Sunday, 28 August 2011

Religious Event Outdoor PA

One of our bigger events that we cover in London, namely Eid which is the Islamic celebration of the end of Ramadan. A quagmire of a field in Fryent Park Kingsbury in North West London greeted us when we arrived to set up the PA Equipment for the 4 day hire. My son Barnaby was helping me.There had been a lot of rain that day and the van managed to get 'stuck in the mud' but after a few failed strategies  in trying to release it we finally were untethered from the mud and drove on up to the Marquee entrance where the hired PA was to be set up. The brother volunteers thankfully carried all the equipment in for us. We worked unshod as our boots were caked with mud and all the prayer mats had been laid down.The marquee had a dividing curtain in its centre as on prayer days Islamic tradition dictates that the women (Sisters) and men (Brothers)  are not congregated  in the same area as each other.There was a large stage where the nucleus of our equipment was to be placed.
We used a Konig and Mayer Ovation Pro stage lectern which has internal microphone connections . A small AKG C747 condenser mic was installed with  a cable running to our 16 channel Soundcraft mixing desk situated by the side of the stage. We were running 10 Electrovoice SX 300 speakers from
 2 x Crown Macro Tech Amps (1200 and 2400) The larger amp running 3 pair of speakers and the smaller one 2 pairs only.
We had the 2 pairs of EVs running on the stage both pairs placed next to each other. This increases the sound yield by about 3DB which is  almost the equivalent of having another speaker!
We also supplied a handheld Shure SM58 Radio microphone for general use and of course a back up cabled SM 58 microphone!
On the day of prayer itself (30th or 31st August) The Imam who leads the prayer will be kneeling and facing Mecca (which I think is South West from  London's direction). We will simply use a goose neck condenser microphone  mounted on its own floor base unit and positioned in front of the Imam to pick his voice up.
Back to the set up, Jalaal who is the leader of AL FITRAH and  runs these events was there running things!
Someone had left the industry sized generator on from the night before and consequently had flattened the battery (although it took a few of us to realize this at first). Luckily for Jalaal I had some jump leads and with my van in position we got the thing started and were able to sound check the system before departing. A gruelling set up which had taken us nearly 2 hours to complete partly due to the muddy conditions.
My son who had helped me all day and was starving so I treated us both to an 'Italian' in Kingston.
Kingsbury to Kingston!! 
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