Presteigne supports Hogmanay celebrations

Presteigne Broadcast Hire provided all technology, project management, and system design for the video transmission system used by Edinburgh-based and Avesco Group sister company mclcreate Ltd. for the live coverage of Scotland’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations across the multiple city centre locations.

mclcreate Ltd. worked with event producer Unique Events’ production management team, led by Rab Randall and assisted by Nigel Kippax in providing technical support services for the coverage in Edinburgh. 

Presteigne provided 18 RF links and three channels of city centre-wide radio talkback capabilities between three major performance stages, eight large screens and an emergency PA system throughout the festivities.

Presteigne CEO Mike Ransome said, “I can't think of another annual UK event that requires as many simultaneous point-to-point RF links from a single supplier. By comparison, the Grand National usually requires 10-12 RF links.”

Because multiple stages and screens were spread throughout Edinburgh, not all were within line of sight, so two repeater points were incorporated into the plan. Presteigne began rigging and testing in Edinburgh on 29 December with transmission starting at 11.00 AM on the 31st, finishing at approximately 2.00 AM on New Year’s Day. 

Ransome adds, “We have provided technology and support for many Hogmanay’s in the past, but never quite on this scale. The requirements change to some degree every year, and this year due to public demand a new, larger location was needed to host the old town Ceilidh beside St Giles Cathedral. Our challenge was to get signals to and from a small courtyard at St Giles Cathedral with no obvious RF path to any existing site. However, with our previous experience and careful planning, we created suitable methods to overcome the geographic limitations. 

“The only remaining challenges were logistical. Our crew had very little time to rig, test, and derig all of the sites. Many of the big screens didn’t arrive until the day of transmission, and once the celebrations were over all areas needed to be de-rigged, cleared, and returned to normal by morning. Again, although it was a quick turnaround, our experience enabled us to complete the process safely and efficiently.”

In addition to all equipment, pre-planning, and project management, Presteigne secured frequency use, designed the overall system, and organised transport logistics to ensure the timely delivery of a fully functioning system. The project was backed up and serviced on site by Presteigne engineers.