High and Wired KSA

TECS Event Services launches High and Wired Saudi Arabia, bringing everything from rigging and automation, to ziplines and human slingshots to live events professionals and adrenaline junkies throughout the Kingdom.

If you attended MDLBEAST Soundstorm in December, there’s a good chance that you will have noticed the unusual sight of a certain superstar DJ hurtling along a zipline running above the festival site. “Having Steve Aoki ride the line and pose for a few photos with the crew was a surreal moment,” recalled Shane Manning, Managing Director of High and Wired – the company behind the installation. “We have been back and forth with the MDLBEAST management team in the USA and UK on this zipline concept for a few years, so to see come to fruition at what is shaping up to be one of the largest festivals in the world was amazing.”

After launching event rigging and automation company TECS Event Services in Dubai in 2012, Manning founded sister company High and Wired – which focuses on adrenaline-fuelled activities such as ziplines, bungees and human slingshots – some four years later. Now, with the explosion of the Saudi Arabia market, High and Wired has been given a dedicated KSA branch, which combines both the live event rigging and extreme aerial adventure offerings all under one roof.

With the new branch fully licenced and operational, the target for Manning is to bring it to the same level as its Dubai counterpart as soon as possible. “The goal is to have similar stock levels of not only generic trussing, rigging, and accessories, but also automation and performer flying equipment such as high-speed winches, automated hoists, and trolleys,” he stated.

Manning believes that by being in Saudi Arabia with not only kit but also staff, High and Wired KSA will be able to offer a smoother and more cost-efficient service to its Saudi clients. “It’s no secret that it is becoming more and more cost prohibitive to truck goods over the border from the UAE,” he reasoned. “Plus, having people in country will save the cost of putting people on planes and in hotels every few weeks – not to mention the environmental impact.”

The KSA launch comes hot on the heels of a bumper 2023 for both TECS and High and Wired, which has seen both companies take on some of the region’s most high-profile projects. Manning recalled a few of the highlights, including: building a giant swing on top of Palm Tower for a film shoot starring US singer/songwriter, JVKE; a zipline at WWE Night of Champions in Jeddah; delivering the automation solution for Phantom of the Opera KSA; delivering automation for the AFC Asian Cup in Doha; providing rigging for Dubai Watch Week; being the first company to supply a rigging solution for Dubai Frame for the New Year’s Eve celebration; and High and Wired becoming a regional sales agent for Bulgarian climbing wall and active entertainment manufacturer, Walltopia.

“It’s fair to say that 2023 has been an amazing year for all of us in and around the events industry,” Manning reflected. “Over and above the projects, the year has seen growth across the board, including in our staff, with new key staff members Artem Schneider, Cladio Nyemba, Jomar Merlin and Mark Ravana joining the team.”

The company has also grown in terms of assets, with a raft of investments helping to drive growth. “We’re continually investing in hoists and truss to facilitate the basic needs of providing rigging solutions, and we’re also at the forefront of automation and performer flying solutions,” Manning reported. “Having Lewis Calderwood leading the charge on all things automation and performer flying over the past few years has proven to be fantastic for us. He has brought a level of not only technical expertise (Qualified Expert for Lifting Devices C1 & I-Motion Operator Administration MOVEKET – previously MOVECAT) but he is also one of very few who understands and appreciates the choreography aspect of performer flying.”

MOVEKET products have been a focus for the company over the past few years, with notable investment in variable speed hoists (VMK-S125kg, 250kg and 500kg) and VMW-S125 winches. “The i-Motion Expert-T III control console has also been a great – and much needed – addition to our inventory,” Manning added. “We’ve also purchased some Alfa Systems SKY-1 winches, which can be used as either single or dual line without affecting capacity or speed.”

Looking ahead, Manning has his sights set on finding an appropriate facility in Riyadh as soon as possible, with further expansion and development within the team also in the offing. “Long term, I want to see our current team continually grow and with that, some of them will push into more senior leadership positions,” he stated. “Of course, we’ll be growing the team exponentially – we’re always looking for good people to join us.”

Photos: High and Wired KSA