ADLIB Audio supplied sound, lighting, and staging for 10 live venues at the three-day 2005 In The City Live & Unsigned event, part of the ITC international music convention and showcase held in Manchester last weekend.

ITC was founded in 1992 as a meeting point and a networking opportunity for the music industry, and as a high-profile platform for cutting-edge new bands and creative talent. Bands who first appeared at ITC include Oasis, Coldplay, and the Stereophonics.

More than 160 bands played in multiple venues across the city. For the largest stages of the event, organizer Phil Saxe wanted to upgrade the production values this year and called on ADLIB to set up an appropriate technical infrastructure for the major live hotspots.

“The best thing about using ADLIB Audio,” says Saxe, “is that they removed any anxieties from the pre-production right through to the events themselves, which ran like clockwork. We knew there would be absolutely no worries.”

ADLIB’s general manager, Mark Roberts, handled the production management and logistics. He worked closely with ADLIB Lighting’s manager, Peter Abraham, and ADLIB Hire’s manager, Dave Jones. The production team consisted of 20+ ADLIB engineers and technical assistants–one sound and lighting tech per stage–to run all the stages.

Roberts worked with backline suppliers STS and Handball who supplied all the local crew. Bands could bring their own rig elements only if it was minimal and properly negotiated with Roberts. “The idea was to keep the changeovers slick, quick, and simple,” he says. “And it was also good for everyone to have a level playing field.”

The smallest stages featured 3k ADLIB FD PA systems compete with a 16-channel mixer and four wedges on two mixes, ranging up to the larger systems with two stacks of Nexo Alpha per side, a Soundcraft Series 4 desk with eight wedges on a four-way mix.

Lighting consisted of six Intelligent Lights with 12 PAR cans for the larger stage rigs, and basic lighting kits for the smaller spaces.

Producing a mulitple stage event presented the usual challenges, explains Roberts, “Individually they are all simple sound, lighting and staging systems, but when you start fitting the whole event together you realize how involved and complex it is.”