Gearhouse supplies a festival with a difference


Taking place in an active container yard in downtown Johannesburg, the Vivo Nation Festival provided a unique challenge for its technical supplier, Gearhouse South Africa. While the main focus of the event was the launch of the VW Polo Vivo, there was also a concert element with live performances from the likes of Cassper Nyovest, DJ Doowap, Black Motion and Kwesta.

‘The venue was the biggest challenge,’ said Gearhouse project manager, Jaco Saaiman. ‘It was the first time we had ever built a show and set up in an active container yard that runs 18 hours a day. Our planning had to coincide with the venue’s operation. Trucks coming in and out collecting and dropping off containers at all hours of the day and night and container handler machines moving up and down in the area we were setting up were just some of the aspects we had to consider while working there. However, the venue and staff were extremely accommodating and our work areas were cordoned off, making it easier for us to work in. The area was also extremely dusty which was something we had to get used to and prepare for as our equipment loaded in.’

Gearhouse supplied the stage structure itself as well as lighting, audio, A/V, LED, power and cameras for the main show stage. This comprised L-Acoustics V-Dosc and SB28 speakers powered by LA8 amplified controllers in addition to JBL PRX 515s and Clair Brothers 12AM stage monitors powered by CBA 4000AM monitor amp racks. Control came from a pair of Yamaha PM5D consoles while a Shure URD wireless mic system was also employed. The DJ setup called on Pioneer products with CDJ 2000 Nexus 2 players and DJM 900 Nexus mixers. 

The lighting system comprised various elements from Pasef, SGM, Martin Professional, Robe, Molefay, Tri Tour and Niso controlled by a grandMA 2 Full Size. Additional effects came via fog and smoke machines from MDG and Reel EFX and Martin Professional Atomic strobes.

LED formed an important component of the event with a large volume of screens used for playing out the bespoke content. This included 40 Lighthouse R16s configured as two walls of four panels wide x three panels high, 96 Radiant MC7 panels, 360 RS1200 panels, and 187 Radiant CB-8 LEDs divided as 38 panels for towers, 21 panels for the DJ surround and 129 panels forming the back wall of the main stage.

Away from the main stage, the Vivo launch saw 60 cars on site in a range of activations. ‘One of the activation areas was built as a drive-in,’ furthered Mr Saaiman. ‘Customers could get into the car and watch old Herbie movie clips while exploring the car. One of the challenges was to get the audio into the car instead of putting up a PA system outside. Due to the car having an auxiliary input we were able to treat its audio system like an in-ear monitor and we were able to play the audio through the sound system.’

LED was also a large element of this section of the Mushroom Productions and One Eyed Jack-organised event. To meet these needs, LEDVision, Gearhouse Group’s LED supplier, provided 91 Radiant MC7 panels configured as a 13 x 7 videowall to form the drive-in screen. In addition to this, 68 Radiant MC7 panels were used on the main stage around a car. 

'It went very well,’ concluded Mr Saaiman. ‘The main show was fantastic with great acts as well as superb lighting and visuals to compliment the launch and the venue it was hosted in. The activation areas were very interactive and informative at the same time.’ 

Story reprinted courtesy ProAVL MEA

Photo courtesy Mushroom Productions and One Eyed Jack

May 14, 2018

The Gearhouse Group of Companies