Audile has been working on Rob da Bank’s Bestival and Camp Bestival festivals since 2008, contracted by festival producers Loudsound and production managers LarMac Live, on behalf of Sunday Best. Audile have been the main production supplier for all Camp Bestivals, providing sound and lighting for the five principle stages – the main Castle Stage, the Big Top, Bollywood, Black Dahlia and the Spiegal. Audile are also the major production supplier to Bestival, providing sound and lighting for the Big Top, Psychic Worm, Bollywood, Black Dahlia and Spiegal stages.

Both festivals boast an extensive and eclectic line-up, with past headliners including Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine, PJ Harvey, Madness, Blondie, Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, Hot Chip and Orbital. Both artiste and audience expectations of production standards are very high, and the stature of artistes means that a large quantity of guest production must be accommodated in addition to the ‘house’ set-ups.

This is particularly the case in the Bestival Big Top, where the line-up rivals the main stages of other festivals. Guest production that would normally be found on much larger outdoor stages is frequently accommodated in the Big Top, and the programming means that it’s common for three-four artistes per day to require this. Two Audile crews therefore provide twenty-four hour cover in the Big Top, with production builds and de-rigs occurring throughout the night-time hours that the stage is not in operation.

A very high level of pre-production planning is also required, with Audile producing CAD drawings and visualisations incorporating not just the sound and lighting systems that they supply, but other production elements such as video screens and rolling risers, together with guest production. Careful consideration is given to both aerial rigging of guest production and to storage and movement of floor-based elements.

Further pre-production work undertaken includes radio frequency planning and co-ordination, carried out by Audile on a site-wide basis at both Bestival and Camp Bestival. With the recent explosion in the use of in-ear monitoring systems by artistes together with radio mics, in parallel with the filling-up of the radio frequency spectrum with digital TV services, RF management is a challenging task that plays a critical role in the success of the festivals.