Gearhouse South Africa's Cape Town branch supplied technical production design, complete technical infrastructure including lighting, sound, AV, staging and power, plus 40 crew for the 3 main stages at the 2009 Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
GHSA has serviced the event since its inception in 2000. In that time, it's grown in stature and profile to become one of the most important dates on the Jazz calendar today, attracting a live audience of 60,000 plus across the 2 days.
Staged at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the event was co-ordinated for GHSA by International Sales Manager Philip Beardwood in the office, and on site by project manager Theo van As.
GHSA's main production designer was Phil Chames. Site wide audio design was undertaken by Johan Griesel, Audio Operations Manager at Gearhouse Cape Town, who also mixed sound on the main Kippies stage and oversaw all the sound systems.
Says Beardwood, “Having worked on an event for many years and seeing it evolve has been a great experience and given us real insight into the event and how the production values have grown. A constant challenge has been to keep coming up with new ideas to keep it looking fresh and different each year”.
The event was also another good illustration of the symbiotic relationship between the different companies in the Gearhouse SA group, enabling tight and efficient co-ordination and budgeting for the project.
GHSA installed a 10 metre wide by 14 deep stage for the 10,000 capacity Kippies Stage, the festival's main venue. The build also included assorted other structures like camera platforms, wheelchair access and risers. GHSA's sister company Havaseat supplied a 1500 VIP seating stand at the back of the hall.
The primary sound system was Turbosound for the bands, with an L-Acoustics V-DOSC system supplied for speech. Headliners included leading international and African artists like Ringo Mandlingozi, Jonathan Butler, Freshly Ground and the Stylistics.
The show was mixed by Johan Griesel using an Amek Recall 56 channel console, along with a 6 channel Soundcraft E6, with a Yamaha PM5 for monitors, mixed by Revil Baselga. The Amek has Neve input stages which give a great warm sound for Jazz.
The lighting rig was a 12 leg Ground supported rig with 6 flown trusses. The spec contained 36 Martin Professional MAC 2K moving lights – a mix of Profiles and Washes, and 8 Robe ColorWash 700E ATs, with a large generic rig of PARs, ACLs, ETC Source Fours and fresnels. The lighting picture was completed with effects like Atomic strobes and smoke, all controlled from a WholeHog iPC console, operated by Philip Chames.
The basic design idea for all the GHSA stages was to make the performance spaces as flexible as possible, offering a wide range of visual options and different looks to the various artists appearing, some of which brought their own LDs.
The projection system incorporated a Stumpfl 6 x 4.5 metre screen upstage, fed by 2 rear projected Christie 8K machines, with a Folsom Image pro hard disk and a DVD player for sources.
The second stage – Basil Mannenburg Coetzee - accommodated 6,000 audience and featured a lively line-up with appearances by Ndumiso Nyovane, Shakatak and Incognito amidst many others. GHSA built a 16 metre wide by 12 deep structure for the stage along with camera platforms and viewing decks.
Lighting was again designed for multiple performances and quick turnarounds, with 18 Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 700E AT moving lights, backed up with a mix of generics, all run through a Hog 1000 desk by Willie Bothma.
Systems tech for the Turbosound Floodlight sound system was GHSA's Darryn O'Connor. He used a Soundcraft MH4 console at FOH, and a Yamaha M7 was utilised for monitors which were overseen by Tom Gordon. The various different band equipment specs were trawled to ensure that the FOH effects covered everyone's requirements, and included a Lexicon PCM 91, a Yamaha SPX 990 multi-effects processor and TC D2 delay and M2000 effects, with BSS compressors. As with all the other stages, Gearhouse Audio also supplied a full mics and stands package.
The third area - the Bassline stage – was located on one of the exterior lawns opposite the CICC, enjoyed by up to 3000 people.
This featured another Turbosound audio system, operated by Izaak Greyling. Lighting included Martin MAC 250 Wash fixtures and 250 Entours, together with PARs, profiles and fresnels, operated by Hilton Carelse.
Philip Beardwood states, “Having worked the event long term, we have been able to hone the event down to a fine art over the years, which is the result of some great teamwork by our 40 crew and a great working relationship with our client, ESP Afrika”.