With full safety protocols in place, we were allowed 200 attendees per show this year, which took place in a parking lot. Normally the event hosts up to 500,000 attendees, lining the streets of Bloor Street West between Jane Street and Runnymede Road. The event happens every 2nd or 3rd weekend in September, starting on the Friday from 7 pm and ending Sunday at 7 pm. This year free tickets were offered through Ticketmaster to restrict the crowds to 200 people per 90-minute show. The 90-minute shows ran from Saturday at 11:30 am, right through till Sunday at 7 pm. All the shows were sold out in advance.
Our biggest challenge was coordinating setup, as we could only access the parking lot through permit from 6 pm to 11pm on Friday. We could then continue our setup on the Saturday morning at 7 am to be ready for the show by 11:30 am. This was no small feat and one of the most demanding set ups we have done as a team! We had two large stages, LED monitor walls, complex lighting and a full PA system including the microphones, amps, speakers, and other equipment. With safety protocols, we now include a larger quantity of equipment along with disinfection procedures to support multiple performers, presenters, and staff.
We also had a 4-camera video production shoot, which was all streaming to live screens and being mixed and produced as a second production at the same time. The second production was for the virtual event which ran on two different platforms, where thousands of people tuned in live to the festival. This was a first and a big accomplishment for us!
The show went off without a hitch, on time, and on budget. All those who attended had rave reviews and all the performers thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to entertain a live audience after a two year hiatus. A big thank you to my AV-CANADA technical team, the volunteers, the performers, and the organizers. Also, a big thank you must go out to the Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area, for hosting this phenomenal event. A big pat on the back to everyone and we are excited to see you next year!