The Warehouse Project was back by popular demand last year, but curating one of its new stages, Concourse at Depot, required some expert know-how.

Depot has provided Manchester with countless musical moments and highlights throughout the last WHP season, with one of the stand out new stages being Concourse at Depot.

Broadwick Live put on the show, while Engine No.4 handled technology side of things.

For Spring 2020 the much-loved Concourse room will be home to a number of intimate ‘Concourse Only’ club shows that will run from 29 January until Easter weekend.        This period will be an opportunity for a limited run of the most forward-thinking promoters from around the city, including Zutekh Presents, Hit & Run, Michael Bibi’s Isolate, bass-line enthusiasts Crucast and Alan Fitzpatrick’s We Are The Brave, to take over the Concourse space. 

This series will feature a number of showcases, extended sets and artist curated line-ups with more shows set to be announced. For Tommy Sheals-Barrett, technical production director at Engine No. 4, the project was the culmination of several collaborative meetings.

“There wasn’t a specific, detailed brief as such, but it came together through several meetings, site visits and conversations with Sam Kandel and the wider WHP team, Engine No 4 and DBNAudile. 

“The idea was to create a dark, intimate feeling space where the DJ was completely surrounded by the audience. We knew we’d be seeing a good amount of vinyl-only DJs in this space, so it was essential we took this into consideration, resulting in us sitting the breeze block built, semi-permanent DJ Booth, on top of 5t of concrete.”

The booth that was created is a completely separate, isolated structure from the rest of the room and stage. “We kept the booth low to the ground at 1m high and then then built a 500 square foot raised area, decked at 2m, around the booth, which puts the DJ in the heart of the crowd. We spent about a week constructing the booth prior to production loading in.

“Initially our d&b C7 monitor rig was a ground stack but after a few weeks we ended up flying this to allow better sightlines for the raised area whilst giving a more direct audio source for the DJ. The nature of the construction of the Booth has also been a massive help allowing full range sub bass without having any big dips in frequencies.”

The rigging at Mayfield Depot provided a challenge. “It’s an old Victorian warehouse and there wasn’t much consideration during its design phase for its potential future use as a rave cave. So, we had to have bespoke rigging brackets manufactured. Every rigging bracket that gets installed takes two riggers an hour to put in as it requires brick work to be chipped away to allow the bracket fixings to sit over the flange of the beam. It’s a lengthy and costly process.”

The final result gives audiences an up-close-and-personal experience. “I think the fact that the audience can get so close to the DJ is brilliant and it really is about the music in this room. There are no crowd barriers, no video and no lasers or other SFX. The artist has to deliver a great set, which they have done on every occasion. It’s fantastic to see how a DJ reacts to this environment. The difference it gives to the personality of their set, in comparison to the bigger distances between themselves and the crowd on larger stages, is quite obvious. The same goes for the reaction they get back from the audience.” 

Audio system:

Main hangs: 10 x d&b J8/J12 (7 per side)

Subs: 6 x d&b Jsubs

Centre fill: 1 x d&b V7P

Delay line 1: 8 x d&b V8 (2 x hangs of 4)

Delay line: 3 x d&b V10P

Crowd platform fill: 4 x d&b V10P

Control: Midas Pro 2 console with DL251 Stagebox

DJ monitors/sidefill: 2 x d&b C7 tops (flown) + 2 x d&b C7 subs (floor)

DJ equipment:

8 x Pioneer CDJ2000Nxs2 CD Player

2 x Pioneer DJM900Nxs2 DJ Mixer

1 x Allen & Heath Xone96 DJ mixer

2 x Technics 1210 Mk3 Turntable

Lighting/dancefloor:

36 x Clay Paky Sharpy

16 x Clay Paky B-EYE K10

10 x Clay Paky Mythos 2

6 x Martin Atomic 3000 LED

40 x ADJ 32 Hex Panel IP

4 x Chauvet Colorado 1 Solo

Stage:

8 x Chauvet Rogue R1 FX-B LED Blade

4 x Martin Atomic 3000 LED

12 x Showtec Sunstrip Active DMX

Control:

Avolites Arena

Effects:

1 x MDG Me1 Hazer

2 x Jem ZR44 Smoke Machine

2 x Martin AF1 Fan