1. The roof leaks. This is a design flaw that has been corrected since ours was built. Our stage is basically a metal box. One side of it opens up to become the roof, or “canopy”. There is a hinge that requires a gasket on the outside to prevent water from coming in the hinges. The gasket is no longer serviceable; the repairs only last about 2 years. When the canopy leaks, water comes down right on the performers and their instruments which is unsafe. The new stage is designed so that water runs off the hinged areas.The redesigned canopy will also sound better and make it easier to see the performers. 2. It requires a lot of manpower to set up. The stage must first be parked in as level a location as possible. Then jacks and wood blocks are used to make the stage floor, or “deck” level. When the canopy is opened, we have a stage deck that is 8′ deep.There is another layer of 8′ deep panels that pull out to make the front half of the stage deck for a total of 16′ deep. These are 4’x8′ wood panels with a heavy metal frame. Each panel must be slid out and leveled with the other panels. This whole process takes 2-4 hours. This is difficult work and cannot be done by volunteers. The new Showmobile mobile stage has hydraulic leveling. The deck extension is all one piece and folds out with the push of a button! The entire stage can be set up in about 30 minutes.
3. Portability. The current stage is not practical to tow. It is very heavy and cannot be towed faster than 35 mph. The new model is much lighter, has improvements to the chassis and wheels and can be towed up to 55 mph. With the safety and set-up improvements, the stage could possibly be rented by other cities or community groups. 4. Other benefits. It will be possible to attach stage lighting to the new stage.