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Billie boxes clever with fest system

Production News
22 October 2019

A NEW optical fibre cable designed for festivals has enabled the Billie Eilish tour to use different equipment formats without requiring new cable runs.

Festival Box allows any audio protocol, as well as video and data, to travel down the same fibre, making it an efficient option for multi-act and complex productions, according to manufacturer Optocore. It uses a Repeat48WDM media converter by sister company BroaMan to offer “countless” conversion options.

Used at festivals including Parklife (cap. 70,000) and Bluedot (10,000) to enable visiting engineers using different audio consoles and protocols to transport their signals to the stage over a single duplex fibre, the system found a different purpose on the Billie Eilish tour, says Optocore-BroaMan dealer Alex Hadjigeorgiou.

“Production wanted to run their system over Cat5 [network], since their Allen & Heath console uses that system. But all available fibre ports had already been used,” he says. “Instead of wrestling with a system rejig, they were able to carry on as they were thanks to Festival Box, with no reconfiguration or software changes necessary.”

Chris Hill of the tour’s audio supplier Wigwam adds, “The production loved it because Festival Box introduced them to a really simple way of getting out of a problem. You don’t need a laptop and another screen – you can plug in more SFPs [hi tech plugs] and put other formats down it.”

Billie Eilish plays The O2 (cap. 21,000) in London, Manchester Arena (21,000) and Arena Birmingham (15,800) next year.

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