Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day (and the Day Before)

4th of July weekend was a busy one for me, I was doing sound/lights for the National Park Service's National Mall Independence Day Celebration at the Washington Monument Grounds and the Lincoln Memorial. I also provided audio for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Oregon Ridge on 7/2-3 and at the Germantown Soccerplex on 7/4. As a result I did a lot of running around all weekend, but I spent most of my time at the DC events. On Sunday I took my mountain bike down, knowing that I would be doing a lot of running around between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monuments. Not a whole lot of pictures from that, but wait there is more. Sunday evening just after I got home and showered (it is hot on the mall), I got a call from the production manager that a big storm had blown through the site, and it was pretty ugly. So back to DC I went, to find a lot of wet audio gear and some pretty stout wind damage. This is the front of house mix riser, the silver tarped object is our front of house console. The Air Force Bands console is just in front of ours, not so lucky for them, they didn't secure their tarp well.
I ended up getting home about 12:30AM after determining what we needed to do to be ready for show day, which luckily was just changing out the control surface on the console in the picture above, that was the only thing we had get wet. The Air Force was not so lucky, they had to start over from scratch, essentially losing a whole day of soundchecks.

I got up the next morning and went to Germantown to meet up with my BSO crew, and due to the incredible bug population, ran out to get DEET for them. Other than that things were going fine, so I headed down to the Mall. When I arrived things were under way, and Suzy was drying out the control surface from the night before while the Air Force Band went through the whole soundcheck routine again.
Then I ran around down to see how things were going at the Lincoln Memorial.
Gary & Jeff were in good shape, no drama at this site the night before. What we were doing here is playing the fireworks music for the people who watch from the Lincoln. The fireworks get launched from just behind the WWII memorial, and we transmit the music from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Once I had seen that everything was moving right along, I scooted down the Mall to find an ATM machine. After passing by this bus being used as a roadblock,
I rode back up the Madison Ave side of the mall on the way back, where the Smithsonian Folklife Festival was going on. Lots of stuff going on, it takes up from 3rd to about 12th street on the Mall.
As I rolled along I passed by several trailers of Park Police horses, this one was having a snack.
Then it was back to the Washington Monument, where the throngs were gathered to wait out the fireworks and be entertained by the Air Force Band and Jo Dee Messina.
The show went well, a few sprinkles but no serious rain, then the fireworks started and I made my escape. Either you get out before/while the fireworks show is going on, or you end up stuck in traffic and pedestrians for hours afterwards. I headed for the homestead to get some sleep before another workweek started. By the way, here is my mountain bike wearing it's road sneakers chained to the stage.
Pretty dorktastic looking with the little tires, but much easier on the paved roads than knobbies.

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