Day 8, The Boss at The Mill Hill Golf club. Where has the time gone? The festival seems to have flown by. Today was the first time we've done an outdoor gig at MHGC. We arrived at 1pm with a 1pm with a PA system. The sky was dank grey. The first job was to make a bit of weather and clear the skies!
Having done this, Stuart and myself set about building the PA system. As this went on, my festival colleagues attended to building the stage and setting up gazebos.
We then took delivery of cable ramps from HSS, necessary to get the PA cables from the stage to the mixing desk. These were laid. The next task was constructing a fence. I departed to the studio, I have an album to record. I returned at 4pm and set up the DJ station and got some music going.
The band showed up at 5pm. They had their pown sound guy, so I would semi get a night off. I would be doing the sound for the support act Aaron Gold, a local singer songwriter. I am used to my crew on such events. I always find watching other peoples crews a mixture of fascinating and horrifying. My guys have a set methodology for doing things. Other crews have a different way of doing things and this can be a bit disconcerting. The Boss set up and sounded good. When he finshed his soundcheck, I then soundchecked Aaron and then played music as the punters arrived.
Aaron was just about to go on when we noticed a speaker had gone down. A mad panic, search for cables etc and eventally we found a replacement. Aaron took the stage 10 minutes late and played a superb short set of acoustic music.
Then The Boss Stepped up. Initially there were sound problems. His crew were not familiar with our PA and so there were feedback issues for the first few songs. Sound Engineering is a complicated task. There is always some helpful soul to tell you to "turn down the mic". What they don't realise is that for a stage PA, there are 16 mics and four sets of independently controlled speakers. Anyone of these mics and speaker combinations could be the issue so there are 16 X 16 X 16 sets of options to rule out. That is why using unfamiliar gear is a problem. By half way thru the show, the sound guy had got to grips. By the end, the whole place was rocking.
Many people said that the night was brilliant. One group of Springsteen nuts said it was the best gig they'd seen apart from the man himself! Happy punters = a good gig. The golf club is a great venue and we'll definately be back if they let us!
We used our largest PA and full light rigs. So it was a long break down. The gig finished at 11pm and we left at 1am. Notes for self for the next festival. Bring more working lighting. Allow more time for PA soundcheck if band use own engineer. Bring cable tester, screwdriver and soldering iron!
And so we rock on to the final night.