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IGOE PROVIDES SOUND, LIGHT & FULL LIVE TECHNICAL PRODUCTION FOR FARM FEST 2014

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

One of the highlights of the year has to be our production debut at Farmfest. This little (big) gig must be one of the best kept secrets in festivaldom. A two day event with bags of character on a fabulous site in Somerset. Good vibes aplenty were to be had  as 5000 people of all ages and from all walks of life began to descend to enjoy the entertainment lovingly hand picked to suit every taste.

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The acts were a mix of up and coming alternative national and international acts like Jus Now, Public Service Broadcasting, Brass Roots and Beans of Toast and then an intelligent pick of Bristol legends like Smerins Anti Social Club and Laid Blak. There were two main live music stages which we produced then a local bands stage and several dance music venues including one run by bristol promoters ‘Shapes’ bringing the deep and funky house vibe. Late night dance music venue “the Den’ was replete with a combine harvester DJ booth! Farm styles. 

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The site is a working farm but the main stage structure remains all year round. We were a little surprised on the site visit when the organisers showed us an old 7.5 ton trailer rusting in the middle of a field, Main Stage ? 5000 People ? at the time they struggled to get across to us how this did work well and fitted in with the look and feel of the event  (agricultural shabby chic??) but hats off it did work well enough and looked very much at home on the ‘Farm’ …in contrast to our shiny new FOH gazebo which in hindsight would have been far better being substituted for the rusty old tractor that was decaying in the bushes nearby!

Farmfest Smerins

 

We were going to use L’acoustics Kara for this event flown from two fully extended tele handlers either side of the stage which would have looked and sounded amazing but alas last minute constraints meant that we opted for the trusty old KF850 sound system rig on the main stage which worked out great.

Farm Fest Main Stage

Huw worked at FOH with the Midas M32 and Tim took charge of MONs with an X32 assisted by James and they nailed the live production here with Jake busking lights on his Chamsys wing.  

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We also supplied full live technical production in the 1000 capacity big top second stage tent which was definitely too full during the Beans on Toast set – he had the biggest crowd of the weekend. Here we supplied four stacks of EAW AS490 with Midas control and more kick ASS wedges for monitors. Ben Igoe drove FOH and George Chandler worked MONS here with brilliant new comer to Igoe Bob Leadbetter patching the stage, lighting op was Tom & Jake in the evening when this tent became the main live venue on site.

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Igoe 2014 summer productions kick off at a pace!

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Igoe stage, sound and light 2014 began with a punishing schedule of stage hire gigs pushing us to complete capacity right from the off. We put together a crack team of the best experienced guys from 2013 and introduced new crew some of who have gone on to become superb! (You know who you are)  

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Happy Days festival was our first big gig of the year. Now in its forth year we are proud to support an event with such a stunning line up of world class acts from the 70’s and 80’s. We supplied our 10m Stage again this year on its first outing. The event sound reinforcement come in the form of a D&B Q series line array with Matt Pod at the helm and Henry ‘lightwave’ on LX.

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The  most notable event for us during the build was a spectacular hail storm the likes of which none of us had ever seen in this country before with marble sized balls of ice raining down that had us diving for cover under the half built stage! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on this event and thanks to Matt and Pod Sound for having us back for a second year.

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As a complete contrast this was followed the very next weekend by the Smethwick International Mela which is fast becoming one of the UK’s biggest Asian music festivals. Thousands turned out to somewhat overcast day that was brightened by some wonderful live music, singing and some pretty spectacular dancing located in a park in Smethwick West Midlands.

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Here Igoe supplied technical event management and stage structure installation with full live production using the good old workhorse EAW KF850 rig with far too many (rather muddy) SB1000 subs as usual specified by Huw ‘Spenghead’ who also mixed FOH. Ben ‘Igoe’ the man himself on MONS and ‘Izzy’ assisting and patching on stage.

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Sometimes you have to be creative for that extra bit of height needed to get these bad boys throw it!

Our newly put together stage build crew really started to shine on this one. All guys gelling together really well and keen as mustard with the knowledge gained from the previous week fresh in their minds. As usual Glyn ‘JET’ (James Express Transport) provided our trucking solution for most of the work this year and is a true asset to our business.

