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Wigwam and Roland toast next generation at NewWine

Wigwam provided both NewWine festivals with its next generation of live engineers to operate 30 stages of equipment, including eight Roland digital consoles, writes Paul Watson

UK rental company Wigwam kitted out all 30 stages at both NewWine festivals this year, which took place simultaneously in the north and south of the UK. Wigwam’s next generation of engineers operated all the gear which included Roland M-380s, M-400s and a host of M-48 personal monitor mixers. Christian festival NewWine was established in 1989 by members of the Anglican clergy and the twin festivals attract over 30,000 delegates per year. Wigwam has provided the gear for NewWine for the last few years, where it gives its own young aspiring engineers plus volunteer staff from churches across the UK the chance to work with the latest equipment in a festival environment. This year, NewWine North was held at Newark & Nottinghamshire County Showground from 31st July to 6th August. Roland System Group’s Simon Lowther says it was important to back NewWine, which RSG has supported in the past in conjunction with Wigwam.
 “We thought it was a good idea to help up and coming people in the industry,” says Lowther, “and from a commercial point of view it was great to be able to provide these enthusiastic young engineers with good quality kit.” Rory Birch (pictured), a 21 year-old graduate of Manchester’s School of Sound Recording under Wigwam’s own scholarship programme, was in charge of the FUSE tent at the NewWine North conference in Newark. He was at the helm of a Roland M-380 digital console where he ran 24 channels. Roland’s M-48 personal monitoring mixers were used on stage and the PA system was by Martin Audio. “I’ve always liked Roland’s creativity, so I really like the effects on this console,” explains Birch. “It’s very easy to use; the fact that it doesn’t have a touch screen means that you can’t make clumsy mistakes, and I can control all the EQ and gain off a physical control.” Wigwam’s Technical Production Manager Dave Hopkinson adds that the young engineers must learn the ropes and the etiquette of the job. “The M-380 V-Mixer has been the subject of much interest; it has a simple intuitive interface that all the rookie engineers can get to grips with very quickly,” explains Hopkinson. “A lot of the delegates are also asking about it for their own church systems; the facilities are extensive, yet it can be set up so that even the vicar can operate it using basic settings.”