The 2011 festival season kicked off for Sennheiser UK with a huge amount of equipment and the company’s technical support team heading to Carlisle for the BBC’s One Big Weekend. With the two days headlined by the contrasting styles of the Foo Fighters no-nonsense rock and Lady Gaga’s theatrics, it also saw the debut of the company’s latest Channel 38 equipment.
One Big Weekend saw 51 live bands and 25 DJ sets play across four stages to 40,000 people on each day. Sennheiser UK’s support team of Andy Lillywhite and Mark Saunders - a familiar sight at festivals throughout the UK - were on hand to lend technical assistance and expertise to Britannia Row and Adlib Audio, who respectively provided the audio equipment for the Main and In New Music We Trust (INMWT) stages.
The event saw a key milestone in the run up to the Channel 69 to 38 frequency switchover - the debut of Sennheiser’s GB-W format 2000 Series in-ear monitor systems on the INMWT stage. In addition, Adlib provided a complement of SKM 500-935 G3 handheld microphones, while the Main stage boasted EM 3732-II dual receivers with SKM 5200-II handhelds, EM 2050 dual receivers with SKM 2000 handhelds and EW 300 IEMs from Brit Row’s inventory.
"It was great to work with both Britannia Row and Adlib, helping to complement their experienced technical teams. It was also an important introduction for the latest switchover-ready part of the Sennheiser RF range, which Adlib kindly put through its paces,” says Mark.
In addition, the festival featured a number of regular Sennheiser users. These included Foo Fighters (MD 431 lead vocal and IEMs), Black Eyed Peas (SKM 2000 custom handhelds and IEMs), Tinie Tempah (SKM 2000 custom handheld), Nicole Sherzinger (SKM 2000 with 935 head), Ellie Goulding (e 935 wired), My Chemical Romance (SKM 5200 with MD 5235 head), The Script (SKM 2000 with 965 head), Katy B (SKM 500-935 G3), Professor Green (SKM 500-935 G3 custom), Two Door Cinema Club (e 935 wired) and surprise festival openers Arctic Monkeys (e 935 wired).
“This was the fourth Radio One Big Weekend that Sennheiser has supported,” Mark continues. “As well as supporting Adlib and Brit Row, it was also a valuable opportunity to catch up with a large number of the Sennheiser-using sound engineers before the big summer runs start.
“Andy and I were able to offer assistance, advice and, where necessary, on-site servicing to ensure that there were no problems with the two sound company’s Sennheiser kit. The debut of the GB-W format 2000 Series was flawless and, despite rain and a cold wind, nothing dampened the event’s success.”
“As a production, Foo Fighters has been using Sennheiser microphones and in-ear systems for over six years and we have not looked back since. The service and worldwide backup have been outstanding,” says the band’s audio crew chief Dave Poynter.
“Whenever we need anything serviced, or something new got to us, it has happened with in 48 hours. The Carlisle show was no exception and it was great to see Mark and Andy on site, providing the personal touch.”
Britannia Row’s Bryan Grant concludes, “Mark and Andy were there as a valuable part of the team; its always a pleasure to have them on site.”