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I wish to experience walking on a tension wire grid, preferably one suspended many metres above the ground such as in a theatre.

tension wire grid

Does anyone know of one accessible to the public (not only backstage crew), preferably for free such as during an Open House, in England?

I promise not to use it like a trampoline.

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    Having been on grids like this, I have to warn you they aren't really as fun as they look. They're certainly nowhere near as springy as a trampoline, and there's usually pretty limited headroom anyway, assuming it's even possible to stand up straight. Lying on your back on one can be a little nice, but the wires will start to be uncomfortable pretty quickly. – Zach Lipton May 17 '16 at 19:54
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    I'm really not sure where you'd get access to such a thing in a theater unless you happen to know somebody (or perhaps donate enough money that they'll take you wherever you want). The lights up there are usually carefully setup for a particular purpose, and a random visitor just bumping into one creates a decent-sized hassle someone has to deal with. It's also a somewhat hazardous space of the sort that health & safety rules usually frown on allowing the public to visit. – Zach Lipton May 17 '16 at 20:41
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    slingco.co.uk/slingco_cablenet.aspx has a list of UK locations with these installed. Perhaps worth investigating the web sites of the locations? I looked at the health and safety handbook for Camden and said you couldn't walk on it normally. – Berwyn Jun 2 '16 at 15:52
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    If you happen to find a community theater group that uses a venue with one installed somewhere, you could volunteer for the crew. Either your duties could take you up there or someone could allow you a quick visit. – Zach Lipton Jun 2 '16 at 16:32
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    If you really want "the acrophilic rush of walking on air high above the ground", with complete safety, Honister Slate Mine in the Lake District has a via ferrata route that includes a single-strand wire bridge, which you cross while wearing a harness clipped into a safety line. It's not free. honister.com/via-ferrata/via-ferrata-xtreme – Randy Orrison Aug 8 '16 at 9:33
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+100

Anechoic chambers have high tension wire grid floors

enter image description here

While they are not "suspended many metres above the ground", the foam wedges in a good chamber are a meter deep (although they often come directly up to the wire mesh floor).

As mentioned in this answer about anechoic chambers anechoic chambers are generally part of companies and universities so are not nominally open to the public. The anechoic chamber at UCL can be hired for "commercial purposes from £55 per hour plus VAT" and the chamber at the ISVR at Southampton is available for commercial purposes and "outreach visits". I also know that both Salford and Nottingham have anechoic chambers, although their websites provide no information about how to use the chamber. Speaking as a former UK Lecturer whose lab included one of the above mentioned anechoic chambers, I am confident that a polite request to the "right" person at a university with a chamber will result in you being allowed to visit.

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There are no places in England that I know this is possible for the general public.

I can find no places where such activity could be done, the likely reasons are;

  • It's Dangerous
  • Can Disturb Set If In A Theatre
  • Health & Safety
  • Not exactly the most popular experience
  • No Demand

You may be able to contact a theatre or somewhere with a grid like this to request such an experience, but the answer is very likely going to be no, due to health and safety, and because they have no insurance for you. It certainly wouldn't be free.

The only way I found out you could do this was virtually - not half like real life...

As Suggested in the answer by StrongBad, a polite request may get you somewhere, if you ask the right people.

  • Insurance? Who needs insurance when walking on mesh wire?! – JoErNanO Jun 2 '16 at 15:47
  • You would be surprised how ridiculous some health and safety rules can be. Not just insurance for walking on the wire, they would probably need some to just have you in their facility. @JoErNanO – Nathan Shoesmith Jun 2 '16 at 15:49
  • I can't see what could go wrong. :D – JoErNanO Jun 2 '16 at 15:53
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    In my experience, the biggest danger is being underneath when someone drops an untethered wrench through the grid. – Zach Lipton Jun 2 '16 at 16:35

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