The CPL crew led by Lee Gruszeckyj were “delighted” to be back working on a festival site again, providing video design and production for Camper Calling 2021 – a festival taking place over four days at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire during the UK’s August bank holiday weekend.
The festival, organised by Jazz Events, saw CPL working via Urban Audio Productions who supplied a video equipment package comprising screens, cameras, and control. The last event was in 2019, and each year the production values and scale of Camper Calling are increased alongside the great attention to detail that ensures it retains its friendly boutique style.
The big change up on the video front from 2019 was rigging the side stage IMAG screens in portrait format, a move suggested early in the design process by CPL to frame artist close-ups and full-length shots. With this decision made at the outset, all the bespoke content could be tailored to fit.
The two IMAG screens each measured 4.4m wide by 6m tall and were complemented by five columns of screen onstage which were varying widths – tapering down as they went offstage with a 4.8m drop.
All the screens were from CPL’s stock of ROE Visual CB5. A total of 115 LED panels were driven by Brompton Technology SS40 processors and XD boxes for distribution, running via a fibre system with loop redundancy.
Three operated Sony HXC 100 HD cameras were positioned, two either side of the FOH platform – for cross shooting – and one hand-held in the pit.HD camera feeds were augmented with three hot-head remote sources, two deployed above the stage area at the top of the front legs, with a third on a mobile tripod which could be finally positioned once the different band’s blacklines were in place.
CPL had a visual cabin operational HQ set up backstage into which they built a custom control unit based around a Barco E2 switcher for screen management. A disguise media server was used for various artist graphics and content as well as for public announcements.
As soon as the event was confirmed to go ahead, Gruszeckyj contacted performing artist’s production directly and asked them to submit material from which the CPL team created individual 30 to 60 second intro sequences to ramp up the excitement as they took the stage. As soon as each band hit the first bars of the opening number, the video screens all flipped to IMAG, and Gruszeckyj cut a mix using a Panasonic 410 with additional keys and aux’s to send different shots to the stage and side screens.
To fly the side screens, CPL also supplied six ProLyft ½ tonne hoists, while the onstage screen was attached to a dedicated truss with catenary wires and clips, as well as a full set of Riedel Communications Bolero for the crew.
The CPL team comprised Matt Dodd, Tom Wheelan, Simon Haydon, James Wagstaff, Phil Manson, Derek Gruszeckyj and Bernie Totten.
DMX control of the LED screen was provided to the lighting department, so they could adjust the brightness, and a fibre feed was provided to FOH for the Manics Street Preachers’ own video director to hook in their content, with a feed back to the video cabin for outputting to screen.
CPL has worked on Camper Calling since it was launched in 2016, and Gruszeckyj said that that although it felt a little strange initially – after the COVID-19 lockdown – being back on site with a full-on live audience giving it large and having enormous fun, it was also “very special”.