Taking place over three consecutive days, this year was undoubtedly a monumental year, with a string of performances from music veterans Tom Jones, Mariah Carey and Enrique Iglesias. As with past editions, the festival was held at the Media City Amphitheatre, a venue which the eclipse team are very familiar with. eclipse’s Head of Audio, John Parkhouse explains, “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.”
The audio system was a similar design to the recent Redfest DXB festival with some minor tweaks to accommodate the slightly different layout. “This system configuration is more than capable of delivering a wholly immersive sonic experience for the whole venue when its firing on all cylinders.” Commented John.eclipse supplied all the d&b audio main systems, consoles, monitors, RF, IEMs, mic packages and line systems to the whole festival. “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.” Theeclipse audio team adopts a procedure of allocating their crew to very specific roles, which allows the incoming technicians to have targeted points of contact for the various elements within audio delivery such as RF, patch, stage, system, FOH and Mons, making the visiting production’s short time with eclipse as smooth as possible. John continues, “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.” He concludes, “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 the both the tour and of course the audience.”
Although all three performers had different video requirements, the screen configuration did not change. Tom Jones utilized both the USC and IMAG screens, with content being driven via Catalyst through various lenses at FOH and on stage for the live feed, while Mariah Carey went for a simpler set-up by only using the IMAG screens. The last day with Enrique Iglesias was when the video team could shine and make full use of their equipment. Utilizing both the USC and IMAGs, Enrique’s team also requested a further eight camera set-ups to capture his lively performance, including two 72X lenses, two 22X lenses, two ROBO cams, and two lipstick cams for the drums and percussion. Lee Worthington, eclipse’s Heead of Video recalls, “The biggest challenge was the changeover between the acts, but the combination of great pre-production, pre-rigging on-site, and a great tech team, made a very challenging few days relatively easy.”
eclipse supplied all 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. In addition, eclipse also supplied the secondary power for all the site lighting, which was a mammoth task as the team were limited to how many lighting towers could be used. The crew overcame this by using most of the trees in the Media City Amphitheatre to light up the festival. This time of the year, the UAE usually goes through a period of bad weather, and from the team’s experiences during their recent projects, they were aware of what needed to be done to prep the equipment in case of a weather change. The power department took extra precautions when wrapping the distros and the connections while keeping as much of their equipment off the ground as possible, but thankfully, the festival saw no rain or wind.
For his usual high-intensity, energetic performance, Enrique Iglesias utilized Stage FX and Laser FX to bring the audience an extra snippet of excitement to really leave them with a lasting impression. With the combination of Enrique’s performance, Stage FX’s impactful Co2 bursts, and stunning lasers from Laser FX “fans left enthralled”, commented Stage FX’s General Manager Arran Hopkins. He continues, “Supplying special effects to acts such as Enrique is great fun as they thrive on the atmosphere of the crowd, and giving the fans an unexpected thrill of Co2 jets, pyro and laser beams is just the nudge they need to take them to the next level.”
To round off eclipse’s full technical package, over 150 lighting fixtures were supplied to the main stage between the flown lighting rig and floor design. In addition, Travis Shirley, Enrique Iglesias’ lighting designer, requested for 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 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.