‘Summer Party’ at Nottingham University is the largest and most successful student-only festival in the country! (According to Radio 1 anyway) What most people don’t realise is that it’s entirely run by students and even all the technical equipment and expertise is provided by students too!
TEC provided sound, lighting, staging, power distribution, site lighting and even the mud beating vehicles required at Summer Party 2009.
The festival consisted of 7 venues including a large articulated lorry mounted main stage, 4 enormous big tops and numerous marquees. The festival featured artists ranging from unsigned student bands to international touring artists such as Lady Hawk, The Futureheads, Pendulum and even ‘Petebox’ a local beat boxer who always entertains the crowds successfully!
The festival takes place within the university of Nottingham campus and caters for around 10,000 students just for one day. Unfortunately this year, the weather was not on our side as it rained torrentially for 3 days up until the festival began, fortunately it was dry for the actual event but then as Lady Hawke sang her last note, the heavens opened and the rain started again!
Since the festival is in a densely populated area of Nottingham, noise limits were a major concern. To combat this, we chose to use line array for the main stage front of house PA. We chose a Nexo GeoT system with Cardioid CD-18 subs which provided extremely high quality sound evenly across the entire audience whilst minimising noise spill. TEC provided engineers with a Yamaha M7CL48, a Midas XL3 and an LS9-32 for mixing Front of House. Monitor mixing was achieved with a Soundcraft SM12 plugged into a set of 10 handed pairs of PS15 monitor wedges. The lighting rig, run off a pearl expert, consisted of Robe 1200 spots and washes along with Atomic strobes, PixelLine and a Glaciator heavy fog machine.
The 4 dance tents made use of Nexo Alpha or Alpha-E stacks for front of house PA and used lighting fixtures such as High End Technobeams, Clay Paky Alpha Spot 575s, Martin Mac 250s, Mac 500s and Mac 600s, Atomics, Wizards, PixelLine and more.
Due to the bad weather the daytime events, “Intros Stage” and “Societies Stage” were moved into 2 of the dance tents that didn’t otherwise open until the evening. The intros stage made use of a Yamaha LS9-32 for mixing front of house and monitors and used Alpha-E PA stacks and PS-10 monitors.
Overall, the event was on overwhelming success. The artists, promoters and event organisers were all very happy with the service TEC provided and we look forward to doing it again next year!
Graduation Ball at Nottingham University is always a difficult event to provide sound and lighting solutions for. This is due to a number of reasons including unusually low noise limits and venues spread out around the site!
Making a white marquee look the part to cater for live acts can be difficult. The main venue at Graduation ball is a 20x50m marquee. In order to give the right appearance and atmosphere, it was decided that TEC would drape the entire roof of the marquee with black wool surge based Starcloth and also use black wool surge to cover the walls of the marquee. This provided a fantastic atmosphere both for the live acts and also for the 4000 partygoers attending the event.
The next challenge was to create a stage in the marquee which utilises all of the limited space restricted by the pitched roof of the marquee. To overcome this obstacle, TEC provided a revolutionary stage design as can be seen in the picture below. This was designed in house and the designs approved by the trussing manufacturer. This stage design which also incorporated a multi-level staging platform coped fantastically well catering for acts such as a 12 piece salsa dance performance, a DJ set from the Hoosiers, the Audio Bullys and entertainment provided by Joel formerly of JK and Joel.
The second venue also utilised a large 14m wide truss structure to accommodate the plethora of acts to grace the stage including a 6 piece jazz band, the Radio 1 DJ Nihal and a Rat Pack tribute act.
Now for the technical bits!
The first technical challenge is power; TEC had to provide power for each venue with backup facilities in case of difficulties. This was achieved by utilising 5 gen-sets including a twin synchronised 375KVa generator kicking out 400A per phase and a myriad of medium sized trailer sets.
Both the main venues shared over 52 intelligent lighting fixtures including Martin MAC profiles and washes, Clay Paky 575 profiles and High-End Technobeams. There were also too many Martin Atomics on site to count and lots of exciting effects such as Thomas Pixel line and Martin wizards. These were all run off a Pearl Expert and a Jands Hog machine.
The main building within the site was also lit using architectural lighting in the form of Studio Due City colours.
The biggest challenge faced at Graduation ball is the surprisingly low noise limits, allowing only 85dB outside the marquees. This problem was overcome by cleverly designing P.A systems for both venues. The main venue P.A consisted of over 20 Nexo Alpha cabinets as FOH and Alpha-E infill with Nexo PS15 monitor wedges. The P.A was distributed so as to achieve around a comfortable 110dB throughout the inside of the marquee whilst staying within the noise limits.
The P.A in the smaller venue consisted of Nexo PS15 cabinets, Nexo S2 cabinets and Nexo PS10 monitor wedges, again this system was distributed around the venue – utilising around 500m of speaker cable! Fortunately, the careful planning behind this system meant that it also achieved the goal of having a comfortable volume throughout the tent whilst staying within the noise limits.
All in all, the event was a great success and we very much look forward to working on this project again in the future!
For the Sutton Bonnington summer ball 2009, TEC were drafted in to provide sound, lighting and power distribution services to the students at the university of Nottingham Sutton Bonnington campus for their summer ball.
TEC provided 2 generators for the event which provided power to the sound and lighting for the event and also to the kitchens.
The headline act were Chappers and Dave from BBC Radio 1, for them and also the other acts, TEC provided staging in the marquee on Sutton Bonnington’s front lawn, a Nexo P.A system and a lighting rig. TEC also provided the P.A and lighting in the smaller venue for dance performances.
The event went superbly and even included a disco which continued in the marquee until 7am! The organisers were very happy and TEC thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make the summer ball a special event for the residents there – so much so that we hope to work on this project next year!