News and updates
A selection of recent Mainline news and outings.
Covid-19 virus: business as usual - March 2020
Here's hoping for a good festival season 2020
Mainline will continue to provide our full range of services to all events. Staff will be taking all necessary precautions to minimise spread of Covid-19 in line with advice from government and health professionals.
For all non-trade bookings where a deposit is taken, the deposit will be fully refunded if the event is cancelled due to restrictions put in place by the government. Except where the instruction to cancel an event is made by a recognised authority at less notice, a minimum of 24 hours' notice must be given for a refund to be made. At less than 24 hours, we will already have committed expense.
Please note all trade bookings must be accompanied by a purchase order.
By continuing to plan and book events, and place orders with Mainline, you can be sure that equipment, staff and resources will be planned and available providing the event is not forced to be cancelled by local or government authorities. Please note it may become more difficult for us to respond at short notice if we have staff working from home, or we're required to implement additional health and safety practices.
Furthermore, booking but then cancelling due to Corvid-19 can be shown to our insurers and government bodies to help us access business support. We can then ensure we remain open for business and here to serve you.
Plan. Book. And take care!
Update and new DJ Disco lighting package - February 2020
DJ lighting package now available to hire
Throughout February we've continued to support our regular clients with their spot hire needs for lighting and audio.
Towards the end of the month we were at Pendrell Hall, near Wolverhampton, supplying PA and lighting for an evening wedding reception. This was the first outing for our new DJ lighting offer. The package includes 2 mini moving heads, 2 barrel scanners, 2 mirror scanners, RGB colour laser and 2 truss towers with covers for mounting. An optional hazer unit is available if the venue allows. Full details about our lighting and effects package.
The package is available for a single day hire of £120.00 including VAT, based on Friday noon collection to Monday noon return. Collectable with a large car due to the truss tower height being 2 metres.
Don't forget we also have a range of PA & speaker systems to suit DJ events.
At the very end of the month we signed off a new purchase. Direct from manufacturer and built to our specification, there will be more news next time on this exciting new offer.
Update - January 2020
A Mackie speaker under repair
January is a typically quiet time in the events world as everyone recovers from Christmas and New Year season. Here at Mainline, we take the opportunity to service all our equipment ready for the coming season. This is on top of the regular pre and post hire service that everything receives, ensuring reliability for your events.
It's not all repairs and servicing, of course. We continue to support regular and new clients with their hire needs, having several Chauvet fixtures on hire to Starlight Productions and SBS AV.
We have also been working with a new bar in Bury, The House Of Bridget, on their PA and lighting. After an initial three months of trading, they were looking to develop the performance, dancefloor and DJ areas after showing some improvements were needed. Mainline provided advice on décor, and options for lighting and PA. We suggested a phased implementation which will allow each aspect to develop and lead on to the next.
Supplying and fitting wall mounting brackets for the existing speakers
Rewiring speakers with new, installation-grade cabling
Set up microphones and sound mixer, and provided guidance on their use
Supplying and fitting PAR64 lights and dimming for the performance area
Supplying and fitting a pair of Martin Wizards as temporary effects lighting, for evaluation before moving to a permanent solution
Client: The House Of Bridget
Bolton School - December 2019
Lighting fit-out for Bolton School Hall
Bolton School's magnificent main hall was fitted out with key and ambient lighting for their end of year production, 'A Christmas Carol'. Lighting comprised various tungsten and LED fixtures together with runs of LED festoon. Power logistics were a challenge as it wasn't possible to light everything using LED. Incoming mains was fed from an adjacent building into local distribution while keeping cabling as inconspicuous as possible.
Lighting control was laptop PC-based Avolites Titan One, allowing staff to run the show themselves after an introduction.
Client & venue: Bolton School
Bradshaw Cricket Club Firework Display, Bolton - October 2019
Fireworks & lighting display at Bradshaw Cricket Club
Another spectacular and successful fireworks production saw Mainline on our fifth annual event for Bradshaw Cricket club. This year's display was set to music from The Lion King film soundtrack. Mainline supplied a PA system for the music reinforcement and lighting to supplement the fireworks.
The event production has steadily increased over the years with growing popularity, and intelligent lighting becoming a more important element. Working closely with our colleagues at Titanium Fireworks, several days of programming preceded in the Mainline studio. A bank of Chauvet Rogue RH1 Hybrid fixtures were used, with the show cued by the fireworks firing timecode, running fully automatically once the firing signal began.
