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What do you do if your music venue only holds 300 people, but you want to share your event with the whole world? Le Ferrailleur decided to stream OPENINGTHE DOORS
WORDS ANNE MORRIS IMAGES VARIOUS W hen it celebrated its tenth annivesary in 2017, music venue Le Ferrailleur came up with the ambitious idea of putting on live shows over ten consecutive days. The fact that it only has the capacity for 300 people was neatly sidestepped by renting a big screen, which enabled the performances to be viewed outside. The success of the project convinced FrançoisMontupet, head of communications at Le Ferrailleur, and directorMathieu Amussat-L’Hôtellier to look at how a wider audiencemight be reached on amore regular basis. The solution they came towas to start streaming concerts via the club’s Facebook page, using the platformFacebook Live. A year later, Le Ferrailleur’s ‘les concerts canapé’ (couch concerts) concept was finally unveiled to the public. The club nowhas seven concerts canapé under its belt. It aims to do one broadcast every twomonths and only in the event that a show is sold out. But, asMontupet explains, a number of different factors have to come together to ensure a broadcast can go ahead and it’s clear that some challenges still remain. Le Ferrailleur has already built the technical set-up to enable it to stream music events, primarily with the support of Blackmagic Design. It uses amulti-camera systemcomprising three BlackmagicMicro Studio Camera 4Ks, one Panasonic Lumix GH4 and one Panasonic Lumix GH5with a Canon 24-105mm lens. Blackmagic’s ATEMTelevision Studio HD is used tomix the camera signals, with the ability to combine sources from25fps to 50fps, all in full HD. All of the streams are captured on a laptopwith the Blackmagic
UltraStudioMini Recorder, which also stores content that can be repurposed for highlights packages ormini clips for social network posting. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is used formanaging the video recording and live streaming and the quality of sound is assured through the use of two sound boards. An important aspect of the technical set-upwas to ensure that people inside the clubwere not adversely affected by the equipment, L’Hôtellier explains. “The ATEMswitcher is super compact, just like the cameras, whichmeans the production set-up doesn’t disrupt the venue’s atmosphere,” he says. “Neither does the audience feel inhibited or watched.” One of themain obstacles at the start of the project was the club’s rather poor internet connectivity. Although France is making better progress with fibre optic deployment compared tomany of its European neighbours, it seems that ultra- high-speed broadband networks have not yet reached Le Ferrailleur. “Sowe use 4G mobile networks,” saysMontupet. Latency, or the delay betweenwhat is seen and heard, has proven to be an extremely challenging problemand remains one of the technical team’s biggest bugbears. “We sometimes find a way to resolve this,”Montupet explains. “Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But it’s still very unstable on Facebook, mostly because of Facebook Live itself.” Building up fans Aside from the technical matters, it’s also necessary to obtain permission from the band playing before a broadcast can go ahead. AfterMontupet explains the idea is to create videos that will go viral, most bands becomemore receptive to the idea.
“The ATEMswitcher is so compact, the audience doesn’t feel inhibited or watched” The other thorny issue is, of course, how to raisemoney to ensure the concerts canapé concept can be financially beneficial both for the club and the bands. This is clearly still a work in progress. AsMontupet points out, many of the bands at Le Ferrailleur are playing for the first time. One option is to charge thema one-off fee of about €1000 for the right to use the video taken by the Le Ferrailleur team for promotional purposes. Future sources of incomemight also come fromsponsorship deals. But it’s not just aboutmoney, it’s also about creating something viral and spreading the name of the club further afield. “Our club is private, we have nomoney fromthe city,” says Montupet. “We do all of it by ourselves.” So, howhave people responded to the streamed band performances?Montupet
IMAGES Using Blackmagic and Panasonic Lumix cameras allows Le Ferrailleur to stream live music events
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