Gigs go ahead as events company launches 'Broadcast Barn'

A SOUND and lighting provider for live events has kept gigs going through lockdown with a virtual event space where live music and social distancing can go ahead. Event Production Services (EPS) usually provide the sound and lighting for big events and festivals such as Truck and Glastonbury, but this year everything was pulled to a halt and all live music events were cancelled. To keep live events going the production company created Oxfordshire Broadcast Barn in Wallingford, which is a temporary space for online streaming of virtual events such as meetings, conferences, live music, and product launches.

The Broadcast Barn gives customers a broadcast-style studio space, control gallery and a green-screen room. Read also: Corn Exchange Wallingford reveals when it will be re-opening EPS have managed to repurpose one of their warehouses to create a space with a large stage, a lighting rig, in-house sound equipment and a high definition video wall all in a 2,000 sq ft building.

The studio space has room for social distancing, and it can be operated by as few as two people. Robert Nisbet, a manager at Event Production Services said: “The summer season would usually see around 50 per cent of EPS’ annual turnover.

“However, with festivals mothballed until 2021 and financial support from the treasury conspicuously unavailable to the sector, event suppliers have had to be resourceful to ensure their survival.” He added: “Event managers are all feeling their way at the moment because the guidance is changing so last minute, people don’t want to commit to one thing and then miss out on the opportunity to do their event how they would have originally.” EPS have put the majority of their staff on furlough, but the company is still struggling as live events are still cancelled.

Gigs go ahead as events company launches 'Broadcast Barn' The retail, leisure and hospitality grant and rates holiday are unavailable to EPS as it is a ‘supply chain’ business. As a result, the sound and lighting company have had to pivot the business into the virtual events market.

Mr Nisbet said: “It is a case of survival; we have got to do something to be able to keep moving.” He added: “I have always had the dream of having a studio space and it is nice to have something force you to getting on and doing the thing we have never had the time or equipment spare in the past to do, but it is nice to try something new.” Gigs go ahead as events company launches 'Broadcast Barn'

Oxfordshire Broadcast Barn has virtual conferences and musicians booking the space out for their virtual events. It is not just the technical side of the live music industry that is struggling, theatres and venues are also in need of more funding. Last week, EPS took part in the #LightItInRed to draw attention to the plight of the events and arts sectors by lighting their own warehouse, Pegasus Theatre and The Mill Arts Centre in red as part of a national campaign.

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Mr Nisbet added: “I am very proud of my team we have recently won an award in one of the industry magazines and I could not have done that without my technicians.”

For all enquiries please ring 01844 278446 or email info@epsoxford.com