ICT solutions provider Gearhouse ICS is known for its conferencing support in areas like registration and touch screen systems, presentation management, RFID tracking and audience response, but what are they doing when they are not providing IT solutions to major conferences around the country? Well, they are innovating in other areas of the event industry, of course.
The team has been very busy with the preparation, installation and operation of the Jazz TV element of the 15th Cape Town International Jazz Festival, for the second consecutive year.
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) is one of South Africa's largest music gatherings, providing festival goers with a spread of local and international jazz and jazz-related live music performances across five stages, as well as via the event's own television network. Jazz TV is used to streaming live video feeds and playback from the Kippies, Mannenberg and Bassline stages together with sponsors' ads, information updates and announcements to around 55 screens across the hospitality and refreshment areas of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
The nerve centre of Jazz TV is located in the CTICC's marshalling yard. This is where video feeds are received via four kilometres of fibre optic cable and distributed over the CTICC IT network infrastructure to screens in the hospitality suites in the Corporate Village, Food Court, Marimba Restaurant, Saxophone Lounge and the stages themselves during breaks. ICS deployed a technical team of 20 to manage the content mix and network operation of Jazz TV, using three ICS media servers supported by high definition media streaming encoders and to provide IT infrastructure backup. "We use a simple interface which allows for seamless real-time updates to the programme," explains ICS Developer, Adrian De Vries. "Announcements are a breeze and can be made at the click of a button. We do everything possible to ensure that attendees do not miss out on any of their favourite artists."
Jazz TV is packaged with a particular look and feel adapted from the brief by espAfrika, the event organisers, during a month-long, pre-production phase. This is when ICS worked on integrating the video components, the event branding, artist programme and announcements into a look for the year.
This was an exciting event for ICS and for Gearhouse in general, according to ICS' MD, Thabiet Waggie, and he and his team executed a successful delivery and a good technical experience together with the rest of the Gearhouse Group. "Of course, many of our contact points are with other Gearhouse companies and having a central co-ordination point for all the technical elements always assists a smooth technical delivery."
Technical equipment on the Bassline, Mannenburg and Kippies stages was supplied by Gearhouse South Africa, the 1500 seats for the Kippies stage were provided by Havaseat and the venue on the the Cullinan Lawns to house the Bassline stage was an In2Structures Maxi Dome. LED screens on the Mannenburg and Kippies stages and at the food court were supplied by LEDVision while the plasma screens around the venue and the digital mixing desks were provided by INHOUSE Venue Technical Management.