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Entec Partner with Eighteentwentysix For Il Divo Christmas Dates
UK - Although American production manager Jon Bumgarner has wide experience working arenas in the UK’s major cities, for the recent Christmas With Il Divo tour, earlier postponed because of Covid, he relied on the help of Entec Live’s technicians.
Representing Los Angeles-based production company Eighteentwentysix, he says that one of the reasons he partnered with Entec for the UK shows was for their intimate knowledge of smaller 2,000 to 3,000 capacity venues in secondary locations that the multi-national quartet were playing. The other reason was that they could single source all the technical infrastructure required.
“I have done a lot of shows in the UK over the last 15 years but mostly arenas in big cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester. But a lot of places on this tour were new to me,” he admits.
Il Divo is a new account for Eighteentwentysix. Explaining how they arrived at the company, he said, “We were approached by Red Light Management [who represent the band] at the end of September. They were looking for a new American production team and I was brought on board.” Bumgarner himself has been with the company since 2016 when he took on a full-time production role with Calvin Harris.
“After Covid I was available and ready to get on the road again,” he says. But it was experienced production manager Matt Doherty, Eighteentwentysix’s director of touring, who had recommended Entec.
“Matt has endorsed our work on more than one occasion,” notes Entec Live MD, Noreen O’Riordan. “Il Divo is a different style of music but it continues to show our strengths as a turnkey company.”
Rehearsals in London began on 22 November, whereupon the retinue set out for their first show in Gran Canaria before returning to kick off the UK leg at Southend’s Cliffs Pavilion. It was clear from the outset that the union would be successful.
“Once Matt had made the introduction to Entec he connected me with Noreen, and she and Patch [Cleaver] were a pleasure to work with, they were top notch right across the board.
“It certainly helped streamline things having a one-stop supplier,” he continued. “When that option is available we will take it as it makes prep time, truck pack and so on much easier, with everyone on the same team.” The stage itself had been festively decorated with a two metre diameter light-up wreath, truss garlands, a Christmas tree and meet and greet option.
Jon Bumgarner was assisted by his long-term production assistant Jill Martin-Byers, while Entec provided the core team. This included another Entec fan Ed Hammond (who had previously recommended the production company on several occasions) and Alex Chapman as system technician. Alberto Bonardi was mixing the band and 17-piece orchestra at FOH through a d&b KSL and V series systems on Entec’s DiGiCo SD10 (while Jonn Roscoe mixed monitors on a similar desk at the stage end). Other members of the production team include Andrew Small (MD), Jon Barker (LD), Phil Howey (Playback) and Robert Morrison (Wardrobe).
As for lighting direction, Jon Barker had been introduced to the tour late in the day. Piloting a grandMA2, he had an assembly of cutting-edge Robe, Martin and Elation moving heads from Entec’s inventory at his disposal.
In conclusion, Jon Bumgarner acknowledged that in addition to being able to meet the rider requirements it had been Entec’s ability to have pre-existing room presets, that could be tweaked and deployed on site, that had really proved its worth.
“Their experience in venues with which I was not familiar was invaluable,” he confirmed. “Thanks to their intimate knowledge of the layout we were able to get the rig up, dialled in and ready in quick time.
“The experience was nothing but wonderful and anytime that I’m in this part of the world I’ll be rooting for Entec.”
1st February 2022
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