As you may or may not have heard, there was a huge international arts festival in Manchester in July 2017 (MIF17) which showcased amazing arts projects and involved some very well known names. We here at oXyFire and oXyFire.LIVE were lucky enough to have been involved in this huge set of events in a different capacity than our usual full production capability.
For the duration of the festival we worked with the organisers to provide live stream connectivity with the use of our LiveU system and IP satellite from various locations throughout the city of Manchester including Piccadilly gardens, old Granada studios and even the disused United Footwear building in the northern quarter to name a few to broadcast on the BBC and/or online (Facebook/YouTube).
Firstly we debuted our equipment for this event on a particularly rainy Wednesday in late June to provide an uplink to BBC LIVE from the event ‘What is the city but the people?’ – If you were around Manchester during the week you will have seen the huge yellow catwalk in Piccadilly gardens. This was a great event to be involved in as it showcased the wide variety of people who keep Manchester powering on as a city and certainly kicked the festival off with a bang.
At 9am the morning afterwards our production manager come live stream technician Matt was already at work on a project codenamed UNFEAR with MIF17 at a secret location deep in the Northern Quarter. The reason this event was a secret until it opened became apparent when we discovered that none other than Karl Hyde from the band Underworld was the lead artist. (If you can’t quite remember who underworld, they are the band behind the famous ‘Born Slippy’ track that was a mainstay of clubs in the late 1990s). We dealt with the full visual production of this project which mean Matt had his work cut out setting this one up as it involved a full CCTV network style broadcast, around 1km of cables and a lot of ladder work.
This project later became known as the Manchester Street Poem and you can find an archive of the event here: http://mcrstreetpoem.com/
The final of the main events we worked on for MIF17 is an event more secretive project than the last. Late on Wednesday 12th of July we got a call from MIF saying that New Order were performing a secret show from the Old Granada Studios in Manchester the following day and requested we provide the sat link to the BBC and a live stream to Facebook dual streamed to New Orders page and MIFs page. Of course we said yes. The next 24 hours were a bit of a blur but sufficed to say we managed to broadcast the show AND we managed to record Cotton Panic featuring Jane Horrocks around the corner at the same time (See the separate article for more information on Cotton Panic).
oXyFire worked on various other events throughout the duration of the festival but this is enough of a record for now. What I can say is Jay and Matt had a great time running around and sorting all these events for such a large scale event and meeting some great people and companies that we at oXyFire hope to work with in the future.
For more information about Manchester International Festival visit http://mif.co.uk/