Our resident technical advisor, Christopher Levy is in Philadelphia for the Live 8 show. He snapped some pics of the backstage area as well as the front of the stage and recorded a bit of footage while he was surveying the grounds.
He was also kind enough to give me a moment of his time for a quick interview.
B: Hey Christopher. I just realized I have no idea what you’re doing in Philadelphia. Explain.
C: I am a Technical Advisor to Kevin Wall’s (Executive Producer and our CEO) Philly team working with John Rubey (CEO of AEG-Live) to provide coordination support to the Broadcast Services Team. We are overseeing all broadcast and transmission of the World Feed and all Global Feeds.
B: So you’re doing a lot of sitting around.
C: Yes, I am telecommuting to the Live 8 site.
B: What has the atmosphere been like around there?
C: Hot, Hectic and Humongous. This is a gargantuan effort unseen in the history of music. The city is literally come to a halt.
B: How many people would you say are involved?
C: We have over 2000 people on site to make this show a reality. Verizon had to install a Company Office in the middle of a field to support all of our voice, data and video needs. Everyone from union workers to erect the stage to Verizon, XM, All Mobile Video, Show Power, Volvo, AOL, MTV, etc.
B: What about the technical stuff like equipment, bandwidth and stuff like that?
C: Without disclosing anything proprietary we have setup a platform that uses three different satellites, 16 fiber video feeds, and over 300 phone lines to operate the broadcast. It will be live on AOL.com and we expect to hit 20+ Gbps of sustained peak bandwidth.
B: Wow. That’s a lot of internets!
C: Internets… yeah… umm, right… I have to work now.