ADLIB Audio and sister company ADLIB Lighting supplied sound and lighting production to the Manchester v Cancer show at the MEN Arena.

The star-studded line up included New Order, The Doves, Johnny Marr & The Healers, Elbow, 808 State, Nine Black Alps, and Badly Drawn Boy, and the tightly packed evening also included DJ sets from the Utah Saints, Tin Tin, and Mr. Scruff plus other local talent and acoustic artists during the change-overs.

A total crew of 19 worked in two shifts to separate the load in crew from the event crew. The load in started at 6am morning, and the show commenced at 6:30pm. With doors at 6pm, this left 12 busy hours to rig, set up, and sound check eight headlining live acts. To make sure all their engineers and lighting designers were happy, plus sort out the DJs and other performers, “it was effectively a extremely hectic one day festival scenario,” says ADLIB crew chief Dave Kay.

On the lighting side, ADLIB’s Pete Abraham and Ian Tomlinson were at the helm. They designed a generic system in conjunction with Dave Reason (DVD LD) to satisfy both the requirements for the DVD and to cater for a multiple high profile headliner situation. Some specials were added by New Order’s LD Andy Liddle to give an extra dimension for the headline act .

The moving lights were a mix of 26 High End Studio Beam PCs and 25 Martin Professional MAC 550s, plus eight MAC 2000 profiles on the floor. These were joined by eight Atomic strobes; 12 James Thomas PixelLine battens on drop down trusses either side of the upstage LED screen. Eight Studio Spot 250s on the front truss and 12 repositionable floor PAR cans were available for band key lighting. Four 8-lite Moles on the front truss and four 4-lite Moles on the mid truss were utilised for audience illumination.

The first half of the show was run by Tomlinson using a Hog iPC console, and the second half was run by Liddle using a Wholehog 2. ADLIB also supplied an Avolites Pearl for Dave Reason to control the key lights. Other visiting LDs were Andy Emmerson (Elbow) and Simon Watson (Nine Black Alps) who was also on the ADLIB crew.

Dave Kay sums up: “It was a challenging event for both sides of the company and timing was critical for the success of the whole event. Most band sets were only 15 minutes long with very strict 10 minute changeovers. Thanks to the professionalism of all of the crew and artists working on the day, we kept within five minutes of our seemingly impossible schedule. Thanks must also go to all visiting engineers, suppliers, and the production team for maintaining a sense of humour and making the event something that we were all proud to be a part of.”