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Tuesday 15 August 2017

It doesn’t get any better than this for a Live Sound or Audio Engineering student: an empty big top, three vans of PA system, lights and power, and three days to hone their craft with various artists across three days.

Truck Festival is now celebrating it’s 20-year anniversary and it was great for Media Technology students to return once again to design, set-up and manage the Veterans & Virgins (V&V) stage. As the stage’s name suggests, the line-up includes a mix of ‘veteran’ acts that have played the circuit – including Truck Festival – for a number of years and the ‘virgin’ up-and-coming artists supported by BBC Introducing. This year the festival had a capacity of just under 15,000 punters…not a small crowd!

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We arrived at the festival a day early with a coach of enthusiastic student crew, three vans worth of equipment and a mixture of academic and technical staff from the department. We are also lucky enough to have support from a professional events crew supplied by Event Production Serviceswho are a local events company owned by one of our own alumni Rob Nisbet. This gives our students invaluable training from a range of professionals with vast industry experience.

We put the students to work straight away and within minutes the flight cases are down the ramps and emptied into the tent. The PA is the first to go up, then trussing and finally lights. The students worked tirelessly to align the PA system, programme the lighting and setup the stage and backline for the music to begin. Over the next three days the students were in charge of stage management, audio patching, lights, front of house and monitor mixing. This really is invaluable experience in the pressure of a real world live event environment.

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This year the festival had a spot of bad weather but the show must go on and the V&V stage was praised by artists, punters and festival management for its professionalism and quality of service.

The traditional festival accommodation of tents and porta cabins wasn’t exactly luxury given the rain and mud but the students still had a great time and as far as we know only one of them couldn’t wait to go. Well done to all involved!

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