This year saw our largest PA deployment yet for the client, using five speaker stacks. Three stacks of Logic Systems VA were used for main tiered audience areas, comprising SB2, B2 and VA units. Two full stacks of Logic Systems CA then covered the remaining areas.
Sound control was an Allen & Heath SQ-5 digital mixing desk driving a DX32 expander unit. AES digital audio was used extensively, feeding main VA stacks. Local radio station Bolton FM provided pre- and post-display music with a feed into the Mainline PA. The SQ-5 mixing desk channel compression and delay features came in handy for controlling the radio feed, as the crowd were 100m and more away from the Bolton FM truck PA system.
Client & venue: Bradshaw Cricket Club
Teachers Pet Rock Show UK, Congleton - September 2019
Teachers Pet Rock Show UK performing at the East Cheshire Hospice fundraiser
We were happy to help at a gig for East Cheshire Hospice. The charity's sound company had pulled out of a small fundraising gig headlined by the very talented Teachers Pet Rock Show UK. Mainline were able to step in at short notice.
The PA system consisted of the very versatile Logic Systems LM20 wedges plus an Nd215 bass unit, and LM20's for stage foldback, powered by Matrix amplification. Our Allen & Heath SQ-5 mixing desk was on FOH and monitor mixing duties.
Client: East Cheshire Hospice
Venue: The Waggon and Horses (Eaton)
New to stock! Allen & Heath SQ-5 mixing desk - August 2019
Allen & Heath SQ-5 digital mixing desk now available to hire
Allen & Heath SQ-5 digital mixing desk rear view
New to Mainine hire stock: Allen & Heath's highly acclaimed SQ-5 digital mixing desk. Never has so much processing been available, in such a small format, for so little cost…
96kHz 24bit sampling
Class-leading latency of < 0.7ms
8 stereo FX engines with dedicated return channels and access to the acclaimed RackExtra FX library
12 stereo mixes, configurable as groups or auxes
16 onboard preamps
Extra inputs available via a digital snake and configurable stage box (CAT5/6 connection)
Remote control via FREE SQ MixPad app
Up to 8 instances of SQ4You, the personal monitor mix app
Connect to other SQ or dLive mixing systems, e.g. as a monitor desk in FOH / Monitor duties
Dante networking option also available
SQ5 - just the desk, no expansion options, £65.00 / day +VAT
SQ5 + Stage Box - desk plus dLive DX32 Expander stage box with 24 analogue inputs and 8 analogue outputs (can be configured with AES in / out if required), £80.00 / day +VAT
SQ5 + Stage Mix - as Stage Box option plus WiFi pack for MixPad or Mix4You apps running on your own device(s), £90.00 / day +VAT
See full details of the SQ-5.
Glaston-Bury, Propaganda - August 2019
Sunglo at Propaganda Bar, Bury
We ran the sound for Propaganda, one of many venues and stages taking part in this year's Glaston-Bury festival. This annual fundraising event continues to build from strength to strength, blessed with good weather again this year.
This was the first outing with our new Allen & Heath SQ-5 mixing desk following a few days of familiarisation. We used a dLive DX32 Expander as the stagebox, to allow more input channels. The desk proved to be a very flexible and powerful. PA was a small-format Logic Systems CA rig with a couple of Mackie Thump speakers for foldback due to the budget and very limited space available.
Thank you to all the bands who performed at Propaganda, and the Propaganda team. It was great working with you!
Please check out some of the bands in the lineup:
The Riflemen Of War
The Amber List
Venue: Propaganda, Bury
Sci-Fi On The Sidings, East Lancashire Railway - August 2019
Doctor Who exhibits at ELR's SciFi on the Sidings Event
We were very pleased that Mainline was invited back to provide lighting and atmospheric effects on this year's Sci-Fi On The Sidings. This now annual ELR Event continues to grow in popularity, appealing to visitors of all ages.
We supplied a mix of Chauvet Rogue Hybrid and LED wash intelligent lighting fixtures including an outing for our recent additions, COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 LED strips, along with Unique hazing. Control was in the hands of Avolites Titan Mobile, now available to hire from us!
East Lancashire Railway [new window]
Authentic Pole Dance 2019, St Helens - July 2019
Truss rig for Authentic Pole Dance 2019
Continuing another busy month, we had our first ever pole dancing rig build. Not exactly rock and roll, but the dance moves involved still require a very stable, sturdy rig, with the stage rake of 1:19 being a further consideration. This competition setup had two vertical poles.
A truss lighting grid design was adapted, raised off the stage on truss legs. Global F33 tri truss was used for the whole rig, with the poles supplied by the client (not currently part of our inventory!).
