CPL – via Urban Audio Productions – supplied a full video design and production package – screens, cameras, and control – to the 2022 Camper Calling festival which ran for three glorious days over the August Bank Holiday weekend at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, UK.
The CPL crew, led by Lee Gruszeckyj, relished the chance to return to this festival, known for its boutique chic and fantastic vibes, which this year attracted much larger audiences that in 2021, when it was among the first round of live events able to operate as Covid restrictions were tentatively lifted.
This year organisers Jazz Events and everyone involved was buzzed to be back to the full-tilt energy levels of 2019 with a fantastic line up as dance and beat warriors Basement Jaxx got in the groove on Friday; gurus of pop rock Starsailor and Shed 7 rocked the house the Saturday; while Del Amitiri and James closed the action on Sunday with stonking sets ensuring the thousands of happy campers left the site smiling!
Following on from the great success of last year’s presentation, the side stage IMAG screens were again flown in portrait format, a move suggested by CPL to frame artist close-ups and full-length shots more stylishly. All the bespoke content could then be tailored to fit.
The two IMAG screens each measured 4.4 metres wide by 6 metres tall and were complemented by five different width columns of screen onstage – tapering down as they went offstage, all with a 4.8 metre drop.
The screen elements were constructed from CPL’s Roe CB5 product, with 115 panels in total were on the project, driven by Brompton SS40 processors and XD boxes for distribution, running via a fibre system with loop redundancy.
Two operated Sony HXC 100 HD cameras were positioned, two either side of the FOH platform – for cross shooting
The HD camera feeds were augmented with three hot-head remote sources, two above the stage area at the top of the front legs, with a third on a mobile tripod that could be finally positioned as appropriate around the different band blacklines set ups.
The visual department has a container backstage for their operational HQ into which they built a custom control unit based around a Barco E2 switcher for screen management. A disguise media server was used for various artist graphics and content plus public announcements.
Lee contacted all the artist production teams directly once the line-up was confirmed and asked them for logos and other graphic materials from which the CPL team created individual 30 or 60 second intro sequences to ramp up the excitement as they took to the stage.
This advance planning also ensured slick changeovers and avoided the stress of having any dubious quality content turning up right at the last minute not formatted for the system!
As each band hit the first bars of their opening number, the video screens all flipped to IMAG, with Lee cutting an animated mix using a Panasonic 410 with some additional keys and aux’s to send different shots to the stage and side screens.
In keeping the look fresh and invigorating, the emphasis was more on IMAG and less was playback footage, keeping the artists fully centre stage and connecting with their audience as that atmosphere is right at the essence of Camper Calling.
CPL supplied six half tonne ProLyft hoists to fly the side screens, with the onstage screen attached to a dedicated truss with catenary wires and clips.
DMX control of the LED screen was provided to the lighting department, so they could adjust the brightness.
A full set of Riedel Bolero wireless comms was supplied for the crew, and joining Lee was Shaun Foster, Josiah Khimasia (CPL’s Live Event Technician Apprentice), James Wagstaff, Phil Manson, Derek Gruszeckyj and Daryl Kibblewhite. They were the same crew as last year, on which Lee commented “There were absolutely no issues with finding crew for this one – Everyone was up for it! It’s intense work once everything is running, but it is great fun and a fabulous event in all aspects!”
CPL has worked on Camper Calling since it was launched in 2016. “Their commitment to production values is really impressive, says Lee’ explaining that the idea is to change up each year and improve the guest experience in some way which involves increasing the production and experimenting with different ideas.”
The great synergy between everyone involved in production, backstage and behind the scenes continues to grow along with the success and profile of the event itself.
New for this year was a pop-up backstage bar area for the crew so they could grab food and refreshments on-the-go between mixing or operating lighting, sound, or video for bands. This was fully equipped with a fridge Cappuccino / Expresso machine, a toaster, omelette maker and a tabletop gas stove … and naturally because a BTS hub and chill zone after the music finished each day so everyone working on the production could enjoy a wind down and lively interaction with one another!
Luckily the hottest, most humid, and sticky days of the UK’s summer heatwave had subsided, and the event was blessed with near-perfect weather!