In September, Entec renewed its association with the exhibitions division of Future PLC to deliver sound and lighting equipment to UK Guitar Show and the London Bass Guitar Show.
Moving this year from Olympia to the Business Design Centre in Islington, the twinned event allows hundreds of manufacturers and tutors to demonstrate their goods and services to the retail trade, musicians and fans alike. The show saw Entec work with production manager Pete Witham to equip five stages that showcased a programme of musical performances, showcases and masterclasses.
Entec originally became involved with Future plc after winning a tender against two rival firms. The UK Guitar Show and the Lond Bass Guitar Show marked Entec’s fourth event for Future in just over a year.
Peter Witham said: “Entec was mainly given the contract because it was able to provide a complete range of sound, lighting and some elements of staging, unlike the other companies we approached,”
“Although hiring Entec was initially a decision driven by available equipment stock, location and pricing, once I got to know Noreen O’Riordan, Jonny Clark and the rest of the team at Entec, I soon realised that I was dealing with like-minded people who were as keen as myself on delivering the best possible event.”
The Entec-supplied stages featured appearances by Devin Townsend, Nick Beggs, Paul Gilbert, Eric Gales, John Patitucci and Big Country’s original bassist Tony Butler. The Auditorium presented showcases at just £5 per ticket; the A Stage offered competitions and medium-sized performances; the MusicRadar Stage held masterclasses from leading tutors and two smaller venues; and the Bass Stage and Guitar Techniques Stage hosted intimate tutoring sessions.
Along with a number of microphone models and wireless equipment allocated throughout the performance areas, the audio specification for the main auditorium included a Midas PRO1 24/16 FOH console, a DiGiCo SD12 monitor desk and SD-Rack, a d&b V-Series PA (comprising eight V12s and six cardioid V-SUBs) and six d&b M4 floor monitors.
For the A Stage, Entec provided a combination of d&b C7 tops and subs, with a pair of Y10P cabinets, with a DiGiCo SD11iB console and four M4 wedges. The Bass stage had a Yamaha LS9 16-channel desk used to mix through a d&b Y10P system with a pair of QSC K8 1kW active speakers for foldback, while a Yamaha QL1 did this same function in the Guitar Workshop, again with Y10Ps but with d&b E8s on stage.
Entec’s lighting team selected a raft of Selecon Acclaim fresnels fitted with barn doors and rigged on Manfrotto Wind-Up stands, numerous bars of six Thomas lamps, lighting consoles and dimmer packages. On the MusicRadar stage, the company provided a 90-inch plasma screen.
The crew included James Jewry, who has worked on every show produced by Future to date, monitor engineer Emma Wood, MusicRadar stage technician Tom Olorenshaw, Bass Stage tech Rik Hart and patch technician Colin Woodward. The amount of staging required for the event meant the company had to hire additional services from John Henry’s, while Redbeard Touring Support supplied an additional five crew as stagehands and stage managers.
Pete summerised his work with Entec by saying: “The great thing about Entec’s west London location is that additional equipment can be ordered and often delivered within the hour, and that has happened a few times when we’ve needed something like a rack of power amps at very short notice. They always get their own trucking sorted so that’s another thing I can cross of my to-do list. Aspects such as these are so helpful and contribute greatly to a successfully-run event.
“In my mind, Entec absolutely define the word ‘support’. When senior management are immediately accessible and listen carefully to your requests, you know you’re working with people who really care. I wouldn’t even bother to take this contract to tender if policy did not determine it, because I just know I’m in the right hands. If I’ve ever hit upon a snag, they get right on top of the problem and graft without batting an eyelid. They are precisely the kind of people you want on your side.”