Edinburgh, UK (September 23, 2004)–UK audio company Delta Sound recently found itself once again providing audio for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Assembly Rooms, much as it has for the last dozen years. The Fringe is world-renowned for its innovative programming of performing arts.
The Assembly Rooms comprises of six spaces, with capacities ranging from 80 up to 750 people. For 25 days, the venues put on a marathon 56 shows every day, running from 10.45 AM until two o’clock the following morning.
The spaces are not used as performance venues for the rest of the year, so rigging, draping, seating, power, sound and lighting all have to be installed in order to provide a professional theatre experience for the paying public. Delta Sound’s brief was to supply a PA and foldback system in each space, with each performance area carefully tailored to the individual room.
“We have to be sympathetic in all venues; the aim was to have equal coverage in all areas, without it sounding amplified,” says Delta Sound project manager Steve Lutley. “The other big challenge was dealing with the different technical requirements from the visiting companies.”
This year, Delta supplied more than 100 d&b speakers, including B2s, C6s, E3s and E9s, with Midas Heritage and Soundcraft desks used to control the systems, and 40 Sennheiser and Shure radio mics. Additionally, 150 wired Shure, AKG, Neumann, Crown and Audio Technica microphones were available to all acts. This allowed the optimum microphone to be used, depending on the artist or sound engineer’s choice.
All spaces were also provided with audio playback facilities, including the VIP bar and main foyer. Delta also provided a central duplicating facility to allow artists to transfer their playback material between all formats.
Assembly Rooms technical director Olaf Mackenzie had 200 staff working for him, so Delta supplied a portable Motorola system to ensure all communicated with maximum efficiency.
“To know that 56 shows have just gone very smoothly at the end of a day, provides a great feeling of satisfaction,” says Steve Lutley. “When you think that this is achieved for 25 successive days, it really is one of the most challenging but satisfying shows to be part of. It’s an amazing credit to everybody involved.”
Artists performing at the Assembly Rooms this year included Ed Byrne, Jerry Sadowitz, Paul Zenon, Nancy Cartwright (better known as the voice of Bart Simpson) and a production of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest starring Christian Slater, Frances Barber and Mackenzie Crook. The latter has since moved to London’s Gielgud Theatre and opened on September 16.