Oakfest is an annual music festival that the Oakfields College students organise every year.
This year the students decided to make the event even more relevant; entering into the virtual realm by making this event an online free live stream concert for people to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.
The sound engineering students were involved in preparing the technical equipment before the start of the event. This involved figuring out what equipment would be needed on the day to have a successful concert and to cater for the live stream side of things. The Oakfields College sound engineering students needed to contact live sound companies and get quotes on what the costs would be to rent the equipment. Debut Productions became the supplier for the event providing Oakfields College with everything we needed to make this ambitious project a reality.
Because we incorporated the live stream element this year, the Oakfields College film students needed to figure out what equipment would also be needed from their side. The students gathered all the equipment and lights they could find to make sure we would have high-quality footage feeding through to YouTube. The equipment was provided by both the East Rand and Pretoria campuses.
The Oakfields College PR and event management students were responsible for finding sponsors and providing advertising space for them. These students were a vital role in the organising of the event and making sure that everything around the event ran smoothly. The students decided to run the event at our Pretoria campus in the VKS movement studio.
Eleven sponsors jumped on board to receive advertising space during the event. This event couldn’t have taken place if it wasn’t for these amazing companies:
Five bands were excited to be a part of the event and we thank them for giving their support and time to help us have such a successful day.
Friday 8 October (The day before the event)
The sound engineering students decided to do all set-ups and tests the day before the event took place so on Friday morning they were the first to arrive. The students quickly started offloading all the equipment provided by Debut Productions.
Once the equipment was offloaded and placed in the venue, the students had to start from the ground up to make the room look more like a live event venue. The first thing that needed to be placed was the stage. The students started grabbing stage decks one by one and placing them into a stage formation. Once the stage was set, they started focusing on the sound and lighting equipment. Students needed to climb ladders to get the trussing placed for the lights to be mounted on. Once the trussing was secured, all focus and attention went to the sound systems. This included patching of the cables, setting up microphones, instruments and ensuring everything was working correctly.
While the sound students were hard at work, our film and photography students were filming and clicking away; grabbing content from all the hard work that goes into making such an event a reality. Once the stage and rigging was done, the film students now had the chance to decide where their cameras were going to go so that they could get the best shots possible.
By 15:00 the entire venue was completely transformed from a movement studio to a full-blown live stage venue. The cameras were all set up waiting to be the audience’s eyes. The lights were amazing with different colour LED’s changing constantly. The smoke machine was blowing smoke to set the tone of the event and allow the lights to leave beaming trails in their mist. By this time the students could see the rewards of their hard work and everyone was excited for the event to finally happen. Unfortunately, everyone had to wait for the next day before the real fun could take place.
#OakFest21 Saturday 9 October 2021
The day has finally arrived. The students are all confident with the setup they did the day before. Everything was just sitting, waiting for the action to take place. Equipment was all wiped down with sanitizer to make sure everything was well cleaned before everyone got hands-on. The equipment was checked again to make sure everything was working and to prevent any little hiccups from arising during the live event.
Time was moving slowly as the students waited for the first band to arrive. At 10:40 the first band arrived ready to get the show on the go. The sound students quickly went outside with the band to fetch the equipment. In a flash, the equipment was out of the cars and on the stage. The band was not far behind the students getting themselves psyched up to kick-start the event. The sound students sound checked the incoming signals while the film students were adjusting their focus and cleaning their lenses. Tensions were high as we were minutes away from going live for the whole world to see.
The time had come for the event to go live. A countdown starts from someone in backstage operations. 3… 2… 1… the MC (Kgothatso Kgopa) kicks off the event with a warm welcome and greeting to all our viewer sat home. The MC expressed the emotions and excitement all our students had from backstage as he gave the rundown of the event and what its all about. The MC asks for a huge round of applause as he introduced Pilgrim South. The film students panned their cameras to the action happening on stage. The band took full control of the event and performed a hard-rocking set that set the tone for the rest of the event.
Right after the amazing set performed by the first act, we had a 20-minute break where the YouTube audience could hear some words from our sponsors. During this time our students started offloading the band's equipment and setting up the next band's gear; sanitizing all microphones and equipment that needed to be used again. The bands who had just finished their set went off to another room where they had a live interview with Burg Studio (online radio station). Once the band finished that interview they went to another venue to be interviewed by our film students. (Keep an eye out on our social media platforms to watch these interviews).
Right before we were ready to soundcheck the second act, disaster happens. The dreaded load shedding showed its ugly face right at the start of our live performance. But not to worry as our students were prepared for everything and anything that could be thrown at them. The generator kicked in, and in five minutes we had all the gear and the livestream up and running again. Our students showed the world that they were ready for anything and not even something like load shedding could stop them. The soundcheck took place and the band took control of the stage.
Band after band, sanitizing between sets and making sure everyone was practicing social distancing, the day started flying by. Before we realised it, all the bands were done and the event went amazingly smoothly.
The bands were going off stage and watching their stream right after their performance. They were complimenting the students on their hard work and saying it was some of the best sound they have ever had. It all came together and ran like a well-oiled machine.
Well done Oakfields College students, you guys pushed #Oakfest21 to its next level with this one!
Watch the live stream on our YouTube channel.