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Mannin Navetan Open Air 2016 – Behind the scenes

Mannin Navetan Open Air is free festival near Turku, Finland. To be more specific it is in Lieto… On Mannin Navetta. Festival organiser is Rokmanni Ry what aims to bring rock to Lieto… Or to be more specific rise Lieto from dead to Finland Rock capital! Mannin Navetan Open Air 2016 was first of its kind… And did I already mentioned that it was completely free! C’mon whole day festival and 5 bands for free, how cool is that!?

Paradoxical Production have few times helped Rokmanni to arrange music event and Mannin Navetan Open Air 2016 was one in continuum. In this (first) year Paradox arraigned stage setup and PA. Most of the equipments come from bands and Paradox bring mixing, mics and PA to event. Also worth of mentioning is that F-Musiikki was kind to sponsor festival and lend some backup equipment and mics!

This post is not about tech… I will post separate post about that in future… This is about event and how everything go.

So before Mannin Navetan Open Air 2016…

…everything started on few months before event when Jari from Guzbo called to me if I could come to Mannin Navetta. So I went there and we had an short meeting where I met bands first time and we agreed with Anne (chairman of RockManni) that Paradox will handle mixing of Mannin Navetan Open Air 2016. Then we had few meetings where we spoke about event on general level and agreed that we continue to talk tech on chat.

Well… I get somewhat stressed out of stage equipments about week before of show. No bands or anybody had confirmed any equipments what they could bring to the event! What I got was PA system and mixing equipments… Only with those we would not going to make any rock show! Luckily my good friends Timo and Markus (from Deus Deceptor) promised to give their guitar equipments in use to event and I got my own bass rig! Special thanks to Deus Deceptor! Also Timo plays on Guzbo and he and Jari (from Guzbo) arraigned Guzbos PA to be used as stage monitor… So again special thanks for Guzbo and Timo (again)!

So then come Friday… Day before event and day for move equipments to Mannin Navetta. I went to studio afternoon and started to packing everything… Soon I realised that all equipments do not fit in my car on one go. So I started to pack everything as fast as possible. Then my phone ringed. It was Guzbos guitar player… They had forgot theirs banner in theirs rehearsal room! So they called a favour and asked me to pick it up. Finally I get my first load packed to car and head to Guzbo rehearsal room, what was completely opposite direction than Mannin Navetta.

When I arrived ther I spotted that there is also one of Mannin Navetta crew member… So what is up here? Of course… Guzbo had asked second person to get banner and forgot to cancel job from me! Oh well… To Mannin Navetta then! I did not waste any time and tried to get everything done as fast as possible, but still clock was over 10 pm when I get to home! So I did roughly 8 hours working day on that day. Now was time to go to sleep and get ready to the show day!

Mannin Navetta Open Air 2016

The show day started for me at 7 am. I get up and headed to Mannin Navetta. Almost immediately at 9 when I arrived to Mannin Navetta we started to get equipments to stage and to mixing booth… Because time was running, area would be open at 3 pm and first band would star to play at 4 pm, we needed fast setup.

I started to build mixing booth first as I noticed that Soittorasias guys was rushed to stage and started to build their setup (they wanted to use all their just own equipments for unknown reason… And I was not enough interested to ask why). After mixing booth was almost ready I noticed that I am missing one important cable… Or to be more accurate I did not understand that Scarlett 18i8 do not have ADAT, it only have s/pdiff out. Luckily Timo from Guzbo had such as cable on Guzbos rehearsal room, so we went there to get one! We get back around 11.30 am and Soittorasia was still not done their setup and sound check!

Finally around mid day I was able to start setup the stage and get things to run! Thanks to all band members who helped me to set up the stage and it took about hour to get everything in place and cabled… So finally we get sound check started, but there were only 2 hours time before we needed to be ready. I decided to spend more time to first sound check band (Descents) to get everything in balance so others could just focus sound check and not stage monitoring. I used about 30 minutes with Descents (and stage monitor balance) and rest of the bands get around 15 minutes of sound check. Times does not of course include equipment changes between bands… Nevertheless we made it! We build sound setup, stage monitoring and made 4 sound checks in less than 3 hours!

After that I rushed to local shop to get few beers so I could relax… For last 30 minutes before first band would start on stage!

