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Special Report: Gwanda International Gospel Festival

Special Report: Gwanda International Gospel Festival

Special Report: Gwanda International Gospel Festival

The fifth edition of the GIGF was held in October 2019 at the Phelandaba Stadium. Tatenda Gaylord Rushwaya from Events Evolution discusses the AVL setup deployed

The most recent Gwanda International Gospel Festival (GIGF) was held in the city of Gwanda in Zimbabwe on 4 and 5 October 2019 and was attended by over 20,000 people. The festival is bankrolled by South Africa-based businessman Justice Maphosa through his company Big Time Strategic Group.

The latest edition was headlined by Shongwe & the Khuphuka Saved Group and Sipho Makhabane – both from South Africa – along with performances from Denzel the Pianist, also from South Africa, and South Africa-based Zimbabwean artist Takesure Zamar. Local acts Vocal Ex, Mathias Mhere, Indosakusa: The Morning Star, Mkhululi Bhebhe, Joyful Praise, Hybrid Sounds and Harvest Music Super Choir rounded out the line-up. At Events Evolution, we were hired to provide the sound, lighting, AV, stage and power solutions for the second year in a row.

For sound, the main PA we used was TW Audio, with Endelani Kachepa serving as FOH engineer and systems technician. We used 15 Vera36 boxes (12 80° and three 120° units) per hang for even and smooth coverage, with two T24N speakers for front-fill. We also deployed 20 S33 and six BSX subwoofers in a combination of cardioid and end-fire configurations, while the delay tower had two hangs of six Vera36 boxes.

The PA setup was driven by five tour racks and two system racks, all with Lab.gruppen PLM 12K44 amplifiers for the mid/highs and PLM 20K44 for the subs. FOH control was from an Allen & Heath dLive C3500 with Dante and Waves option cards.

Monitor world was managed by monitor engineer Tendai Madewu, who was running nine C15 wedges – eight onstage and one cue wedge – and a pair of T24N speakers for side-fill duties. A dLive C2500 was deployed as control for monitors, while an Allen & Heath ME-1 personal mixing system was used onstage for the band and Shure PSM1000 in-ear monitors for lead singers. Monitor amplification was from a Lab.gruppen system rack with PLM 12K44 amps. Audio signals were split between FOH and monitors via Dante.

Events Evolution’s Blessing Bero was the event’s lighting designer, putting together the lighting and stage designs, which included Chauvet Professional Maverick (Mk2) Spots, R1 Beams, Intimidator Hybrid 140SR moving heads, R2 Washes, Chauvet DJ SlimPAR Tri 12 USB/IRC fixtures, EVE E-100Z profiles and EVE E-50Z Fresnel fixtures. Chauvet Hurricane Haze 4D and Le Maitre MVS haze machines were used to add visual effects to the lighting rig and an Avolites Arena console was deployed to offer programming and control of the rig via Chauvet Net-X II ArtNet adapters. Avolites Arena was used for the event because it has plenty of faders and playback with digital legends.

Finally, my role for the GIGF was as the visual designer. We deployed 220 Gloshine P3.9 LED panels. The two main side screens were in portrait orientation, measuring 4.5m x 5m. They were used for the live camera feed and displaying adverts. The centre LED wall was in landscape configuration and measured 12.5m x 4m. This was used to run motion graphics and the playback of pre-recorded videos, as well as Bible verses. All the content was being run using an Avolites AI Media Server RX4 and Titan Mobile console.

The event went so well this year, especially compared to our first time working GIGF last year, because we have acquired more equipment during the last 12 months. We had new power generators onsite, so we had uninterrupted power from day one and we also had a new video mixer from Blackmagic Design. All I can say is that this year’s GIGF was truly a success and an improvement on 2018.

This article was first published in the January-February 2020 edition of Worship AVL. Subscribe at or read on Issuu.

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