SRD Group is celebrating 20 successful years in the industry after starting life in the founder’s dining room.
Started in 1998 by Stuart Roberts with a couple of key pieces of equipment from German speaker manufacturer GAE, he teamed up with four other companies with similar expertise to provide the sound equipment for local events.
Stuart Roberts said: “When we found we needed bigger equipment for bigger events, we bought it in and soon we had enough of our own. No one else had staging in any quantity and no one else had the right quantity of sound equipment so there was a gap that SRD filled.”
“We were offering a complete solution to the event rather than being one of many suppliers on a job providing a single piece of equipment and we took a more holistic approach to event production and management. We now have all of the infrastructure to put on local festivals without having to bring in any additional equipment.”
The past twenty years have seen huge changes in technology and the events industry is no exception.
He continued: “We still use the original speakers that I bought twenty years ago and on the whole the equipment hasn’t changed a great deal. Some of the new speakers are lighter and more powerful but my belief is that if the equipment was good to start with it is still good to use now twenty years on.
“The biggest difference for us is that you can now rock up to a show, plug your sound desk in and you are ready. Years ago, the process was much longer, having to set up equipment, carry out numerous checks and tests and then doing sound tests with the band. Then there’s the size of the kit, back then you needed six crew members to move a desk into position, now most equipment is a one or two-person lift. It’s so much easier now than it was but learning on the old equipment gives you a better understanding of the technical side, even so I wouldn’t want to go back to it.
For Stuart and his team, it is the shared passion of creating great events for their customers and seeing the public enjoying themselves that makes the hard work and unsociable hours worthwhile. “Most people won’t realise how complex it is behind the scenes creating the right look and sound, but the end result always makes me really proud.
“It’s a great feeling when the band comes on in front of thousands of people and you’re standing at the back knowing that everything is in its place and has come together so people can enjoy themselves.
“I never went into this to work with particular bands and I don’t get star struck at all. I think it must be similar to a housebuilder who puts together all the key pieces and can stand back and look at the finished house and see what they have achieved.”
Looking ahead to the next twenty years, Mr Roberts has clear goals: “I’m really proud of how far we’ve come and that we have adapted by embracing new technology. We’re not going to sit on our laurels, but we will continue to evaluate new technology as it is launched and look for the best places to invest.
“Ultimately we love bringing events to life and that will never change. We’re always looking to work with different customers and excited to work in different markets.”