Finally I got my beer open and it was the show time!

(Thanks to Markku Vuotila for all band photos! Go check his site: http://vuotila.net)

First band to hit the stage was WonderCunt!

WonderCunt played all kind of skate punk to some rock. Nice band and promising future ahead of them!

Mixing them was nice and I found quite quickly fine tuned sound for them. So this give me time to little bit relax and enjoy the festival.

Next on stage was Guzbo!

Guzbo plays all kind of rock songs from Finnish classics all to way to international mega stars! If you need jack of all trades, master of none way of rock band to your event Guzbo is right choose for you!

Guzbo was most familiar band for me to mix. I have mixed them several times, but previously  I had used their equipments and not my own. Normally Guzbo has three guitars on stage, but this time they only had two. Also their guitar player played without his normal rig. I get quite fast instruments to blend in mix and get them rocking! But I had some problems with vocals… I do not know what caused it… was it massive wind or what, but vocals sounded unclear and somewhat “muddy”. Until about half a gig I did not get good control of vocals, but then something happened and I get it on level where I wanted… Maybe I find good balance of compressor and EQing so I could kill wind and still keep vocals clear. After that everything went well and they totally rocked the stage!

Then it was Jälkikäynti turn to hit the stage!

Jälkikäynti plays classic older punk! Awesome players punked not only the stage but whole festival!

It was pleasure to mix Jälkikäynti their sound was awesome. It worked immediately and I could focus to fine tune it and focus vocal and backing vocal balance.

Then stage was Soittorasias and time to pull your spandex up!

Soittorasia show was very Van Halen and glam rock. Very professional and very determined style. So if you ever need any spandex or glam rock to your parties do not hesitate to contact these guys!

They did not want mixing and they used their own equipments… They sounded ok… I would have tweaked few things.

Last but not least stage where blown up by Descents!

Descents plays metal that have lot of influence from Göteborg metal and from US death metal scene. They had really good stage show and lot of movement on the stage! It was nice to see that energy!

Descent sound check had its own challenges as they where first and all stage monitors needed to be adjusted. But when show started everything seemed to be just right. When show go on I had to work with vocals and do some compressor work to vocals. Also guitar was little it too “pitchy” to my taste so I needed to do some EQing on go. Otherwise quite little effort needed to be done to get volume maxed out for metal band.

Then it was time to cool off…

…after the Descent was blown the stage. Clock was little over 10 pm. I took little break as I where worked almost constantly from 9 am until now. After that I started to bring down mixing gear and when I was half a way to do that I looked to stage… And what did I see… Almost all the bands were on stage and tearing down all the equipments and throwing everything to one big pile of stuff! Original plan was to take stage down in peace and with good care… As bands supposed to stay on Mannin Navetta and have theirs own parties after festival… But that did not happened as there were free bus ride to bar called Moision Olkkari! So I just shaked my head and give up… I took my mixing gear and put them on safe place. It was surprisingly how fast drunk musicians can take the stage down when free ride to bar has promised to them.

So after 30 minutes stage were completely taken down and all equipments was on back stage in one big chaotic pile… And soon after that bus arrived and they started to locking doors. Well I raised my shoulders and started to walk towards a car, because I needed to be in driving condition on tomorrow morning and I was sober. Also I knew that if I would go to bar I would not be sober long!  So I was on home around midnight and fall asleep almost inmedealty after working something about 15 hours.

Carrying and clearing of equipments was left for next day. I went back to Mannin Navetta around 10 o’clock next morning… I must say that I feeled just fine, but I can not say that for other fellows there! 

Again carrying all stuff back to studio took longer than I expected. I again started working without delay after I arrived… but again I needed to take two trips to studio to get all equipments back… so this time I was ready around 2 o’clock pm and this do not include setting studio back up and running.

So making Mannin Navetan Open Air 2016 stage to happen I could say i took me around 32 hours of work! But it was worth of it! I saw and make happen lot of great shows! Of course special thanks needs to go Rokmanni Ry and Anne Laiho who make this event to really come alive!

Hopefully we will see next year even bigger Mannin Navetan Open Air… and maybe some Mannin Navetan Attic Winter Party 2016 or something like that!