RiZE festival-goers were spoilt for choice when it came to great music over the weekend. From Stereophonics to Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Plan B to Years and Years, the brand new festival delivered countless unforgettable live performances over two days. Live music outdoors has never sounded so good.
That’s largely thanks to someone you’ve never even heard of. The one person no artist would want to be without. Barry is a sound engineer for Twisted Audio who worked at RiZE all weekend to ensure everything you heard in the Carlsberg Danish Quarter sounded perfect. Even though he’s never made the cover of a magazine, scored a Number 1 album or seen his name on the line-up poster.
In fact, by the time artists like Sinead Harnett and Sam Johnson stepped on the Danish Quarter stage, Barry had already been working for days to make sure the show went without a hitch. Long before the first festival-goer cracked open a Carlsberg on site, Barry prepared for the festival by picking the sound equipment that would be needed over the weekend and making sure it got to the right place in one piece. Then he started the long process of unloading the gear, setting it all up and liaising with the festival team around him, including the production managers and the obligatory “noise police” who monitor the overall sound created by the festival.
After that, quick sound-checks are sometimes squeezed in but often, time constraints at festivals mean the performance goes ahead without one. So Barry needs to watch artists closely, listen to the sound system and make adjustments as the show goes on. “The rush that goes through trying to get that right...” Barry admits. “You almost feel like you’re on stage playing.”
So next time you’re at a festival, give an extra cheer for Barry: the secret extra member of your favourite band.