India’s pro audio stalwart – Roger Drego – facilitates the biggest synergetic L’Acoustics system seen in the country to reinforce headliners Coldplay, AR Rahman, Jay Z and Demi Lovato along with other world class acts to enthrall Mumbai with breath-taking performances.
November 19th 2016 proved to be a monumental day as India asserted its solidarity with the world in fighting extreme poverty. On this day, the ever-vibrant city of Mumbai hosted the Global Citizen Festival India – a concert whose sheer scale and impact has arguably been the largest that country has witnessed till date.
Looked up to as a beacon of hope, the Global Citizen Festival is a music extravaganza that brings together music from the world’s most revered acts in an effort to raise social awareness on the pressing issue of extreme poverty across the world, and work towards eradicating this scourge completely by the year 2030. Initiated in New York USA by the Global Poverty Project, the goals of the festival have been closely aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – a “set of seventeen aspirational “Global Goals” to accomplish by the year 2030 – with Chris Martin (lead singer of the mega music group Coldplay) serving as the current creative director of the event – a role that he has pledged to fulfill for the next 15 years.
Produced by Wizcraft India, the Global Citizen Festival India witnessed a star-studded line-up of artists and performers, including bollywood giants like Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Arijit Singh and many more, along with international music’s hottest acts like Demi Lovato and Jay-Z – all of whom put up a show that was one for the history books. The night however, belonged to headliners Coldplay and AR Rahman, who stole the show and the hearts of the 85000 strong capacity audience with their individual jaw-dropping performances and of course the unforgettable duo-rendition of ‘Vande Mataram’ that set the atmosphere as electric as could be.
The music – Massive. The line-up – Massive. The gig – Massive.
And the sound? – Yes, that’s right – Massive.
Owing to its sheer scale, the event demanded a truly comprehensive and world class live sound reinforcement architecture, the likes of which was never-before seen in the country. And recognizing this critical need, Wizcraft entrusted this responsibility upon the shoulders of India’s one true pro audio stalwart – Roger Drego – the man who’s been the light bearer for the industry in India and been synonymous as THE GO-TO sound professional for the biggest and best gigs to have graced the country. Roger, in turn, chose Electrocraft and Sound & Light Professionals (SNL Pro) – two of the largest and most respected rental outfits in the country, to commission the live audio architecture for the Global Citizen Festival India under his mentorship.
Viraaf Sarkari of Wizcraft shares his comment saying, “The Global Citizen Festival India was always meant to be a world-class show – the likes of which the country has never witnessed before. The stellar line-up, the planning and programming, and the sheer scale of the event in itself, demanded a live sound architecture that would not just sustain the show, but would allow it to thrive. To support an event of this magnitude, we realized that apart from the tonnes of world class gear, we needed to work with guys who knew their sound well; who blended experience, aggression and tenacity; and who could rise to the occasion and overcome the mammoth challenge that we had vowed to fulfil. And I’m glad that we found this perfect mix through Roger as he bought together the amazing confluence of Electrocraft and Sound & Light Professionals!”
With Roger Drego at the helm, heading the comprehensive audio team and shouldering the onus of successfully pulling off the biggest music concert that India has ever seen, the Electrocraft and SNL Pro teams didn’t leave any stone unturned.
Roger shares his views about the process of bringing the audio delivery together Global Citizen Festival India as he says, “To work on a gig of this scale and magnitude was absolutely amazing. First off, we’d like to thank the entire management and organizing teams at the Global Festival India for bringing such an amazing concept to India, and for entrusting us with the responsibility of putting together the biggest and best live audio system that has ever been seen for any single stage concert in the country. Delivering this kind of mammoth audio production required us to seek support in terms of inventory from our peers across the country, and a big vote of thanks to Manish and team SNL – we worked together as a team and pulled off something magnificent! I’d also like to thank Santana, Porus, and Navneet for being kind and extending a helping hand. The process of bringing together this audio architecture took months of planning and preparation, weeks of co-ordination, days of rehearsals, and countless hours of dedication and effort from the entire audio team. And I must say it was a pleasure to witness how the Electrocraft and SNL Pro teams worked together as a cohesive unit, as they gave it their all, in fulfilling their respective responsibilities, to eventually pull off an amazing feat. The result that we all witnessed was a spectacular audio treat for the audience at the Global Citizen Festival India, and it is absolutely a matter of great pride for us all.”
While individual setup and technical support roles and responsibilities for FOH, Monitoring, Backline and Broadcast room were precisely distributed between the Electrocraft and SNL Pro teams, the event in its entirety deployed a massive synergetic audio consonance that came as a result of the two companies synergizing their respective inventories. The comprehensive amalgamated audio system deployed for the festival concert included a staggering amount of audio mixing consoles – 17 to be precise – spread across different sections including FOH, Monitoring and Broadcast. That apart, from the artist support point of view, innumerable flight cases of backline gear filled the backstage scene. While Coldplay and JayZ chose to deploy their own respective series of backline gear (which they travelled with!), artists like SEL, Farhan Akhtar, Arijit Singh, Karsh Kale, Demi Lovato and more relied on world class backline tech provided by SNL Pro and Electrocraft to deliver their signature sound. And rounding it all up together as one colossal force was the mammoth loudspeaker system featuring global niche pro audio brand – L’Acoustics, where line arrays from the V-DOSC, DV-DOSC, K1, K2 and KARA series were spread across the FOH position and delay positions across the venue to ensure optimum coverage and impact.
L’Acoustics K1 – 28units
L’Acoustics K1 Sub – 12units
L’Acoustics SB28 – 40units
L”Acoustics DV-DOSC – 18units
L”Acoustics LA8 Amps
L’Acoustics K1 – 8units
L’Acoustics KARA – 6units
L’Acoustics K2 – 66units
L”Acoustics V-DOSC – 56units
L”Acoustics LA8 Amps
CONSOLES at FOH & MONITORS
AVID S6L console – 3
AVID Profile console – 1
AVID SC48 console – 2
Soundcraft Vi7000 console – 1
Soundcraft Vi6 console – 2
Soundcraft Vi3000 console – 2
Soundcraft Vi1 console – 1
Digico SD7 console – 4
CONSOLES at BROADCAST ROOM
Digico SD10 console – 1
AVID Profile console – 2
BACKLINE FOR ARTISTS
Demi Lovato, Karsh Kale, DJ acts – Electrocraft
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Farhan Akhtar, Arijit Singh Sypmhony – SNL Pro
AR Rahman – Sound.Com
Coldplay & JayZ travelled with their own respective backline gear
The efforts of the audio team didn’t go un-noticed, as personal engineers to key performing artists praised the entire team for a job extremely well done.
Ashish Saxena, the personal engineer to SEL and Farhan Akhtar shares “This was such an amazing show – to pull off such a massive production and still have it sound so amazing is truly something commendable. Hats off to Roger and the entire audio team. Take a bow!”
Tony Smith, the audio head for Coldplay culminates his experience at the event as he pays the ultimate compliment to the team by saying, “The guys did a brilliant job. We’d like to thank them for all their work – they really did make like easy for me! Absolutely look forward to working with them again.”
The Global Citizen Festival India was presented by Colors Viacom18 and Venky’s, and was powered by UPL and NECC. The festival, a collaboration between The Global Education and Leadership Foundation and Global Citizen, was hosted in Mumbai by the Government of Maharashtra and was event-produced by Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd. Other partners of the event included: the United Nations; the Times of India Group; Google; Hindustan Unilever; Ola; Spykar; Make My Trip; Taj Group of Hotels; BookMyShow; Rishtey Cineplex; Voot; Radio Mirchi.