Entec supplies production package for London Football Awards

Production rental company Entec was proud to be invited by The Willow Foundation to be a key supplier to the London Football Awards 2020, presented by TV personality Dermot O’Leary at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm on March 5th.

Celebrating the capital’s most outstanding footballing achievements of the last season, the event was attended by a seated audience of 785 who witnessed 10 award presentations and took part in a live charity auction before Professor Green and Soul II Soul topped the night with live sets.

The Awards raised much needed funds for Willow, the only national charity working with seriously ill 16-40 year olds to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable ‘Special Days’ for young people living with life-threatening conditions. West London-based Entec became involved through the charity’s head of major events, Jenny Johnson, with whom the company has worked on many successful fund-raisers for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Another familiar face on the team was production manager and show caller Fiona Scott Lockyer. She commented: “Along with sound and lighting, I asked Entec to provide video for which they outsourced to their regular partner Transition. I got to know Entec very well during my 12 years as event manager at the Royal Albert Hall, and worked with them many times, as well as with Jenny. It was always a happy experience and it was great to team up with them again.

“From a technical perspective, it was a relatively simple show to put together not least because the house PA, overhead lights, staging and platforms came with the venue hire. That saved us time on the load-in and gave Entec a smooth ride when they brought in the floor kit, lighting for the circle balcony, and audio control. Gathering all the content and receiving a finalised script was more of a challenge, but that’s not unusual with an awards show!”

After several years at Battersea Evolution, where it shared production with four other events, the London Football Awards made its début as a stand-alone event at the Roundhouse. Said Fiona: “Willow now operates the Awards completely independently in an iconic, purpose-built space, and it looked amazing.”

MAKING AN IMPRESSION

Lighting designer Fraser Elisha joined Fiona and Entec’s assistant lighting manager Adam Stevenson on two advance site visits during the lead up to the event, and spent time at home pre-programming his design in WYSIWYG. “The Roundhouse sent me their WYG file, so I combined everything to give myself as much of a head start as possible before show day,” he said, adding that Entec generously offered him free rein to select from “whatever was in the warehouse”.

“We were always going to supplement the resident lighting rig with Entec’s additional elements, such as 24 GLP impression X4 Bar 20 LED zoom/tilt battens that we focused on the brick walls along the first floor. We also had some gobos specially made for ETC Source Fours to project event branding in the corridors directly outside the auditorium. Claypaky Alpha Spot HPE 300s and Thomas PixelPar 44 fixtures also added backlight on the stage for the live acts.”

In the foyer, the top level bar and the press interview area, banners were lit with 12 battery-powered uplighters, and Arri tungsten Redhead kits were also available whenever photographers needed extra light. “It’s a lovely building to light and those brick walls really make it easy to achieve some very attractive looks.”

Fraser controlled the lighting from a grandMA2 full-size desk. “With the live acts there were no soundchecks, no briefs and no one asked anything of me, so I made a lot of use of Entec’s two Robert Juliat Victor 1800w spotlights and had plenty of Source Fours for key light.

He added: “Award shows can sometimes fill you with dread because if running order details can change at the last minute, they normally will! But this was fine; Fiona was so well organised and having crew assistance from Simon Chandler-Honnor and Andrew Banks certainly helped to lighten my load.”

SOUND CONTROL

Entec provided a DiGiCo SD11 for FOH engineer Rui Feio with its own SD Rack, which connected to the resident fibre loop. The audio package also included Shure Axient Digital wireless handheld microphones, DPA headset mics, Shure PSM1000 in-ear systems and d&b M4 stage monitors with C7 subs.

Rui took responsibility for all of the awards sound elements, such as speeches, stage foldback and audio to VT, with a FOH feed sent to the house SD12 desk through the optical network for processing before reaching the house L-Acoustics K2 line array. Following the dinner and awards ceremony, the live music content was managed by the venue’s regular sound crew, using Entec’s onstage audio infrastructure, with assistance from Rob Humphries. Professor Green and Soul II Soul bringing their own FOH engineers, while Entec’s wedges were fed from the house SD12 monitor desk.

During the build up to show time, Entec’s audio crew worked on a rota basis, as technician Rob Humphries explained. “Dan Scantlebury [Entec’s head of sound] and crew tech Lewis Wareham managed the morning load-in, and I came in with Rui at lunchtime to organise a plan with the venue’s own sound team who were in charge of the house PA. Later in the day, I liaised with production and stage management, and looked after the stage end, while Lewis tended to the wireless systems.” Tom Olorenshaw joined the crew for the show and assisted with the load-out.

VIDEO

To complete the production package, Entec turned to its frequent event partner Transition Video to provide a 15m x 4.8m curved Roe CB5 display, a three-person camera crew, a full PPU and autocue for Dermot O’Leary. The system included a Green Hippo server for the VT and awards playback, which was all routed through a Barco E2 processor to minimise camera delay. The event’s charity auction lots were routed through the E2, with silent auction lots played back from the server.

With overall project management from company director Rhodri Cesek-Shaw, Transition’s crew on the night included camera director Dan Ormerod, media server operator Kate Perring, E2 operator Jonny Stewart, LED techs Fergus Noble and Justin Murray, and engineer Ben Mason.

Sky Sports televised 20 minutes of highlights and relied on Transition’s team to capture all of the content and deliver a complete edit. A second camera crew gathered footage for a segment that was released with a press statement the following day.

Other key players on the event included rigger Pete ‘The Greek’ Kalopsidiotis and crewing supplier Stage Miracles. Branding company DNEL provided repeat boards and green astro turf carpeting, as well as furnishing the interview area, and the Roundhouse’s preferred suppliers Seasoned Events (catering) and Showsec (security).

The 2020 winners were Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, who was awarded twice as Premier League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, Brentford’s Ollie Watkins (EFL Player of the Year) and Thomas Frank (Manager of the Year), Ben Foster of Watford (Goalkeeper of the Year), Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema (Women’s Player of the Year), Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son (Goal of the Season), Middlesex FA: Really Real (The FA ‘For All’ Award), Palace For Life Foundation (Community Project of the Year) and QPR’s director of football Les Ferdinand MBE (Outstanding Contribution).

Adam Stevenson, who managed the project for Entec, said: “It was a pleasure working with Ally Turnbull and her technical team at Roundhouse, who made it easy for us to integrate our system with theirs on the day, and always replied quickly and efficiently to any questions we had in advance.”

Photography © Dave Nelson

https://londonfootballawards.org

https://www.willowfoundation.org.uk