The Spooktacular held at Dorfold Hall show ground in the town of Nantwich is the UK's biggest fireworks event outside of London: This behemoth of an event attracts in excess of 7,000 people every year and just keeps getting bigger.
This years display was a 26 minute tribute to those who lost their lives fighting in the wars choreographed by the team at Blitz Fireworks - The display included a live bugle player, 10m tall soldier covered in beautiful lance work (fire rope to us mortals) and a sequence of land mines and flash pots timed perfectly to the sounds of battle.
A truly heart warming and emotional show this event constantly pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved with fireworks this day and age.
With musical timing being such an important part of the show and a 7,000 strong audience, DD Music Group were brought in to deliver colossal sound at this years event.
The audience area is wide at approximately 125m as well as being 85m deep at the same time which can pose a challenge when you can't go too far into the firing site for the fireworks!
We used our brand new custom designed flying towers at 6m high to fly the RCF line array of which we used 8 boxes per side. Providing the devastating low end the team employed no less than 16 of our DD Music Group festival subs, giving us a total bass output of 28,000watts. To cover such a wide audience area with bass we used a modified end fire configuration to guide the distribution pattern to 160 degrees as we were restricted on stacking hight and a line configuration with 16 boxed would have given a horizontal coverage to narrow to reach the extremities of the crowd.
The sound was both impressively loud and crystal clear from audience front to back as well as side to side. We are looking forward to next years event where plans for a bigger AV incorporation into the show are already underway!
Watch this space, but for now enjoy the rest of the fireworks season and stay safe!
We were delighted to be asked back to provide the complete audio production and systems for Macclesfield Festival in it's second year; Headlined by music legends The Happy Mondays!
At DD Music Group we love it when the events we work with just keep getting bigger and better each year, and we do our best to help make that happen; That's why when we got the call to say who was headlining this year our team got very excited.
The Happy Monday's are a band who defined a genre and gave inspiration to artists like Oasis, Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys; all of whom would not exist without the Monday's leading the way back in the 80's. Their own brand of "Mad-Chester" brought people together who stood against the zeitgeist, with the philosophy of the none stop party and living life to the extreme.
Last year was the festivals first ever year and was the brainchild of the team at Monopoly events; These guys are seasoned in the events game but had never hosted a music festival of this scale before, especially outdoors! With an amazing team of people and some slick organisation skills from everybody involved they managed to pull together a family festival of proportions nobody could have expected, and one that catered for thousands of people across all ages, with four stages of entertainment including last years main stage with The Brand New Heavies and The Farm. Back at it a second year the team wanted to build on the immense success of 2017's festival and make this event a calendar staple for everybody in the local area. Safe to say that they have definitely done just that, with this years festival bringing in thousands of people from across the county to join in the fun and revel in the electric atmosphere that swept across the whole site.
On the main stage we deployed our RCF HDL20 line array; flying 8 elements either side of the stage with 12 of our festival subs in a triple end fire centre cluster giving earth shaking low end, the control package included our brand new MIDAS Pro 1 at front of house and our K&F CA1201 monitors were the stage wedge of choice for this particular show.
From the moment the first act hit the stage people were ready to have a great time but it was The Manchester Ska Foundation who just took this energy to the next level with their antics whipping the crowd into a frenzy almost immediately; a sea of chequered hats, braces and "skanking" came seemingly out of nowhere as if the people of Maccfest had been suddenly transformed.
Another memorable performance came from local legends the Virgin Marys for which this was their first hometown show in several years. The lads have been full time touring to promote their own style of aggressive hard rock sounds around the globe; Picked by Slash as one of his features in Classic Rock Magazine we found ourselves singing along to familiar tracks that had everybody's head banging.
We look forward to seeing where this great festival goes in 2019..... If this year is anything to go by, we can't wait!!!
For two weeks every other year, Macclesfield town plays host to one of the most vibrant and well attended arts and entertainment festivals in the north of England; The Barnaby festival is a triumph of talent ranging from music to comedy, poetry to paintings and even massive art installations across more than 20+ venues around the town. People travel from far and wide to visit this cultural celebration with most events being completely free of charge!
The Barnaby is supported by a team of passionate volunteers in the community who use the charitable donations collected to make the next festival even bigger and better.
DD Music Group were proud to be asked back for the second time to provide the audio production for the main outdoor stage and the beautiful St Michaels Church (Pictured) with all of the ticketed shows sold out and the venues full to capacity.
The first evening in the Church was a spectacle from the amazing talented James Taylor and his band, who rose to fame for the Starsky and Hutch Theme Tune. James's electrifying Hammond organ playing had everybody on their feet dancing all night long to the acid jazz rhythms the quartet are known for.
Other highlights included a debate in St Michaels with Edwina Curry and other notable and influential women about the suffragette movement and what equality means for us today. A full day of music from some of the best up and coming bands in the North West and much, much more!
A massive well done to all of the team, especially to Mandy who kept everybody moving in the right direction, making this the best Barnaby Festival to date. We look forward to the next one in 2020!
Check out the full goings on here: https://barnabyfestival.org.uk/
Like all quirky events; the Manchester Duck Race is all kinds of silly, and all kinds of fun for both young and old alike. I mean who wouldn't want to watch hundreds of little yellow plastic ducks racing down the river, especially when there are big prizes at stake!
The duck race was organised by the charity Brainwave, that exists to help children with disabilities and additional needs to achieve greater independence by aiming to improve mobility, communication skills and learning potential. All proceeds from the duck race go to this amazing charity every year and DD Music Group on behalf of Niche Events were proud to be involved.