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It’s worth noting that during both of these first three weeks of the sumer we also supplied our mini gable stage for several different events as well PA and lighting for various weddings, parties and sound and technical dry hire for other smaller events.

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Week 3 of the summer and we are back out once again with the large format stage but this time on home turf for Grillstock Festival at the Lloyds Amphitheatre. This year they had been taken on by Nokia as a sponsor so budgets were up, the stage size was increased and Nokia come complete with Utopium lighting one of Bristols finest who together with Audio Funktion supplying their legendary L’ Acoustics Kara line array with Midas Pro 2 at FOH. (Definitely the weapons of choice at the moment!) delivered on the sound and lx production.

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Have to say, the stage looked pretty epic with the branding wings and especially with the propane cannons that were installed along the front firing. Ohhh sizzle sizzle, get me a crocodile burger! Yum. 

Festival Style Weddings

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Festival Style Weddings are the kind of gigs we absolutely love and really want to be doing do more of!! (are you listening out there Universe!?) 🙂

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We are geared up to produce everything for a small to medium size festival and I’m proud to say that Igoe Stage, sound, light and crew are now responsible for many of the most prestigious Bristol events.

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But being able to provide this service for an intimate crowd of maybe only 200 people and to help a newly wed couple celebrate there new lives together in style always feels really really special… As a wedding concept, it creates the ultimate WOW!.

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I guess we are used to it now, but the scrutiny we are normally under, to conform to all sorts of regulations, the pressure to get everything exactly right on the day and to always be running shows to a schedule with zero margin for error can be quite stressful at times… to say the least! So it’s refreshing with a festival style wedding not to be under the kind of pressure we normally are.. and to actually be appreciated for once! 🙂 for all these reasons we are very willing to do these kind of gigs at a lower relative cost than with a high profile event.

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Last year we were contracted by a very lovely couple who were on a mission to create the wedding of their dreams! They found a venue, a field! and set out to create a mini one day festival complete with main stage and no less than 8! cracking live acts!

Lotus Belle Tents

 

Guests arrived to a champagne reception on the Friday evening and were shown around their luxury accommodation in the form of lavishly furnished Bell Tents. Our Lotus Belle tents can sleep 6 people comfortably and are super cute, cosy and completely different from anything you have ever seen before. This is next level ‘Glamping’ and really no more expensive all said than what you would pay for an up market hotel room.

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On saturday the ceremony was conducted in an attractive marquee – (our Stretch Tents complement a village of Lotus Belles perfectly). We supplied full technical support throughout the ceremony with strategically located radio mics with sound pumped through an unobtrusive PA system to ensure that every single guest could clearly hear every word and vow spoken so that everyone could enjoy the moment equally.

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You can never really trust the british weather and the bride and groom were keen to come up with a solution to safeguard there event form potential downpours.  So we opted to locate the party inside a marquee. This was supplied with transparent ceilings and walls to create the feeling of being outside, inside! and this worked well. The main feature of the whole event was kept a closely guarded secret. Inside the marquee we erected a false back wall which kept the stage set hidden from view

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until the big reveal!

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The sound and lighting production here was on a par with what you would expect from a medium size venue at a main stream music festival, no expense spared, and we certainly ensured maximum value for money here because you know what … we love it!… and don’t do thing by halfs!

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The event was a fabulous success… and as is often the case with these kind of weddings, the bride and groom want to become festival organisers afterwards! You go on such a steep learning curve about how to organise something like this that you really feel you should use the skills and knowledge you have gained and put them to good use. I can think of quite a few festivals have started this way!

Getting married in a field with your family and friends in tents actually costs less money than your bog standard hotel style affair… but it’s so much more original, more fun and ultimately more memorable which is surely exactly what you want!

Igoe produces ‘You Tube’ Summer in The City event 2013

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

We were booked to provide structures and technical production for ‘Summer in the City’, the largest UK event dedicated to the YouTube community hosted at Alexandra Palace.

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This was a bit different, somewhere between a gig, a conference and an exhibition. The event is designed to be an opportunity for creators of online content ‘you tubers’ to perform their ‘talent’ live (where applicable) and for their most loyal fans to meet them in real life! 🙂  Did you realise that You Tube will actually pay a very small fee every time one of your videos is viewed ? … some of these guys are making a living out of it!

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Some of the acts had a discernible talent that could be showcased on stage, ie good bands and acoustic acts (lots of boy/girl and guitar), theatrical and improvisation groups. 

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Far more popular it seems were the these guys who presumably just make videos of themselves talking. They weren’t really suited to standing on stage so simply stood on display in the auditorium while (very) excitable teenagers cued up to meet them, sometimes in the thousands!  The stage set often felt like a side show to an epic meet and greet, with enormous cues snaking all round the venue.

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The only way you could tell the ‘you tube famous’ folk from ordinary members of the audience was that when particularly popular individuals entered the room there would be a surge of people and deafening screaming with fans swarming and desperate to be first to shake hands with there internet idols! Theres a whole other world out there !

It’s a neat concept for an event because the audience is ready made online. Anyone who has (by fluke or otherwise) managed to get millions of hits/views of their material on you tube and have ‘gone viral’ as they say – simply places a small advert at the end of their most popular clips, advertising  “want to see this live??? >>> for tickets follow this link”  Brilliant! The 2014 gig has already sold out!.

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The demographic starkly represented the next generation of super internet savvy London hipster teenage consumerism with everyone having the latest smart phones and other gadgets at there fingertips, it was astonishing when we started to present the twitter feed on the big screens, the audience began producing several tweets every second!

For the ground support we used our 10m skeletal curved roof structure at 6.5 meters height with a 1.2m litedeck height and around 40m of litebarrier in front.

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We used a Martin Audio wavefront line array system with EAW sb2000 subs for FOH. The system was hardly tickled throughout but it wasn’t really that kind of gig. In FOH was the X32 ! – (dare I say it) but it was ample and did the job fine. In monitor world we used 12 of our kick ASS Wedges and EAW AS490 side fill stacks with our big A&H analogue and outboard. 

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It was quite technically challenging particularly with regards to the AV aspect as you would imagine with a You Tube video event. We supplied a 5m  x 4m high definition LED display at the rear of stage and 20,000 lumen Christie projectors either side rear projected onto fast fold screens.

The content was mixed live at side of stage with a fully equipped live editing suite with camera feeds, and multi media capable feeds located at a variety of positions on and off stage.  

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Lights were general LED mover washes, Molefay blinders and lots of Robe Pointe heads ! 🙂 we love Pointees!

Andy Hook got out his RC Steady Cam Copter and shot this clip hovering around the structure which I think shows off the tech in all its glory! 🙂

Thanks to a wonderful crew who really had to tough it out on this one! It was a punishing schedule with very little time for sleep.

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 By the end we were glad to see the back of Ally Pally but now we have all slept for 3 months so we are looking forward to more of the same this summer 2014! 🙂 

Igoe at Bristol Harbourside Festival

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Our best ever summer continued in a similar vein with Igoe very proud to provide stages and technical production for Bristol’s prestigious ‘Harbourside’ Festival. We supplied both main stage structures as well as sound reinforcement and lx: the live music stage in Queens square and the Contemporary Dance stage in Millennium Square.

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The live stage was very popular on Saturday with local bands and DJ’s playing to huge numbers throughout the day. I think everyone would agree that the highlight was definitely Bristol legend ‘DJ Derrick’ who performed his timeless dub reggae set (on a pair of mini disc players !?)  This was his last ever ‘big gig’ to an unbelievable 8000 strong crowd! We were only asked to cater for 2 – 3000 so this really pushed the limit of the rig we supplied for the job. Our FOH tech had people coming from the front saying “turn it down it’s ear splitting” and people coming from behind saying “turn it up we can’t hear it at the back!”  This is why ‘Line Array’ was invented! We will hopefully be able to push for that kind of solution next time.

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For the Contemporary dance stage in Millennium square we were situated next to the iconic mirror ball outside @Bristol.  We used our bespoke 10m truss stage system with a special rubberised (bouncy) matting fitted to the deck surface. We did have a spectacular floor lighting package that we wanted to use on this stage but before we started rigging lights the contemporary dance coordinator insisted that we mustn’t hang any lights at all at the rear of the stage as it this would detract from the performances and distract the audience, oh well.

This stage played host to a dazzling array of contemporary dance troupes who stunned audiences throughout the weekend. Our ability to deal with a different act every 5 minutes was tested to the limit with acts bringing us backing tracks on a variety of different media and some with last minute live sound requirements.  One notable issue was with any tap dancing acts who complained that the rubber matting was (of course) no good for their purposes. We solved the problem by striking and micing up a few pieces of spare Litedeck each time we had a tap act for the artists to perform (tap) on. 

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Bristol Harbourside 2013 was a great event. No one could have predicted the unprecedented level of turnout at Queens square on Saturday night! It must have been testament to a much better line up than in previous years and a lot of thanks to great weather all summer which lasted throughout Saturday evening. This was our first attempt at the Bristol Harbourside event and running two challenging main stages simultaneously certainly tested our capabilities. Huge thanks go out to all crew who worked on the event who absolutely nailed the production. I’m pleased to say that from a managerial perspective the job went very well with very few hick ups / problems …and thankfully our client seemed happy.  I’m hopeful that they will have us back next year, fingers crossed!! 🙂

 

Igoe at St Pauls Carnival

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

What a summer we are having!

This year Igoe is fully immersed into the fabric of St Paul’s carnival. This year felt like the best carnival ever with wall to wall sunshine and literally hundreds of sound systems and hundreds of thousands of people from all over the UK coming to dance, drink… mainly red stripe and eat… mainly jerk chicken.

It feels like the worlds biggest sound clash with every system trying to prove who can shove the most air. Lots of air moving but a distinct lack of detail in some rigs, but hey …who needs mid range for dub, reggae and house!

We supplied the stage, sound & light for the Kidsco Stage half way down City Rd tucked into the end of Drummond Rd.

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The vibes were good. Kidsco help underpriveliedged kids to get involved in music and this is a great platform for them to showcase their work, bless :). Only problem for us was that much of the material was not professionally mastered with levels all over the shop and every conceivable type of media being thrust upon us at a moments notice with a different act every 5 / 10 minutes. With a precision device like the EAW KF 850 every single nuance of imperfection is amplified to scintillating levels that were occasionally grimacingly embarrassing for us! All good fun though.

We also supplied stage, sound and light for Kev AKA ‘Real Deal” ‘s set up in the Ujima car park opposite SEED.

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Now this one was a banger! It was PHAT, PHAT PHAT !! All day long. Though I say it myself, we totally nailed the rig here and pitched it just right for the space. 

It was house music all day and people where just loving it loving it loving it! Like a hipster magnet, all the coolest and trendiest of the hoy-polloy were in attendance, a veritable trustafarian paradise 😉 only joking x

At one point there were around 60 shade wearing poker faced uber dude mates of dj’s etc trying to fit back stage. Tim had to have a word to get them out when one of them actually puked right next to the side of stage mixing position… yuck.

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The mess in the morning when we did our get out was indescribable ! Hopefully we will be back next year bigger and better and representing more Igoe style.

 

Igoe PA at Glastonbury

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

This year we had 6 different sound rigs on site. Liquid Bar in the dance Field, Bread & Roses bar in the Markets, Tollpuddle Bar next to John Peel, Lulus Cafe and Lulus Back Stage Hospitality – the VIP tent behind the Pyramid  Stage where all the headline bands go for a drink. We also had PA systems in the bar staff crew village and best of all we looked after the recycling volunteers tent we full live sound production.

Nothing compares to this

Nothing compares to this

So the Recycling Volunteers tent 2500 litter pickers are located in Toms field at the top of the site. We supply the PA and lights here. It’s the only place where Michael Eavis himself gives a speech (using our mics :)) to thank all these guys for cleaning up the entire site after (takes 2 weeks!)

Glastonbury London Underground – Spirafix Anchor Deployment

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

We took a trip to the South East corner of Glastonbury Festival to interview the inventor of Spirafix anchors. We are a distributor of Spirafix Anchors into the events industry and this year they are being used across the sites at Glastonbury and Boomtown to ballast the spectacular and lavish sets that are created for the late night dance arenas.

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The London Underground! One of the most jaw droopingly impressive set pieces on site. These structures have massive wind loadings and need to be pinned to the ground just like outdoor stages. Several structures in bloc 9 and Shangrila were underpinned using Sprirafix anchors as an alternative to cumbersome IBC Ballast Tanks.

