Food Festival

The annual Croydon food festival in 2015 attracted record crowds in the town’s restaurant quarter, which was closed to traffic for the day. I engineered six acts on stage two, situated at street level in the centre of the event. The organisers, White Label Creative, provided a full technical spec of the bands to perform the event, a small PA system, mixing console and audio equipment, which I checked was fully working a couple of days before the gig.

The Event

EVENT INFORMATION: Audience of over 10,000 coming and going over one day

GIG: Sound engineer, live music stage two, set up and close down

DESK: Allen & Heath ZED 10, 4 channel mixer

My role as engineer

On the day of the event, I arrived at 8am and began setting up my stage, which was underneath a small blow up marquee with little coverage from the elements. Assisted by the event staff, I sourced a marquee with adequate protection, a generator (which was not, unfortunately, noiseless!), crowd barriers and a small table.

From there I set up the PA system, microphones, mic stands, the desk, power and all other equipment to be prepared for the acts to arrive. With radio communication available, I was able to run the stage on my own and contact the organisers when I required extra equipment such as microphone stands (as the two stages had to share some).

As my first outdoor engineering event, I was keen to test my skills against tight turnarounds and with diverse acts and instruments. These ranged from alternative rock three-piece Tenyson and celtic folk rockers Homebrood, to the Meyer Jazz Quartet and the Soul Symphony Choir, which had over fifteen singers in total. That was a challenge!

Other than some cancellations and late comers forcing the stage to run over, the event went smoothly and I was packed down and had all borrowed equipment back by the agreed end time of 8pm.

“Max was a pleasure to work with on the South End Food Festival 2015. He went above and beyond to support the event and ensure that he was familiar with our line up and equipment before arriving. He negotiated all the difficulties of running an outdoor event showing great initiative and an excellent ability to solve problems. Working well with the performers, he made each act sound brilliant and maintained control of the stage schedule despite several last minute changes and weather issues. The acts were very varied, requiring the stage to be completely re-coordinated after each set, but Max relieved much of our pressure as event managers by being so competent and working independently throughout what was a very long day!”

Bonnie Stephensmith

Event Coordinator, White Label


Festival Trailer