Shade Winners: OFPANZ Awards for Excellence

OFPANZ Award Entry - Shade Sails for Nest Fest


Alongside the wins of our amazing Apprentices in the Apprentice of the Year we were delighted to receive accolades at last weekend’s national OFPANZ Conference in Nelson, recognising some our work in situ. 

The Douglas team were awarded the OFPANZ Award for Excellence in the Commercial Shade Structures category, for our work on the impressive shade sail system at Nest Fest.


We were approached by the event organisers who came to us with some concept drawings for a shade system to cover the crowd in front of the orb-like DJ stage set. It was clear that they had some ambitious visions for a funky architectural style which would also provide an important shade function for concertgoers. 

As the client had some awesome concepts architecturally designed by Nick Wilkey, we had several meetings to develop this to a workable solution. The structure needed to be made so that it could be easily dismantled and erected for future events, which meant we had to build in sufficient strength while still retaining tautness each time it is erected again for the next festival. 


An engineered structure was designed by Overdesign and engineered by Worley Group. This was then built by Sight and Sound services using their stage truss components with wires suspended to hold centre hubs which the shades would attach to, giving a floating impression of the shade canopy. 

Our in-house fabrication experts Matt and Somjit set to work on marking out and sewing 12 triangular shades, which the client could then attach to the hubs and grid towers to create a canopy of differing levels and twist.

Our role was to supply technical knowledge at the design stage and manufacture the shades and assist the event crew at the shade installation stage.


Working to a tight timeframe, we were delighted to get the shades completed on time for the concert and to spec. The shade sails went up seamlessly as planned first time round without any need for last minute alterations. 

During the set-up our client also called on us to repair an inflatable stage roof and another inflatable stage frontage, as well as make an interior lining for the DJ booth, a sign of their trust in the work we were doing. The client was rapt with both the outcome and service provided, and they went on to deliver a successful multi-stage festival at the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds, which was a first for our region.

It was also fantastic that Nest Fest went ahead unhindered, as it was only the following week that Hawke’s Bay went into Alert Level Red and large-scale events were no longer possible. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Henry at Sight and Sound Services and the Vesica team (proud owners and custodians of this event shade system), and Henry Pettit of Birdsnest Entertainment, the event promoter. It was wonderful to work with you all.


Our sister-company, Sunshade, was also the winner of two accolades, which our team had a hand in. 

Mike Atwood in Waikato won the Domestic Shade Sails category for his awesome installation in the new Highbrook subdivision, and Hawke’s Bay local Mark Hannan received a Highly Commended for his massive install of 10 giant shade sails at Wairoa College. 

Both winning shade sails were detailed and fabricated here at our Hastings workshop. A special thank you goes to our in-house fabricators Matt and Somjit, and the rest of the team who make it all happen every day.

Well done Mike and Mark for two very impressive shade installations!


Talk to our team at Douglas today about crafting something special for your location. We can help with both commercial scale and residential projects, and look forward to your enquiry. 

Photos thanks to Nest Fest NZ, Neptuno and photographer Cam Hay.