Dobson Sound for Farm Aid
Thursday, 3 May 2001
A glittering array of stars and a sell-out audience of 5,000 joined Prince Charles at the Daily Mail Farm Aid concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall earlier this month, which raised more than £350,000 for farmers affected by the Foot and Mouth crisis. The concert was the brainchild of classical music patron Jackie Rosenfeld OBE, who - with the help of experienced fund-raiser Maggie Heath and publicist Aurelia Stephenson - organised the evening in just four weeks. Dobson Sound was brought in by production team Unusual Services to design and operate the sound system for the gala event, which was based around the 96-piece London Philharmonic Orchestra accompanying virtuoso performances from the Royal Ballet, opera singer Kim Cresswell, humorous singer Dillie Keane, and comedy duo Kit and the Widow. The evening was hosted by Angela Rippon and Robert Powell and featured contributions from Selina Scott and Frederick Forsyth among others. Paul Dobson from Dobson Sound commented: "I was very pleased to be working with the Unusual team again. The combination of Alan Jacobi producing, Dougie Squires directing, and John del Nero looking after sound with us is a tried and tested formula, especially in the Royal Albert Hall. Even though we only had three weeks to put everything together, it went pretty smoothly."

The system put together by Dobsons and freelance designer and engineer Ali Viles comprised a central cluster of d&b C4 cabinets with C7 underhangs. More C7s were flown for choir stall infills while a number of E3s across the front of the stage acted as stagefills. B2s provided the sub-bass requirements. A couple of Midas Heritage 3000 mixers, managed by engineer Paul Stannering, were on FOH duty to cater for the massive number of inputs required for the orchestra and performers. In addition to the hardware, Dobsons also provided a full team of system engineers who were responsible for both set-up and operation. Dobson explained: "Security was extremely tight due to the attendance of the Prince of Wales in the wake of the previous week's post office bombing. The front of every single cabinet was removed, and every piece of equipment was thoroughly checked over, so we had to have plenty of people on hand to put it all back together again and make sure everything worked properly afterwards!"

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