running the bar and lots of other things.

“So there are quite a lot of people go into putting it together.”

This year, 100 per cent of the series’ waste will be recycled – all 18 tonnes of it. For the first time this year, Kew even has an environmental champion looking after the green side of things, from how to improve fuel management to encouraging guests to recycle.

Go to kewthemusic.org

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