Client: Opal Dance
Venue: Theatre Royal
Private party, Knebworth Park Estate - July 2019
ELO Again at Knebworth
Other lighting around the stage area at Knebworth
Our third outing to this party held occasionally on the Knebworth Park estate. This is a little music festival and party for friends and invited guests only, held in the secluded grounds of the fishing lodge, and we were so pleased to be invited back.
A very varied lineup was headlined by ELO Again, a fine seven-piece E.L.O. tribute band playing all the well-loved hits. The evening was finished off by Les Lunettes, delivering a storming set of rock and pop covers from across the years in their own styles. Supporting acts ranged from a solo piano recital, the amazing voice of Abi Dhese Biggs, plus saxophonist Sandra Grant making a welcome return.
PA system was a tried and tested full Logic CA rig with flown top-boxes, bolstered by twin SB2 sub bass cabinets. Lighting comprised new Chauvet COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 LED units, 419Z LED washes, Strike 4 LED blinder/ washes, and a range of Fresnel fixtures for key lighting. A few more architectural fixtures were arranged to light surrounding trees and areas. Having a fairly large generator supply allowed us to use a few more tungsten lamps in the lighting system, giving extra warmth alongside LED colouring.
Front of house saw lighting control using an Avolites Arena desk, while sound was under control of an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 surface plus DM48 Mixrack at stage end. Multi track recording was used for some acts, using a JoeCo Blackbox BBR 64 Dante recorder.
Sankeys 25th Anniversary, Manchester - July 2019
Logic VA setup at the Sankeys 25th Anniversary event, photo courtesy of ACE PA Ltd.
When you're already planning a sizeable production outing and an enquiry lands for the same weekend, it can be a challenge. Mid-July saw us supply to, or operating at, FIVE weekend events…
We joined forces with our colleagues at ACE PA Ltd., putting most of our larger Logic System VA PA for the Sankeys Outdoor Day Arena. Two hangs of VA boxes were coupled with stage- and ground-stacked B2 bass cabinets with VA centre-fill, B2 and an array of SB2 sub cabinets. Amplification was a mix of Matrix and Camco Vortex. Sound system power totalled around 34kW, enough headroom for volume, coverage and low-end kick.
Client: Soundbase Solutions
Venue: Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester
Matilda The 20 Minute Musical, Market Harborough - July 2019
The cast of Matilda The 20 Minute Musical
We were contacted by a client in distress - they'd been let down with only a few days' notice to find a replacement provider. We stepped in with stage lighting and PA for their production of Matilda, The 20 Minute Musical. A superb effort from our man on the ground saw everything ready to ensure doors opened on time.
The PA comprised a set of pole-mounted Logic LM20 monitor speakers for reinforcing a shy cast of kids facing a range of boundary and vocal microphones. Control was a small format digital mixing desk. Lighting provided a range of wash colours on stage using COLORdash LED PARs. Lighting was necessarily static, due to time and a tight budget.
The result was a lovely production and a happy client, which of course makes us happy at Mainline!
Client: Stagecoach Performing Arts
Venue: Robert Smyth Academy
Weddings, East Lancashire Railway - Summer 2019
Wedding scene at East Lancashire Railway
Mainline are very pleased to be working with East Lancashire Railway again, helping to deliver their wedding venue and service offering. We typically provide a small PA system and music playback for civil ceremonies held at ELR's Bolton Street Station.
This is an increasing popular alternative to traditional church ceremonies! Typically, we'll play the arrival and ceremonial music, with background music before and after the service. Microphones are provided when needed for speeches, announcements, and so on.
East Lancashire Railway [new window]
1940's Event, East Lancashire Railway - May 2019
1940's style British squaddies at Rawtenstall Station, ELR
Another of our regular jobs is providing a small but discreet PA system for commentary during the WWII battle re-enactments.
A pair of Mackie Thump 500W speakers are used with a Line 6 wireless microphone input. This setup provides enough coverage, throw and clarity despite the battle noise of blank rounds being fired, along with pyrotechnics.
Client: East Lancashire Railway [new window]
Venue: ELR Rawtenstall Station [new window]
Hattons Model Railways, SEC - February 2019
Hattons Model Railways exhibition stand at Model Rail Scotland
Our trade stand structure was supplied to Hattons for the 2019 Model Rail Scotland event.
The structure comprises a floor-standing 6m x 6m grid at a height of 3m, using Global Truss aluminium tri-sections from the F33 range.
Key lighting was achieved using a variety of PAR56 and pin-spot fixtures.
Client: Hattons Model Railways [new window]
Venue: Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow