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.
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!
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.
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.
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!.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