Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Phog Phest Re-Cap (with thanks) Part 1 - Pete Lawlor

There were loads of people who made this event special on Saturday. Phog Phest was bound for failure without these cogs of professionalism that stepped in and made things seamless when the pants were falling apart.

I will take the time to thank the people who helped in subsequent posts, to the best of my ability.
Here's the first of many.

When the planning for this event was happening over the phone with CBC Radio 3 in Vancouver, and some sound technicians and producers in Toronto, there wasn't a clear indication to them what we had in mind. Maybe that was due in part to my inability to properly contextualize the size I was seeing, but there was a minor glitch in communicating what we had in mind...until Pete Lawlor appeared.

Who?
This guy.
He's going to flip when he sees this here, as he is the LAST guy who wants attention for doing his job...but too bad.

Pete wandered into Phog on the first night of Red Bull Air Races.
He said he was going to be helping with the CBC Radio 3 party, and that he was from Windsor originally. He asked questions I had not given thought to, and made me think I was going to be scrambling every day leading up to the celebration.

We walked the perimeter of the space outside, talking about how it would look, and he began thinking, visibly. I could tell he was crunching numbers and logistics. He started asking who I was working with for sound, stage, lighting, power, etc.

I gathered Pete info so that I could start connecting him to the correct people.

He looked at me with a grin and said, "They're going to need more than they think they need. This is going to be bigger than they think. But it's going to be amazing," or something close to that.

He also said that I was not to worry about the stage, the stage roof, the lighting, or the sound. He was going to arrange it with the connections in Windsor, and make sure none of the key elements were missed. He asked me to leave it in his hands. So I did.

Needless to say, the sound, power, lighting, and stage requirements were amazing. Pete's connection to CBC (as an engineer and MORE) and as an amazing sound-man for countless events made flawless his ability to see what was needed. Adam Marz (who I will get to in a later post) connected with Pete to make magic happen on Saturday, July 11th.

I don't know how to properly thank Pete for being a brilliant, patient, diligent, and ultra-effective stage manager outside, making legendary band changeovers.

He also was one of the only people on-site from the very beginning. He was at Phog, in the street, early, and was one of the last people to go, hoping to find some friends for last call. Cannot believe how many hours he put in.

Pete, I'm thrilled to have met you, and I was only upset that we didn't get to share a beer.

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