Canary Wharf underground station was transformed for large-scale reception for transport industry professionals on the 23rd of May, with Dobson Sound Productions brought in by Fisher Productions to provide the live sound requirements for the event. Following the International Public Transport Conference (UITP) at Earls Court, some 2000 delegates from around the world were invited to Canary Wharf station to observe a showcase example of an underground station. The station, designed by Fosters & Partners, remained open to the public during the entire day, which meant stringent observation of health & safety requirements during the build of the event so as not to endanger the public at any time.

The system, designed by Dobson director David Lewis, consisted of some 40 speakers arranged across the East Ticket Hall level of the station, and the Mezzanine above. The original concept was for a system of 20 delayed d&b C6 speakers to the Ticket Hall, with d&b 12 E3s used as in-fills, and an additional 8 delayed d&b E9 speakers placed on the Mezzanine Level. The system was operated by Dave Guerin, with Richard ‘Basil’ Ferneley acting as system engineer, although as it turned out, it was not at all the system on the original plans - David Lewis explains further: "Whilst we had a fully designed system that we intended to use for the event, further health and safety implications required a total re-design of the system once we were on site. But I suppose it was all part of the challenge of working in an environment that remained a fully-functional station for the public at all times. We ended up with all of our main cable runs flown at a height of 3m, with short break-outs to the clusters of speakers. Whilst the mic input side of the job was relatively small, the challenge was in planning the separation of signals to the correct speakers and being very aware of the routes we could and couldn't use to run cables."

"As Dave Guerin commented at one point, 40 speakers on a rock n' roll gig would be considered a fairly substantial rig and therefore quite complex to set up, yet in reality 40 speakers on a number of different taps, spread out over some 150m of station, is far bigger feat to achieve. Also, as a result of the station remaining functional, access to the space was something of an issue. We couldn't use lifts or escalators, no such luck! Instead we had to lug 40 flightcases weighing a total of 3500kg down a series of staircases leading from ground level to the ticket hall, some 30m below! But it's all part of the fun."

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