CPL (Central Presentations Ltd) supplied LED screens and all associated processing and vision control for two major stages – The Baillie Gifford Stage and Friends Stage – at the 2022 Hay Festival of Literature & Arts.
The acclaimed, high profile and ever-vibrant annual literature and “leading festival of ideas” was staged in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, returning for the first time as an in-person event since 2019.
This year Hay Festival celebrated its 35th year in style with over 500 dynamic ‘live’ events staged across 11 diverse days which included an impressive line-up of in-person appearances from Hillary Clinton, Svetlana Alexievich, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Stephen Fry, Nicola Sturgeon, Minnie Driver, Monica Ali, Damian Lewis, Jimmy Page, Damon Galgut, Ben Okri and loads more, uniting readers and writers together in a series sustainable events designed to inspire, examine and entertain.
This year’s programme launched some of the best new fiction and non-fiction and offered insights and debate around some of the biggest issues of the day as award-winning writers, policy makers, pioneers, and innovators from around the world participated, seeking solutions to critical issues from the climate crisis to global conflicts.
Each of the two CPL supplied arenas featured a central 4.5-metre-wide by 2.5-metre-wide LED screen at the back of the stage, flanked by two 2.5 metre by 1.5 metre portrait delay screens flown either side, all made up from Roe BO3 Black Onyx product and powered by Brompton SX40 processors with Brompton’s XD Boxes. HP Z-Books and Apple MacBook Pro’s fed Barco S3 systems which were supplied for independent mixing and switching across the multiple screen surfaces.
CPL first became involved as a technical supplier to Hay Festival in 2018. Project manager Mike Radford commented: “It was fantastic to be working on this thought-provoking and fun event from so many perspectives, apart from the great ambience and vibes and the significance of the interaction and events, it was brilliant to see the live audiences and feel that energy again!”
CPL was asked onboard as an LED supplier by Stuart Dowdell, one of the event’s production managers and video technicians.
The requirement was for crisp clear high-definition images, so The Roe 3.4mm screen was picked and the systems designed to ensure all in the rooms could clearly and comfortably see a range of PowerPoint and Keynote presentations, VT playbacks, live camera feeds, pre-show rolls plus sponsor loops and stings as well as information pertinent to the specific event or debate taking place onstage.
If presenters utilised PowerPoint or Keynote in their addresses, this content was displayed on the main screens, with live camera feeds going to the sides. If it was a talk or an interview with no video presentation, then all the screens showed live camera relays.
The versatile Barco S3s supplied seamless matrix switching to all screens with options of full screen and PIP’d content whilst the Brompton processors and XD Boxes supplied a fully redundant system across Fibre Optic Network.
A CPL crew went to site to fly the screens and set up the systems, ensuring they were hooked up to the provided playback and camera packages, and Stuart co-ordinated crew to run everything for the duration of the festival.
With a mix of presentations, discussions, debates, book launches and other events taking place during the days, at night these spaces were transformed for music and comedy performances with late-night gigs from Jarvis Cocker, Corinne Bailey Rae, Frank Turner and numerous others, or new comedy shows from some of the funniest people on the planet including Bill Bailey, Nina Conti, Simon Amstel and more.