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Anchors close up. Solid steel fluted ground spike.

Spirafix reduce the need for additional scaffolding formerly required to hold IBC ballast tanks. Time saving, and versatile. Amazingly you can sledge them through anything (including tarmac!), they can provide up to 2 tons of ballast of a single anchor and then they just twist out! Has to be seen to be believed. 
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Block 9 – what a transformation takes place! This structure normally has 16! ballast tanks with 16,000 litres of water! Not a good look for a Festival that supports water aid. This year they used re-useable anchors instead

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We had a unique view of the site a month before the festival just as the build was getting started. This place is like my second home and really has a palpable vibe to it …even with no one there !? must be the lay lines! 

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Or possibly the power lines!

Igoe Acquires Behringer (Midas) X32 ! Review

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Let’s face it! Behringer make budget gear and supplying . stocking Behringer equipment is somewhat frowned upon in professional audio circles, but  recently the company has acquired some big names in the industry, to include Midas, resulting in the launch of a new budget digital desk which promises a lot (at least on paper). Well we’ve put it to the test on a two day live gig to evaluate it’s qualities (or lack of).

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The Behringer x32 certainly looks the part with its dedicated areas well displayed in front of you at the top of the channel strips. You get a pre-amp section, gate and compression, equalizer and pan. Each section is controlled by rotary faders and buttons with a very useful “view” button that  lets you bring that section up on the screen. That in itself is a massive improvement compared to more expensive offerings from reputable names in the industry which will have you scroll through endless screens before getting to the one you want.

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The screen is nice and big and was visible even in the sun! By the side of the screen there are buttons that give you more control and access to functions like config, set up, routing, effects etc. Bare in mind that being the first time we ‘ve ever used it, the Behringer x32 proved to be very intuitive and relatively easy and fun to use. It nearly felt like using your DAW of choice but with a physical outlet which lets you control all the parameters with knobs and faders. Although we haven’t tried all the effects on board, the reverbs we have used were very nice indeed. Gates and compressors seemed to be very transparent and responsive with the capability to go “hard” if you really wanted to.

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All in, the Behringer x32 seemed to be a breeze to work with and coming in at just under two grand! with Midas circuitry and pre-amps… could it be that Behringer has finally redeemed itself? Of one thing you can be sure, it certainly gives the big boys a run for their money! But… does it sound any good?  Well, working in conjunction with a lovely EAW sound system I can’t say I’ve heard that digital cleanliness associated with digital consoles. I managed to get a nice, warm and clear mix with a good amount of punch where needed! I even run it quite hot at times and it handled the extra dbs more than well. After all, the guys at Behringer actually recommend doing so as they reckon that with the MIdas pre-amps it sounds even better when in the red! If you’re not a novice to the digital world than chances are you’ll be surprised at how easy and enjoyable mixing on a Behringer x32 can be.

Alex Noferi FOH Sound Engineer – Grillstock Festival 2013, Igoe PA Ltd

Igoe PA – Stage, Sound & Light Blog Kicks Up Again (after an extended break!)

Monday, June 10th, 2013

IGOE PA Hire Staging

Wow ! it’s been a while. We here at Igoe certainly have not gone anywhere! Business is booming since we took stock of our outdoor stages and created Igoe Stage Hire the company has increased in size and market share and we are now able to offer clients a true turnkey stage, sound, light, power, crew and trucking solution for outdoor events up to 5000 people. And much much more when teamed up with our industry friends / partners. We continue to offer our service to the local area for live band gigs, parties, weddings, club nights and also now able to offer a comprehensive AV service to corporate clients which will shortly be branded under new company arm. (watch this space).

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All our gig info and pics of our work have been being published on face book for a while now. https://www.facebook.com/IgoePALtd From now on we will start to report on every significant gig we do here on our online blog. In the past few years we have ventured far and wide from the Welsh valleys to the snowy peaks of Europe and will gradually start to reprot on everything that’s been going on at Igoe for anyone who is interested to know about our company and what we do. With new bookings coming in thick and fast and last years clients wanting us back this year is going off with a bang off !!!

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