Manchester International Festival 2017


Audio specialist tube uk delivered sound systems to over 30 shows, site specific installations and one-off performances in a variety of venues across the city throughout the 18-day Manchester International Festival 2017 (MIF17).

tube’s Melvyn Coote oversaw all the projects, collaborating closely with festival’s technical director Jack Thompson.

The tube project management team of Adam Taylor, John Redfern, Dan Steele and Melvyn ran the numerous jobs from a pre-production and planning aspect – then a top team of 7 warehouse and logistics staff, headed up and orchestrated by Jamie Sharman, implemented the equipment preps and the hectic delivery schedules.

A further 15 – 20 regular freelance engineers and technicians implemented the installation, rigging and operating of the various shows and gigs.

The pace was relentless with 16-18 hour days for most of the period, so it was essential to have a team who could function well on minimal sleep and under serious pressure to deliver amazing service … keeping good humoured throughout.

“The whole team was fantastic,” enthused Melvyn after a hugely successful and highly acclaimed festival that entertained and enthralled with a raft of invigorating new works.  “The passion, dedication and commitment by everyone has been incredible,” commented Melvyn.

All the kit that tube owned was deployed, leaving a bare warehouse.

It worked hard throughout the event for which the company supplied 80% of the audio requirements – from full theatre productions to small idiosyncratic installations, from banging DJ systems to refined orchestral and spoken word PAs, most of which were unconventional and challenging, needing lateral thinking and creative implementation!

Equipment from a wide range of brands included d&b, Tannoy, Yamaha, Sennheiser, DPA, Crown, Crest, QLab and MAX.

There were many challenges. The advanced logistics of what needed to be where and when was a real brain-teaser, together with the scheduling and time-planning. This had to factor in transportation, rigs, de-rigs, preps and re-preps and on top of that, the different facilities on offer at the venues and what was needed for rigging and physical installations in the found spaces.

Venues ranged from regular theatres and concert halls to site specific gems like Mayfield depot, and incorporated everyday public locations like Victoria Station, St Anne’s square, Whitworth Park, or the elevator concourse between Selfridges and Marks & Spencer, and numerous others.

tube also supplied the PA for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.