Washington, DC (January 7, 2021)–Maryland Sound International (MSI) has provided live sound for presidential inaugurations since 2001, when George W. Bush took the oath of office—and despite having suffered looting and vandalism of its equipment at the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, the company is back to work, aiming to be ready for January 20, when president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
MSI confirmed Thursday that its team was back at the Capitol, assessing the damage to determine what gear had been stolen and what was vandalized on site, noting that rioters had covered much of the remaining audio equipment and surroundings in fecal matter.
When the riot broke out Wednesday, MSI had a crew of eight at the U.S. Capitol Building, working on the weeks-long production load-in necessary to hold the inauguration. Nearby, President Trump held a rally that morning to protest Congress’ certification of the electoral college vote inside the Capitol Building. Before returning to the White House, Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol—an effort which quickly devolved into a riot as thousands of people overwhelmed security, with hundreds breaking into the building, forcing the Congress and vice president Mike Pence to evacuate. In addition to violence and vandalism in and around the building, bombs were found and defused onsite, and five people died as a result of the riot, including a woman shot by U.S. Capitol Police, a U.S. Capitol police officer, and three others who had medical emergencies, according to Washington Police. The rioters surrounded the building for hours until authorities regained control of the Capitol and surrounding area, after which Congress concluded its electoral vote certification.
While the MSI team was unharmed, the same could not be said for the company’s audio equipment. Some of MSI’s equipment that was looted wound up appearing in news coverage of the riot, most notably as one wayward rack lid was stolen to be used as a shield/weapon inside the Capitol building, where it was later abandoned.
Other TV news footage revealed looters taking off with a heavy cable trunk before eventually leaving it behind blocks away on Third Street, where it was recovered by the MSI team Thursday morning. MSI now faces having to replace an extensive amount of pro-audio equipment in order to be ready for the inauguration, less than two weeks away.
An MSI spokesperson speaking on behalf of owner Bob Goldstein noted that the company was “looking forward to completing the job we were hired to do, and are hoping everything moves forward in a positive fashion.”
Maryland Sound International • http://www.marylandsound.com