If you were in Edinburgh, Scotland on Dec. 31, chances are you ushered in 2020 at Hogmanay 19 – one of the world’s largest New Year’s Eve celebrations. The latest edition of this giant street party featured international, U.K., and Scottish performers and a huge midnight fireworks display. And this year, for the first time in Hogmanay history, the festival was live-streamed to Facebook, YouTube, and the Hogmanay website.
Underbelly, a U.K.-based live entertainment production company, has been producing Hogmanay since 2017. This year, they had the daunting task of producing the multicamera webcast, which allowed viewers anywhere in the world to enjoy the entire 5.5-hour event from their phones, tablets, or laptops. As always, Underbelly relied on a comprehensive signal transport and communications backbone based on Riedel’s MediorNet. The U.K.’s Direct Control and Visual Certainty collaborated with Riedel for onsite configuration and event expertise.
“When we first produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in 2017, we installed a city centre-wide Riedel network. Over the three years, we have significantly increased the utilisation of the system and it has now become an essential and integral part of the event,” said David Watson, production director, Underbelly. “The network facilitates not only the creatively world-class show but is also essential for the crowd safety management and operational success of the event.”
Operating over ten kilometers of fibre, the MediorNet network provided real-time transport, processing, and routing to enable audio distribution for all Hogmanay stages and video distribution to all big screens. In addition, MediorNet provided an IP tunnel to facilitate critical systems such as CCTV, Internet access, weather monitoring, power monitoring, and lighting control. The network was anchored by a MetroN core router, with 16 MediorNet Compact Pro stageboxes deployed at sites throughout Edinburgh and additional MediorNet MicroN high-density media distribution network devices enabling many different modular configurations.
Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom system and Bolero wireless intercom were tightly integrated with MediorNet to ensure clear and reliable communications for the production crew across five stages. Two Artist-64 digital matrix intercom systems supported 33 Artist panels and 35 Bolero wireless beltpacks, with intercom signals provided by 19 Bolero antennas.
Ed Lawlor, director, Visual Certainty, commented, “With the OB unit also operating an Artist matrix, linking the two event Artist-64 nodes was a great benefit. Given the ability to program the system in advance, the OB-unit can arrive just days before the event and quickly become part of the site-wide communications network, addressing any required user directly. For example, the on-camera talent made use of Bolero for in-ear monitoring, with their mix sourced from OB sound as normal – but distributed via the event AES67 network.”