DiGiCo makes life easy at Pukkelpop
Monday, 3 September 2018
digicoMost bands took advantage of the house consoles
Belgium - Pukkelpop, held over four days at the end of August, showcases a variety of musical genres and also hosts theatre, street entertainment and food from around the world.
A major part of the audio production for this eclectic mixture of entertainment that has elevated Pukkelpop to being Belgium’s biggest and best alternative festival, is handled by production company PRG. DiGiCo was its choice of console for three of the festival’s stages including the Main stage, which hosted some of music’s biggest acts, including Dua Lipa, N.E.R.D, Arcade Fire and Kendrick Lamar.
The DiGiCo line up was SD10s on the Main and Marquee stages at both Front of House and monitor positions, and SD7s at both spots in the Dance Hall. Most bands took advantage of the house consoles, but if they did not, it was because they had brought their own DiGiCos with them.
“In the first two days of the festival, we saw eight SD12 brought in as guest consoles,” says DiGiCo’s Jaap Pronk who, along with the company’s Mark Saunders, was on site for the duration of the festival to provide the engineers with support. “One of these was Frank Voet, who came to Pukkelpop straight from the Lowlands festival. He mixed Warhola on the Marquee stage, then moved to Main stage where he mixed Oscar and the Wolf, which sounded fabulous. The following day he also mixed Bazart. All of this was made easy through his pre-programming of the console.”
PRG’s Patrick Demoustier was in charge of the engineers’ prep room, which housed both an SD7 and SD10, where he and Jaap ran PCs with offline software and session converters.
“In this way we could easily convert a session from any SD file to an SD10 or SD7 and implement all the festival settings in the consoles,” explains Jaap. “For those engineers that didn’t have pre-prepared session files, there were standard festival sessions already loaded as templates on the consoles, so the guest engineers only had to implement their track lists. If needed Patrick, the crew from our Belgium distributor Amptec or I could give them ‘speed training’ on the fly.”
With a session ready, the files were uploaded to a festival Dropbox. All FOH and monitor positions were continuously online, so before the guest engineer reached the stage, the file was loaded and working on the console.
Running in parallel with Pukkelpop was the Lowlands festival in the Netherlands. DiGiCo’s Dutch distributor, Ampco Flashlight Rentals & Sales provided Lowlands with an equivalent DiGiCo prep room, which was in direct contact with the Pukkelpop prep room. With many of the acts playing both festivals, having access to both Dropboxes meant that files were already on site and converted before the acts reached one or other festival.
(Jim Evans)

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