Freelance Sound Engineer
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  • Festival Season 2011

    Posted on October 25th, 2011 No comments

    So it’s summer, the beer’s warm, the weathers probably cold and it is of course festival season. I have managed to work on a few festivals this summer, so I thought rather than blabber on about each one, I would just to ‘one post to rule them all’ as such.

    Warrington Music Festival
    After a very successful festival last year, Warrington Music Festival was back again with dBS Solutions again in charge of production. There was now a DJ night on the Saturday with a full day of bands on the Saturday, which gave us a bit more time on setup. System it was the same as last year, with only a few minor improvements including an M7CL at FOH and an better shout system. The team has also changed, I was handling stage and patch still, but now with Chris Bogg on FOH (Mr Attewell was sadly missed!), Richard Pomeroy on monitors and Ollie Suckling heading up LX. After another late night load in (minus sleeping in an Early Learning Centre this year!) and a couple of power issues I am happy to say the event was another brilliant success with us managing to turn around 20 bands in 10 hours with 10 minute turnovers on the Saturday! Towards the end there was a great atmosphere with confetti and video projections accompanying the some great bands. There is now talk about doing similar events at other times the year, so well done to all involved and i’ll see you on a stage soon!

    Edinburgh Fringe Festival
    Another regular appearance in my calendar in August is the Fringe Festival. This (my 5th) year I returned again in the role of a production engineer, but major change was happening. Due to Edinburgh council closing the Assembly Rooms , Assembly Festivals hub and home. So we now had a whole new set of venues to rig, all based down in the fringe heart of George Square. It included 3 venues in lecture theatres, 3 tents and one in car park… classic fringe. I was there for just over a week working with new head of sound Mark Saywer, newly appointed deputy and my usual partner in crime Mike Sumner and Davey Williamson from Delta. While it was weird not rigging the Music Hall and associated venues as usual, it was great to actually do something without hearing “thats not how we did it last year?!”. It was a great week, in which if I wasn’t working, I was drinking, chatting and catching up with loads of people some I hadn’t seen in years, some people i’d just met and plenty inbetween! As well as during the day putting some systems into some of the strangest places. Working highlights include the surprisingly OK K-Sub’s (used purely as they fit inbetween seats), my wall mounting of multi boxes (to avoid floods), lighting grids there were a little too flexible and at one point getting called out to fix what ended up being some amps on mute! I even got involving in mixing a couple of bands during the jazz festival which was all good fun. (I was reminded of Jimmy Drew’s advice that mixing jazz is like a chef making a omelette… easy to cock up by doing too much!). A tough but brilliant week! Hopefully see you there next year.

    Underage / Field Day Festival
    From Scotland to London’s Victoria park where I was doing a back to back festival for Capital Sound in Victoria Park. Day one was Underage festival (Sort of says what it is on the tin) and day two was Field Day Festival where we were doing the DJ stage. After a frantic prep day (With 3 festival stages going out on the same day) at Capital, and a slow rig day the actual day of the festival was a blast! I was looking after stage with Ian Wood with Magic and Pete Hughes on Mons and FOH and Kev Smith manning the patch (and keeping us “stage Ian’s” in check!). Artists included Rizzle Kicks, Devlin (Great to see my old Uni neighbour Olivia Leisk with them!), Miles Kane and headliners Bombai Bicycle Club who were brilliant. System compromised 2 hangs of 12 Martin Audio W8LC with 6 subs a side, along with LM’s for fills. Desk wise it was Profiles either end (along with an extra PM5D at FOH for one of the acts). We started around 40 minutes behind due to the first artist turning up late, but finished bang on schedule. Awesome stuff! Day 2 was a little more mundane as it was just DJ’s but after still a cracking weekend with a great team.

    Matthew Street Festival
    Back with Capital again, but this time a massive gang of us was in Liverpool for the Matthew Street Festival. For those of you that don’t know the festival, the whole centre of Liverpool is transformed into a large festival site for Bank holiday weekend. Capital were looking after the 5 big outdoor stages. My stage (The Superlambanana stage), was headed up by myself and Ste Morley on stage and Steve Bunting on the desk. All of these stages (bar the main stage) are done via mixing both FOH and Monitors from side of stage. This cuts down on both crew and difficult multicore runs, and works surprisingly well with a set of UPA’s as near fields! The festival itself is a collection of tribute acts, everyone from Lady Gaga to the obvious swarm of Beatles acts was covered! My personal favourite was actually on our stage “Crowded Scouse!” … a classic! System wise we were using MICA for the main hangs with 600hp subs and M’elody for the fills. The system worked really well, and the Meyer even handled the rain OK! The festival was a massive success and we couldn’t believe the size of the audiences that turned up! We literally couldn’t see the end of our street (see in the pictures). Highlights include the AC/DC covers band, a guitar amp plague and the quality Paul Weller Tribute band. Hat’s off to Charlie, Leila and Dave from Capital for organising it all, it was a great success.