Gearhouse South Africa designed and supplied a full technical production package to 94.7 Highveld Stereo's 2010 Johannesburg Day event (in association with Santam), produced by Primedia and staged at Riversands Farm in the leafy Johannesburg suburb of Fourways.
Gearhouse's project manager Dave Tudor comments, "It was the first time we have worked on the show, so we wanted to bring a fresh look and approach, increase the production values, and let the client see just what can be achieved with imagination, appropriate use of equipment and a bit of lateral thinking".
One of the challenges was to create a performance environment that would work in daylight - the show started at 10 a.m. - and ended after dark, catering for the sold out 18,000 audience as well as the cameras (the show was recorded for DVD for future release).
The super-hot line up featured 14 of South Africa's most popular bands including Loyiso, Jack Parow, The Parlotones, Primecircle, Freshly Ground, Danny K, Thembi Seete, Liquideep, HHP, Arno Carstens, Locnville, Denim, and Lavuvuzela,embracing a diversity of the musical spectrum with rock, pop, Afrikaans rap and kwaito.
Staging, AV & LED
Gearhouse Structures installed the 18 x 12 metre TFL stage and roofing system, complete with PA wings constructed from Layher scaffolding.
Allen Evans from Gearhouse LEDVision's JHB branch came up with the inventive use of LED panelling onstage, giving the space a digital set and a dynamic, scenic architecture that would work as eye-candy during the day and evening. Allen called in Grant Orchard from their Cape Town branch to oversee and design certain elements of the video content and the running of the LED video system, Grant specified the use of the Barco encore to have the ability of creating multi camera layouts across all screens.
The stage faced west and was in bright sunlight for most of the day, so LED was the only option for an eye catching look in broad daylight. The result was spectacular, really livening up the space. More of the different LED elements were activated and added to the show as the day progressed, and with sunset at about 6.30 p.m., the ambience and the feel of the venue completely transformed while the LED also took on a different role, becoming a prominent but not overpowering visual centrepiece.
They used LED Vision's Lighthouse R16 LED panels, with a central onstage screen measuring 8 x 5 metres made up of 40 panels, flanked by 2 horizontal strips top and bottom each of 24 panels, then three vertical columns either side, comprising 5, 7 and 9 panels respectively, getting higher as they went offstage.
The side IMAG screens, beyond the PA wings, comprised 48 panels of R16 each, and behind the FOH tower, one of LED Vision's 40 m2 mobile truck screens was parked, to ensure that everyone at the back of the field could see and enjoy the action.
Content for the onstage screens was stored on a grandMA VPU media server and replayed via a grandMA full size console operated by Marcel Wijnberger from Gearhouse Media. He and Orchard originated bespoke video clips and effects for the show from Gearhouse Media's extensive content library.
A 7 camera system was supplied via Gearhouse by The Moving Billboard Picture Company from Johannesburg.
The MA VPU material, 4 of the camera feeds and a selection of stings, bumpers, sponsor logos and VT play-ins stored on a GV Turbo hard drive were all fed into a Barco Encore screen management system, operated by Kefiloe Kgoadi who output all the various sources to the different screen surfaces.
A large L-Acoustics V-DOSC system was chosen for its high clarity and smoothness. The main left and right hangs were 14 V-DOSCs a side, complete with 3 x dV-DOSC downs, and 16 SB28 subs a side on the ground in cardioid configuration, for plenty of low frequency atmospherics!
Left and right V-Towers were used for the delays, located 75 metres back from the stage, each hung with 10 V-DOSCs. The system was designed by Llewellyn Reinecke and fine tuned to perfection by systems tech, Jako De Wit.
Monitors were L-Acoustics HiQ wedges, with a Sennheiser G2 IEM system available for artists wanting in-ears. dV subs provided plenty of 'oomph' as drum fills, and Gearhouse Audio also supplied an extensive mics-and-stands package to cover all bands and eventualities, plus Turbosound Floodlight side fills.
Amplifiers were L-Acoustics LA8 Controllers, all networked via L-Acoustics' Network Manager, routed and processed via 2 Dolby Lakes.
The FOH and monitor consoles were both Yamaha PM5Ds, with FOH mixed by Llewellyn Reinecke and monitors by Cyril "Rasta" Sewela.
Instead of a rolling riser system, there was a selection of guitar and bass amps and other backline for musicians to choose from, with 2 complete drum kits, one being set up whilst the other was in action, keeping the changeovers neat and tidy.
Being primarily a daylight gig, it wasn't a lighting intensive show, but a careful amount of daylight fill was needed to lift faces and enhance all the performers for the cameras.
The rig was designed by Lucky Nkosi. Two straight trusses - front and back - were rigged from the roof, and onto these was hung 72 Chauvet LED PARs, 16 Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs, 12 Robe ColorSpot 2500E ATs, 4 x 4-cell Molefeys and 8 bars of ACLs. All these were run off an Avolites Pearl 2008 desk operated by Nkosi.
Gearhouse Power supplied 3 x 200KVA generators to run all the production, plus a 100 KVA to provide rigging power during the build, which started exactly a week before the show, utilising 32 Gearhouse crew plus locals.
For more press information on Gearhouse South Africa, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888/[email protected] To contact Gearhouse direct, call Robyn D'Alessandro on +27 (0) 11 482 8981/ +27 (0)83 607 3010 [email protected] or check www.gearhouse.co.za