If you're renting a portable stage for any type of music or drama production, one of the things to think about is what type of stage ramp you want. While you may specify that you want a couple sets of stairs installed on each side of the stage, ramps are highly valuable. Not only will they allow people with mobility challenges to ascend to the stage, but they'll also provide an easy way to get heavy equipment from the ground to the stage during the setup phase of your event. Here are three types of stage ramps that your portable stage provider likely has available.
The simplest style of stage ramp is a straight one. As its name suggests, this is a ramp that goes straight from the ground to the stage. The primary value of this type of ramp is the speed at which people can travel up and down it. For example, if you have a lot of equipment to set up on the stage and a relatively short amount of time to get the job done, a straight ramp allows people to transport gear up to the stage directly and quickly. Straight ramps are available in different styles, but you'll commonly find that they have railings along each side.
Another type of ramp that will be available to consider for your portable stage is a 90-degree ramp. Its design essentially consists of a pair of straight sections that meet midway up the ramp at a 90-degree angle. You may find that the look of this stage offers some visual appeal, especially if you decide to rent a pair of these ramps and have them positioned on each side of the front of the stage. The slope of a 90-degree ramp is less than a straight ramp, which can make getting up this ramp easier for the elderly or people with mobility challenges.
A switchback ramp consists of multiple sloped sections, often with small, horizontal landings between them. There are many different sizes of switchback ramps to consider. Some of these ramps can have multiple sections, which will increase the length of time that it takes to get up or down the ramp. While this might seem like a drawback, it may be useful based on the type of event that you're having. For example, if you're having a drama production on the stage, a switchback ramp can allow characters to approach the stage slowly — perhaps mimicking driving toward the scene from a considerable distance and winding their way up the ramp like a road.