Osafestivalen is an international folk music festival, held every year in October in Voss, Norway. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions in place last year, the 2020 event still went ahead – to show support for the Norwegian musicians and technicians – and VDC Trading, together with Van Damme cabling, helped make it a huge success.
Under normal circumstances, the festival’s concerts are spread out over several smaller, intimate venues around the city centre. Social distancing guidelines meant the festival had to be consolidated and held in one larger location with ample space for the audience and performers to spread out. A local gymnastics hall was chosen for this purpose – a small TV set and streaming production studio was built in the foyer of the hall to accommodate a hybrid live/online stage and the main stage was rigged in the auditorium itself.
Voss Lyd, a well-known Norwegian production and installation company, has provided the festival with technical expertise and equipment as well as creative design for the past 12 years. Once again, it masterminded the 2020 Osafestivalen and made the event possible.
The biggest challenge was to make the space feel cosy. The hall was huge – with approximately 500+ m2 of seating – and with only 200 people in it at one time, it needed some clever thinking to make it feel special. The solution was to build ‘a room in a room’ and suspend hundreds of tungsten bulbs with individual dimmers over the audience to make the ceiling feel lower. The fairy lights were also shaped to provide the illusion that the canopy was floating.
As there were no ready-made systems available to create the vision, Voss Lyd had to build it from scratch. All the cabling for the tungsten bulb/fairy light system was made to order by VDC Trading as it had to be precise lengths and fault free. The production was almost exclusively tied together with Van Damme cabling.
To keep weight down, 2 x 0.75mm2 Ecoflex speaker cable was specified, using individual lines and dimmer channels for each bulb. Once received, Voss Lyd loomed up 12 at a time on 5mm steel wire and suspended the whole thing over the audience.
Van Damme audio multicore assemblies were used on stage, custom VDM37 multipin looms were used for signal distribution to the Meyer Leopard and LFC900 systems, 19 pole VDM/Black Series multicore cables were used for lighting power, 3G HD-SDI cabling was used for cameras and screens, XKE Classic Mic for microphones, XKE Starquad for long runs, Silver Series for guitars and contact microphones. Ambicore power/DMX hybrid cables were used for linking up the 40+ moving lights above the stage.
Yngve Høyland, head of production at Voss Lyd, commented: “The Osafestivalen is a landmark annual event and it was great that it went ahead again in 2020 – with local artists and guest – as it provided much joy and optimism amidst the pandemic backdrop. Obviously, this made the event trickier to produce, particularly because the acoustics of traditional instruments don’t work as well in a large hall. However, we rose to the challenge and created something incredibly special. Being able to work creatively with our partners is very important. We constantly ensure that we all exceed expectations in everything we do and VDC Trading is a great partner for us in this respect, because we share the motto “nothing is impossible.”
The entire festival was rigged up in ten hours and derigged in four.