Our newest Live Production Look-Back installment revisits the CBGB Music Festival – an all-day music festival that we produced in the heart of Times Square in New York City. The event included 2 stages separated by 7 city blocks as well as vendors and concessions for fans in attendance. Enjoy.
In October 2014, Broadcast Management Group was contracted to produce the 3rd Annual CBGB Music Festival – a live-to-tape production in the heart of Times Square. The event was scheduled to air live on Hulu (which would have been their first ever live production), but due to last minute rights issues, the live component was scratched. Instead, we put the project to “tape” (AKA drive). BMG was responsible for all video coverage of the event, which included an A-stage on 47th Street and a B-stage on 53rd Street. Bands performed on both stages throughout the day from 11am until 7:30pm.
We were officially awarded the contract for this project 2 weeks before the production date. Timing was certainly one of the challenges we faced (though we’re used to being shot from the canon). Being brought in so late, we had to work with certain decisions that had already been made – like the parking location for our mobile unit – and quickly get acquainted with all the parties involved in the project. Luckily, the parking space we were given was large enough to accommodate our expando truck and the other vendors we worked with were tremendous. Aside from the condensed pre-production window, we also had to deal with the overall logistics of working in Times Square, which is no easy feat. With 2 stages to cover, we needed to figure out a way to cable to both stages and tie everything into our truck. With a 2 week lead time, there was no way we’d get the appropriate permits for flying cables, so that wasn’t an option. We ended up cabling everything on the main stage and planned to cover the B-stage with a flight pack to eliminate the need to run cables back to our truck.
The final show – in my humble opinion – looked amazing. There’s so much energy at a live music festival in general, but add to that the almost physical energy of Times Square, and we really had something big on our hands. While the entire BMG team was bummed to not have the show air on Hulu (we’re live production junkies, afterall), the finished product was still something we’re all still immensely proud of.