UK: On the same day in December that Britannia Row Productions (BRP) was providing FOH and monitor systems for the Led Zeppelin concert at the O2 Arena, the company was also playing a pivotal role in the naming ceremony for Cunard's latest ocean-going liner, the 90,000-tonne MS Queen Victoria. Sir Derek Jacobi, Alfie Boe and the London Philarmonic Orchestra were among the performers during an event in which audio was relayed via an Outline Butterfly array, writes David Davies.
The naming ceremony was essentially staged in the same temporary structure that stood in for Wembley Arena during its recent refurbishment, with a Star Hire-supplied stage situated at one end. The arrival of the Queen Victoria during rehearsals was a significant boost to event producer Robbie Williams and his team in that it provided a major wind break during a week of very poor weather.
The audio operation was managed by Derrick Zieba, who specified an Outline Butterfly system consisting of 24 CDH 483 Hi-Pack units, supported by Subtech 218s. "It's the ideal system for this type of show - small, discrete and lovely sounding," said Zieba.
The specification also included Outline T Series amplifiers, Dolby Lake processors and Sennheiser lectern microphones. Consoles were both Yamaha - a PM1D at FOH (mixed by Zieba) and an M7CL at monitors (mixed by Graham Blake).
Drawing comparison with the O2 spectacular, BRP's Bryan Grant observed: "It's a measure of the very diverse things we are asked to do these days. This launch was a Royal occasion with 2,000 VIPs in attendance; the music was wildly different from what was heard in the O2, but the pressures on our teams in both locations were evenly matched."
Queen Victoria has now embarked on its maiden cruise, stopping first at the ports of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Hamburg and Bruges.