Adlib Audio sent 20 crew and engineers headed by Hassane Es Siahi to Glastonbury 2007 to run the Circus and Theatre Fields and engage in oodles of cultural and meteorological interaction for the event.
Continuing their association with the Festival, Adlib supplied sound systems for the Theatre (La Belle Epoque), Circus Big Top, and Cabaret tents, and the Outdoor Circus and Outdoor Theatre (now the Dance Saddlespan) stage.
Additionally, they also had two mobile systems, one transit-van based, that were on call for various outdoor areas as needed. Engineers Carl Billington and Jen Waite battled bravely with the elements to ensure that this didn’t become the "immobile" system.
While the band and music stages are relatively predictable in what’s upcoming, there’s no such consistency of performance in any of the above areas explains Es Siahi, making the “other” performance stages the most challenging on site for providing audio. The next act can range from a 20 piece Samba band one minute to a fire eater, a juggler, or acrobats the next, “We really have to be prepared for—and not phased by—anything,” says Es Siahi. “And also be able to react quickly and efficiently in very tight changeover times.”
The Cabaret tent featured a Nexo Alpha system (M3 highs, B1 bass units, and S2 subs) with Adlib AA122 fills and a 40 channel Soundcraft Series 4 console at FOH, with a 48 channel MH3 onstage, complete with a full Adlib active/passive wedge monitor system and a full set of mics. This tent was run by Steve “Patto” Pattison on monitors and Ben Booker at FOH plus James Neale and Dave Cowell.
In the Theatre tent, Tom Fitzpatrick, Otto Kroyman, and Michael Flaherty ran a 6K Adlib FD system, consisting of four FD2 high packs, four DF 415 subs and a Soundcraft Delta 24 channel console at FOH that was also utilized for monitors.
The Circus tent featured a Yamaha M7 CL digital desk (the first time Adlib has gone digital at the event) and a wide variety of performances from contortionists to fire-eaters to magicians to breathtaking pyrotechnic performances, angle grinders, etc. The PA here was also another Adlib FD system. The M7 was at FOH, and this area was looked after by James Coates, Richy Nicholson, Ennis Senussi, and Neil Holloway.
The Outdoor Theatre (also known as “Dance Saddlespan”) took the wet weather in its stride and featured another FD system and a Yamaha M7 CL digital desk for FOH and a Yamaha LS9 for monitors. The sound system featured eight FD2 high packs and four subs and this area was overseen by Chris Suddall, Chris Smethurst, and George Kosar.
The Outside Circus area featured a small Adlib 3K FD system. The small mobile system was based in the back of a transit van and is always fun.
"It was almost like déjà vu," says Billington recalling the previous mudbath of 2005, adding that this and other bad weather experiences has left them well equipped both physically and mentally to deal with irascible weather.
The mobile team battled the elements determinedly and skilfully managing to get most places they were needed despite a few stuck-in-the-mud moments when all hands were summoned to help push the van clear.
Es Siahi says, “Overall the standards of what people—both performers and audience—expect in terms of technology and production continues to grow at the festival, especially in the theatre, circus, and cabaret worlds. There was a time when much of it was really acoustic, but now almost everyone uses at least one mic for their show and wants to ensure that they will be heard clearly and cleanly.”
The inclement weather saw the various tents packed to capacity throughout the 3 days, and ADLIB's well designed sound systems really came into their own in terms of coverage.