MTV Staying Alive concert
Thursday, 19 December 2002
MTV Staying Alive concert
The MTV Staying Alive concert, in Association with YouthAids, and staged at Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium in late November, proved a major success with over 20.000 people witnessing the event live and millions more watching an edited version on television channels the world over.

Three of the world’s most successful music stars headlined the event, which was held to create awareness of HIV/Aids, as well as encourage tolerance of those affected by the disease. Alicia Keys, Usher and P. Diddy were joined by homegrown stars Mandoza, Zola, 101, Danny K, Bianca Le Grange and DJ Ready D.

Gearhouse South Africa was contracted to provide lighting, sound, structures, audio-visual, rigging and power. The SABC (South African Broadcast Corporation) filmed the show on behalf of MTV, for its MTV Presents Levi’s Jeans Staying Alive Concert In Association With YouthAids 90-minute special which premiered on MTV on December 1, as well as on SABC 1 and more than 60 other terrestrial broadcasters around the world. Gearhouse director, and one of the country’s top live production designers, Tim Dunn was behind the controls while the company’s Johannesburg and Cape Town branches supplied all the equipment, along with the technical team to run the show.

Visually, the stage was impressive and focused on the theme of HIV/Aids Awareness. Backdropped by a huge red Aids ribbon set against a white background (which was constructed locally to international design specification), two massive daylight screens were mounted prominently on the stage. It proved to be highly effective with those in the crowd able to keep their focus on the stage whenever the stars were in performance. A long side stage was also provided, which most artists used. Another daylight screen was mounted behind the engineers’ set-up and being a delay screen with delay speakers, it meant that those not in the ‘golden circle’ were able to be well and truly part of the action - even on a surprisingly blustery and cold Cape summer’s evening.

Lighting requirements were extensive and included in the rig were 50 High End Studio Spots, 12 High End Technobeams, 300 Parcans, and much more. On the audio side, the set-up was equally impressive: 64 stacks of Turbosound Flashlight, eight stacks of Turbosound Floodlight, MC and BSS amplification, XTA system processing, and other audio equipment, were part of the set-up. And structures supplied by Gearhouse SA included a 25m x 18m Stageco stage/roof system with PA wings.

(Ruth Rossington)


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