BLACKBOX provides festival solutions for events of all scales and one of the festivals we enjoy most every year is Shetland Folk Festival. Anyone who has been to Shetland can't help be aware of the disproportionately high amount of musical talent on these islands.
The festival is in it's 37th year and as well as attracting a large number of visitors from outside Shetland, the festival has a high degree of local support with most of the concerts selling out well in advance.
Visitors will also be overwhelmed by the scale of the event too with over 30 concerts spread over 10 venues making it easily the biggest Folk Festival in the country outside Celtic Connections.
BLACKBOX provides 6 d&b based systems for the festival including 3 touring systems which provide audio for concerts all over Shetland, sometimes on the mainland and sometimes at venues on the other islands. These small touring systems are designed to be capable, compact and lightweight so small format digital consoles such as the Digico S21 and A&H GLD with Cat 5 reel multicores are chosen along with d&b Y7p with V-Subs and d&b M4 wedges.
The largest venue at the folk festival is the Clickimin Leisure Centre Sports Hall which hosts 4 concerts over the weekend including a standing concert for Friday night revellers, a caberet seated Saturday night concert, a kids concert and on Sunday, the "Foy", a concert where the audience can see every band in the festival programme for a 15 minute spot with 5 minute changeovers between acts. As you can imagine, there is potential for this to go horribly wrong but thanks to a combination of excellent logistics and planning from a very experienced organising team and some well thought out processes from the BLACKBOX sound crew, things have miraculously run to time on each of the four years we've been involved.
BLACKBOX also supply systems for the festival club which is both the heart and hub of the festival. It takes place in The Islesburgh Community Centre, a converted school building with enough space to accomodate two venues as well as loads of sessions which break off into the former classrooms and can result in some great musical minds coming together in interesting collaborations. The festival club, of course sells out every night so early booking is essential. BLACKBOX supply a d&b C7 system for the downstairs venue and V7P system for the venue upstairs which is easily the busiest venue, featuring both the first and last concerts of the festival as well as many more in between.
The challenge here is the variation involved in the programme which can be anything from kids concerts featuring the extensive young musical talent available on Shetland, to quiet listening concerts early in the evening to the late night revelry of the festival club. Finding a system which produces detailed results at such a range of volumes has been a challenge over the years we've been involved but this year with the introduction of d&b's new V7p Point Source system, we felt we had found the solution at last. The other challenge has been to squeeze a monitor desk into a venue which traditionally hasn't had the space for it but which definitely needs it. The answer here, Allen and Heath's QU24 with it's extensive feature set and tiny footprint.
BLACKBOX Pro Audio is a trading name of BBPA Ltd Registered in Scotland SC 414527