Providing both Audio production and presenting alongside Carlos from Smooth Radio, thousands of people turned up to watch the action unfold on the river Irwell and enjoy everything going on at the New Bailey event site; including rides for the kids, stalls, stilt walkers and more.
At the entrance to the site a giant 20ft tall rubber duck stood towering over people taking selfies all day with a video recorded by Brainwave patron Olly Murs encouraged people to buy a duck and enter the race.
Alongside the main event, several of the companies around Manchester had sponsored their own corporate duck which had to be given crazy designs and inventive names. Our personal favourites include the Oasis inspired duck "Don't look Quack in anger" and the ever popular "Beaky Blinders" not forgetting of course Disco Duck (Pictured above) who reminds us of DD Music Group director Shaun back in his disco days of the 70's.
All of the event production was sponsored by The Bathroom Takeaway who did a great job of hosting the VIP lounge on a giant blue double decker bus! We would like to say a big well done and thank you to all of the team that put this event together, you all did an amazing job and together we managed raised a lot of money for a wonderful cause.
We will see you all next year for an even bigger Manchester Duck Race in 2019.
Another year and another easter well spent at the Nantwich Jazz and Blues festival: This mammoth event has become one of the most popular annual events in held not just in Cheshire but the North West of the UK as a whole.
We are situated less than 6 miles away from where the action takes place and this year we have been proud to return once again to provide Stage, Event and Pro Audio hire for the main outdoor stage on the square.
For those who haven't been before, the Nantwich Jazz and Blues festival is a four day multi-venue festival where all of the local Clubs, Venues, Bars and pubs play host to some of the finest talent in Jazz and Blues as well as other popular styles of live music - All you need is a festival wrist band and your set to watch any of the entertainment across the town over the easter weekend in any venue, and this year was one of the biggest so far; with hundreds of artists traveling from around the world to take part!
Joining us on the main stage this year was the brilliant Brass Monkee's playing a variety of hits from past and present. Consisting of a three piece brass section along with drums, guitars, keys and bass the band is fronted by both a male and female lead.
Sizeable audiences gathered to boogie the afternoon away, filling the square and creating what could only be described as an electric atmosphere, Ceroc UK took over the area in front of the stage with couples dancing through the whole show and providing even more entertainment.
Our hydraulic stage truck was the choice for this event as time was of the essence with this being a public recreational space and the great lighting package pre-installed into this stage looked amazing even in the daylight.
The main PA for this show consisted of 3 x RCF HDL20a's per side with 4 of our favourite DD custom horn loaded festival subs; with brand new V1000 drivers fitted the week before in the subs we were excited to run them in ready for festival season this summer.
At front of house we ran our MIDAS M32 system operated by Nathan Smith, who was mixing his very first full show with DD Music Group - After the show some members of the public were kind enough to come across and pay incredible compliments about the sound and staging with one audience member quoting "The best sound i've heard at this festival all weekend". Well done to Nathan, getting comments like this on your first show is what we are all about #OnlyTheBest.
Thank you to the Nantwich Jazz Festival and Nantwich Council for having us back for another successful year: We look forward to 2019 and a big well done to everyone who made the festival this year possible!
Finally we would like to say RIP to the Jazz Festivals founder Phillip Martin who passed away in the winter; We had a wonderful relationship with Phillip and were saddened deeply by his passing. The Jazz Festival was just one of the amazing things left behind by Phil that will continue his great legacy.
Liverpool based songwriters and electro-pop duo HICARI are an up and coming musical tour de force that last week we (DD Media) had the pleasure of photographing for their upcoming release.
An international collaboration between Ryan Bickley from the UK and Shayaan Oshidar from Mumbai, India: the pair met whilst attending the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in their very first year, and have been both musical and life partners ever since. Their music brings influences from different cultures together in a way that is both familiar yet proudly distinct, demonstrating their diversity and prowess in every track whilst remaining commercially appealing; from the very first listen you become hooked and we like that!
With tens of thousands of plays on Spotify and collaborations with several well known up and coming producers and artists across the globe, we were excited to photograph their latest promotional shoot and find out a little more about the big things that HICARI have lined up next.
Around the streets of Liverpool we challenged ourselves for this shoot to use only the natural light around us and in the environment: This way of working pushes you as a photographer to really think about how the light may change from one moment to the next and in Liverpool the weather can turn in an instant (as we found out).
Starting outside the sun was intermittently appearing from behind the clouds casting light in different ways almost every time we took a shot, this was a fun and exciting way to work with some great surprises when we reviewed the images. When shooting in this type of light it is critical to make sure the sun is in the position that you want it to be even if there is dense cloud cover; as it may just come out when you least expect it, and you want it to look epic when it does!
We shot at several locations throughout the day with HICARI in a lot of famous Liverpool locations including St Georges Hall, Liverpool Lime Street station and our personal favourite Liverpool Central Library.
The Library was a very special place, as off to one side there is a quiet reading room made of oak, with book shelves and tiny staircases adorning the circumference of the space. Careful not to disturb anyone working to much we made great use of the soft light emitted from the fluorescent tubes around the place giving us a studio lighting effect without the need for carrying any of the gear.
This particularly suited our subject Shayaan as the rich wood and textures of the library along with the lighting complimented her unique "Mumbai meets Marilyn Monroe" style and created what we considered the best shot of the whole set.
Over the course of the whole day we encountered sun, rain and even snow, making the extra cost of weather proofed photography gear seem not so expensive as we didn't have to worry when the camera got soaked. On the other hand we were not weather proof and it was almost the end of the day before we got dry again - We will remember to bring a towel next time!
To find out more about HICARI visit their website here... and stay up to date with news about this latest release and more.
If you want to shoot your next promotional set with us get in touch here.