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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw Shrewsbury Festival 2007 - what's on? (120* d) RE: Shrewsbury Festival 2007 - what's on? 05 Sep 07

Nice one Alan!
And thanks for your kind remarks.

I am amazed at how this discussion has developed. Of course everybody has a right to an opinion, and to 'vote with their feet' if they don't like the music or the volume levels. And I for one totally respect that. I have walked out of a good few concerts in my time because I found the sound unbearable. And I'm supposed to be a deaf sound engineer (they're ALL deaf you know).We can't all like the same things, or the world would be a pretty boring place. However, why is it that certain people think that it is their right to dictate how a certain artist should portray themselves? If you don't like the songs, or the tunes, or the political stance, or the personality, or the volume levels, then don't go and see that artist. If you are trying them for the first time, and find they are not to your taste (for any of the above reasons), then make a note not to go and see them again. The notion that somehow you can dictate how an artist portrays themselves goes against all ideas of artistic integrity. At the end of the day, an artist decides what they want to do, and the consumer decides whether to buy into it or not. And on that depends success or failure.

I am not going to get into the whys and wherefores of various sound engineers. Some artists (mainly the headliners that can afford it!) will bring their own engineer. This is because they want consistency at all the venues they play, and their own engineer will be more familiar with what they are trying to achieve, and should in theory be able to achieve it quicker in the high-pressure festival environment when there is never enough time.

Those artists that don't bring an engineer effectively put themselves in my hands. Pretty high risk if you ask me - but I then decide what I think is the appropriate mix and sound level for that artist. As long as there are more people that like what I do than don't, then I guess I'm still in a job.

Do I have control over what visiting engineers do? Only in as much as we have to stay within the limits set by Environmental Health for the site licence. Otherwise, they will do what they do, whether I personally approve or not. I certainly wouldn't be so presumptuous as to tell them how to do their job.

And I can tell you that at no time did we even come close to the limits that had been set. And, for what it's worth, the sound levels for Peatbogs, Salsa Celtica, Bellowhead and Show of Hands (all of whom had their own engineers) were virtually identical as measured by sound level meter, but we didn't get any complaints from the 3000 people who were going mad for SOH.

I guess it all comes down to what the individual likes, and why this whole discussion is totally subjective and ultimately pretty pointless.

Enjoy the music.

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