10 days later, the 2UBE Extra festival is over. Over the past week-and-a-half, 28 bands and artists have performed in LIPA’s Paul McCartney Auditorium, supported by a technical and stage crew numbering more than 35, including 3 audio stations, front-of-house AV, a live broadcast centre and dual LX control (photos here).
For this set of performances, I have worked in a variety of roles on the video team, which was responsible for the creation and delivery of the live video stream as well as the projection of FOH AV in the auditorium. Throughout the festival I moved between camera operation, FOH AV operator and media server technician. The live broadcast encompassed 3 Sony NX5 cameras and 1 Sony V1 camera, as well as a remote-controlled PTZ camera. These were fed into a Tricaster vision mixer, which also multiplexed the broadcast audio and generated the stream, which was delivered via uStream. The broadcast audio was split from the source onstage and delivered to the broadcast suite via optical cable, before being mixed on a dedicated DiGiCo D5.
Front-of-house AV was run from a Green Hippo ‘Grasshopper’ media server and sent via Cat5 cable to our long-throw projector. More often than not, this consisted of band logos or stock content manipulated live by the operator.
Naturally, the show had its fair share of hair-raising moments on the technical side, such as the occasion on the final night that caused the show to start late — as the broadcast audio desk had crashed. After regaining control, the desk proceeded to crash twice more during the show1. AV had a few interesting moments, such as when the media server ceased to function — an hour before the start of the show. After (little) help from Green Hippo support, we had no option but to re-install the media server software and revert to old backups to regain control2 — a process that was completed 5 minutes before the start of the first act to require AV.
Still, these moments are what keep shows interesting!
1 The unofficial count of D5 crashes was generally held to be 12 by the end of the festival.
2 The official count of Grasshopper crashes was approximately 5, and the count of total re-installs was 2 by the end of the festival.