Dubai Jazz Festival turns 15 with help from eclipse
UAE: Taking place over three consecutive days and featuring performances from music veterans including Tom Jones, Mariah Carey and Enrique Iglesias, this year’s Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival was supported on the audiovisual side by eclipse Staging Services. The audio system deployed by eclipse featured a similar design to that used at the recent Redfest DXB Festival but with some tweaks to accommodate the different venue configurations. eclipse supplied all the d&b audio main systems, consoles, monitors, RF, IEMs, mic packages and line systems to the whole festival.
As with past editions, the festival was held at the Media City Amphitheatre, a venue which the eclipse team is very familiar with. ‘We have grown comfortable with making the minimum amount of noise for tuning purposes at Media City for minimal environmental impact outside of incoming tour’s sound checks and the shows,’ explained eclipse’s head of audio, John Parkhouse.
‘The system configuration we used here and at Redfest is more than capable of delivering a wholly immersive sonic experience for the whole venue when its firing on all cylinders,’ furthered Mr Parkhouse. ‘We also brought in a few specific consoles from our friends at Delta Sound, as well as using some of our own and shipped in several items that are not available in this region from the UK. It’s very important to us that we meet the riders in full.’
According to eclipse, its audio teams manage big festivals such as this by allocating crew to very specific roles, allowing the incoming technicians to have targeted points of contact for the various elements within audio delivery. These include RF, patch, stage, system, FOH and monitors. ‘We always spend as much time as necessary communicating with incoming engineers before the day to make sure we have everything ready to go for them. Show days by their very nature are long for the audio crew, but while the long day is tiring, we always keep ahead of the game and ready for the next step in the process of doing everything we can to facilitate an amazing experience for both the tour and of course the audience.
In addition to audio, the eclipse was also responsible for stage lighting and video requirements. Although all three performers had different video requirements, the screen configuration did not reportedly change. Tom Jones utilised both the USC and IMAG screens, with content being driven via Catalyst through various lenses at FOH and on stage. Mariah Carey opted for a simpler setup with just the IMAG screens. The last day with Enrique Iglesias gave the eclipse video team the chance make full use of their equipment, utilising both the USC and IMAGs, as well as a further eight cameras to capture his performance, including two 72X lenses, two 22X lenses, two ROBO cams and two lipstick cams for the drums and percussion.
‘The biggest challenge was the changeover between the acts,’ commented eclipse’s head of video, Lee Worthington, ‘but the combination of great pre-production, pre-rigging on-site and a great tech team, made a very challenging few days relatively easy.’
To round off eclipse’s technical package, over 150 lighting fixtures were supplied to the main stage between the flown lighting rig and floor design. In addition, Enrique Iglesias’ lighting designer, Travis Shirley, requested extra kit to fit out the extended stage catwalk for the final day of the festival, increasing the overall fixture count to nearly 200. While the flown rig design remained the same, each performer reportedly required a different floor package, meaning every night the team needed to reconfigure the equipment to the specific design pre-determined by the various lighting designers.
Finally, eclipse also supplied all of the secondary power requirements for the festival, including the double-deck VIP grandstand, the main stage, all the food and beverage vendors and market areas.