...The P.A. People supplies Ceremonies comms solution!
The 18th Asian Games Jakarta Palembang 2018 opened on Saturday night August 18th with a spectacular Ceremony as Indonesia welcomed Asia’s top athletes to Jakarta and Palembang.
At the capital’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, 40,000 spectators were entertained by an opening ceremony that featured cultural performances and pyrotechnics on what is understood to be the largest scenic built for an opening ceremony; a 120m-long stage in the shape of a towering mountain with a waterfall and a simulated Volcanic eruption.
Sydney’s The P. A. People proudly supplied the Communications systems for its second Asian Games, this time under the watchful eye of US based production company, FiveCurrents.
The initial sequence of the Opening Ceremony showed a video of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s on his way to the opening ceremony. The president was seen to be stuck in traffic, but he got out of the car and took a motorcycle to get through the traffic.
On the way to the stadium, the President weaved the motorbike through Jakarta’s small roads. As he reached the stadium he waved to the audience and then moments later appeared in the VIP box.
“We were in Jakarta since early June, and the opening sequence of the show depicts a scene which is commonplace”, said PAP Head of Department and Project Manager Campbell Waller. “The traffic is something that does take some getting used to”.
Jakarta also has a notoriously busy RF environment, with the stadium being in the heart of 9 million people; RF was very busy and challenging. With The P.A. People’s wealth of experience and RF filter design, we worked with FiveCurrents and the local regulator to provide a high-quality solution with very limited frequency separation. The system design includes 24 half duplex base radios and 24 simplex base radios interfaced to the matrix intercom frame, along with 600 portables with a wide range of accessories.
The P.A. People provided an extensive Clear-Com IP based wired communications system for the Ceremony. The system featured a pair of Eclipse HX Omega matrix frames with both native Dante and MADI connectivity, and around eighty V series lever and rotary Key Stations. The matrix system was supplemented with Clear-Com Helixnet digital partyline beltpacs for follow spots and mechanical operators in the ‘mountain’, and an integrated Clear-Com FreeSpeak II system to support the stage management team. The full duplex FreeSpeak system provides full stadium coverage, including all vomitories and selected back house areas, as well as coverage for an additional 15 packs in the rehearsal venue 500meters from the stadium.
For this project (and for the Venue Intercom Systems at Pyeongchang earlier in this year), the team have been trailing the new V1.5 firmware release for the FreeSpeak II system. “The coverage in this environment is amazing” commented Campbell, “it is a great improvement”.
Another significant aspect of the system was the Cast In-Ear Monitor system. Given the RF environment a decision was taken early to use an out of (commercial) FM band solution. The P.A. People supplied 5 channels of transmitter 6,000 receivers, and 12,000 earpieces for the cast.
The P.A. People supplied a significant Event IT solution to assist the FiveCurrents team with the delivery of the event. The team supplied and deployed:
- 35 x WiFi Access Points distributed across the site including BOH areas such as Props and Catering
- 40 x Network switches and a High Availability network core
- 5Km of Fibre optic cable
- 17 x UPS systems for backup and protection
- 1 x 60 Ghz link to Rehearsal venue
The P.A. People solution in Jakarta was rounded out with a 10 camera EyeCue CCTV system. Ten Bosch and HikVision Full HD cameras, 6 additional inputs from broadcast, the rehearsal venue and a weather station, Lenovo 21” all in one monitors and an Exacq server package provide technical operators and stage management with the vision they need to provide safe and accurate decisions.
The team then went through the transition from Opening Ceremony to Sport (mode) and then a reconfigure of the system for the Closing Ceremony which occurred on Saturday September 2nd. The Closing Ceremony was extremely successful - providing both athletes and audience with a thrilling experience, despite the heavy rain that fell during the event.
The Freespeak system provided great coverage of the entire stadium and was used by both the Ceremonies production team and the Chinese handover team (the city of Hangzhou, China will host the Games in 2022).
“The team from The P.A. People have again acquitted themselves well on a show that could not support all the bells and whistles. The team and system have been in integral part in assisting FiveCurrents deliver another spectacular Ceremony program”, noted Nick Eltis, the show’s Technical Producer. “We look forward to working with them on another project soon.”
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