Shambala Festival Cabaret Tent

Igoe PA hire provides sound & lighting for the cabaret tent at Shambala Festival 2007.

This event was engineered by Ben & Alex

Diary 24/08/07

We loaded in on the Wednesday evening. The stripy red & blue cabaret tent had a program of events about as diverse as can be, everything from live bands to trapeze artists.

The tent had a Russian theme and featured one of the largest on-site bars; the “SickKool and Hammered bar”. The decor was fabulous with a huge neon sign, giant hammer & sickles hanging from the top of the structure, countless red drapes and huge wooden cut out Russian figures.

Hammer & Sickool

The sound system we supplied here was a monster. We had six 18″ sub cabinets running along the front of the stage and two double 15″ subs on either side. We then had eight 12″ full range cabs stacked up either side of the stage. The amp rack consisted of five cs4000 and three pv2600 amps with a dbx drive rack to manage everything. The total power output of the front of house rig was 13.7 Kw.

For monitors we supplied four 15″ wedges & four galaxy hot spots.

Lighting was a real challenge. We had to light the entire stage for live band performances but in addition we had to light the trapeze rig and most of the floor space within the marquee because many of the cabaret acts took place “in the round”. Basically we needed to be able to light performers in every corner of the marquee from every side and right up to the ceiling. This was no mean feat !! We achieved this by using four T-bar lighting stands fenced off in each corner of the tent. On each we hung eight par cans; two short nose with straw gels focused in mid air to light the trapeze artists; two short nose with straw gels to light the surrounding floor space. The remaining four cans on each bar were long nose; fitted with red, blue, green, yellow gels and focused on the stage. In addition to all this we erected some truss at the back of the stage with strobes, scanners, moon flowers and a haze machine.

In the control booth we had our trustee Allen & Heath desk, ten channels of compression, four gates, four reverb / delay units & eight 31 band graphic eq’s.


There was some deliberation between the tent managers on Wednesday evening over whether or not to move the entire stage round to the other side of the marquee. Because of this we couldn’t actually begin rigging up until Thursday morning. The organisers also wanted to hold a crew party in our tent on the Thursday night so we really had to go like the clappers. It actually took us until Friday morning to finish focusing all the lights.

Friday began with the “D’Archetypes” presenting some interesting musical material. Then we had Ivana Von Trapposki doing stand up comedy. This was followed by a two hour long variety talent show which became a regular occurrance each night of the festival. This took place in the center of the tent beneath the trapeze rig. It was a challenging two hours where we had to be prepared for any eventuality with no dress rehearsal – true festival style . Several of the cabaret acts insisted on being on the stage so we couldn’t do any pre setting up for the bands on later. We also had four spectacular unique trapeze acts to contend with.

Talent Show

The evening then took a bizzare turn with a ten piece rock orchestra called “The Irrepressibles” live on stage. We then had some more aerial performances followed by the headline act which was a French gypsy band called Mamienko who were excellent. DJ’s closed the days play.

Saturday began with, of all things, the complete transformation of the tent into a roller skate park with cheesy 80’s music. Woody Bob Muddy followed this with a comedy cabaret act that featured the violent smashing up of lots of old records. Then we had Lazy Gramaphone doing music, poetry & theatre followed by Ivana Von Trapposki with more stand up. Then, before the daily talent show we witnessed an accoustic performance by Guitar / Vocal duo “Casette Baby” which was rather good.


The bands that night where The “John E Vistic Experience” blues and country band & the Urban Voodoo Machine who are a Rock n Roll show band. The village disco completed the evening with some good tunes.

Sunday began with another round of roller disco followed by a repeat performance by Casette Baby. Then we had The Shambala Slam, three hours of urban poetry some of which was extremely good.

Le Pants

The Safari Show was up next with people dressed as animals performing to classic tracks. DJ Smerin (from Anti-Social Club ) hit the decks for a bit and then we went into the final Talent Show marathon.

To round off a great weekend of twisted & bizzare performances we killed the lights for a fire show.

The final band were called Transformer and they were superb. Playing live dance music with a real cutting edge sound, not unlike “Hot Chip”.


We had a great time. The weather was amazing, it was like the entire summer was condensed into this weekend. The staff behind the bar were as lovely as can be. Because of where our desk was situated we had our own private access to the bar ! which was good. :o) Although I’m quite sure Alex & I had the toughest engineering job on site. We often had to strike the stage with zero time to do so and deal with setting up for up to 16 musicians on stage at once some acts with two drum kits. We had to light performers in every corner of the marquee and deal with so many changes, countless different CD’s to cue up, hundreds of little five minute acts all needing different bits of equipment – basically pulling this off proves we can manage anything !

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