When asked to design a rig for the largest indoor auditorium in the world, Prosound was not daunted by the 500 plus EV line arrays required for the sound set-up, nor the 46 racks needed to be built, but the co-ordination of shows in the far-away Philippines understandably caused some concern amongst the team.
The Philippine Arena, north of Manila, celebrated the centenary of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (NIC) Church in July of 2014, with a week of ceremonies and concerts intending to showcase the 55,000 seater theatre. The Philippine component of Bosch/Electro-Voice International commissioned Prosound to install the EV sound system, culminating in the largest indoor system in the world.
Prosound’s technical director, Mark Malherbe, oversaw the logistical challenge of shipping containers of equipment to Manila and the deployment of the Prosound technical team to the Philippines; all specialists in rigging, wiring and electrics.
The appointment of a local production manager was crucial to the 18 month long process of planning for the events, which included a Guinness World Record attempt at the largest fireworks display, and a 4,750-strong choir presentation accompanied by a 125-piece orchestra. Screens external to the auditorium were also set up and live feeds monitored events both inside and outside the venue, the latter which were covered using OB vans.
The cavernous nature of the venue required what Mark describes as “continual listening and tweaking throughout” and many sleepless nights ensured the balance of sound experienced in the auditorium, which was a tough task without rehearsals or sound checks.
Carefully prepared cues, within presentations with hundreds of performers, were further complicated when musical sections already shown days before were suddenly re-performed without warning, and this “controlled chaos” put into play the Prosound crew’s experience in ensuring that each performance was an experience for the record books.