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Friday 22 September 2017

Common People  |  Balter Festival  |  Isle of Wight Festival  |  Victorious  |  Bestival  |  Reading Festival

It’s certainly been a busy summer for our Media Technology students! Across the country, thousands have flocked to music festivals or other live entertainment events and our students have been there helping to make them happen in the South.

Eleven students worked with Vanguardia across five events providing noise monitoring services. This is an important service that involves liaising directly with engineers to ensure that license conditions are met. The students had to do a huge amount of running around – often amongst copious quantities of mud – using their knowledge of audio and acoustics to help front of house engineers get the most out of the PA systems. The events supported were:

  • May: Common People (Southampton)
  • June: Balter Festival (Chepstow)
  • June: Isle of Wight Festival (Isle of Wight)
  • August: Victorious (Portsmouth)
  • September: Bestival (Lulworth)

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The muddy festival ground and Me Trao remote noise monitoring system at Bestival (photos Ellen Bennion)

Bestival was particularly interesting as Vanguardia were using their state of the art remote monitoring equipment “MeTrau” across five stages. Third year Audio Engineering student Ellen Bennion helped setup the system; she explains “Me Trao works via Cat 5 and we get signal over IP. This gets sent back to production where all stages with a box are displayed via a screen and any changes that are needed to be made were communicated via radios and the deduction would be made at the stages we were stationed on.”

We received enormously positive remarks from the Vanguardia team, festival organisers and engineers alike. Apparently Marco Campagnuolo and Rianna Spencer particularly impressed everybody with their calm, capable, professional and informed approach to every situation. Seasoned professional Jonty Stewart from Wight Noise commented “I was extremely proud of all the students who took advantage of the opportunities afforded them and continued to cement Solent's reputation within the industry as a source of excellent, educated and skilled engineering talent.”

Meanwhile other students found their own opportunities to engineer at festivals. Lucas Roberts was able to work with an external company a Reading Festival as a camera operator and ended up vision mixing and directing one of the stages too! Lucas comments “Having done OBs with the university prior to this helped me on knowing how to set up the equipment I was given even though it was new to me. I was also able to use skills acquired in various units and these allowed me to manage the team I was working with successfully to ensure everyone had a good time and knew what they were doing”

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Camera operations and vision mixing at Reading Festival (photos Lucas Roberts)

There really is no substitute for real industry experience to contextualise theory and to develop the students. We’re incredibly proud of the continued professionalism they show and of their achievements over the summer. Well done all and thank you to our industry partners for providing such fantastic opportunities.