BernExpo "Summer in the City" with event technology from Kilchenmann

Kilchenmann Kilchenmann, 03 September 2021


Chicken skin feeling. Emotionally charged. Exuberant. Cheerful. That's how the new BernExpo event format can be summed up in a nutshell.

 "Summer in the City" welcomed hungry visitors after a long Corona thirst with concerts, public viewing and open-air cinema from 26 June to 7 August 2021. Kilchenmann AG took over all the technical management and organised the event in record time.

"I actually had to shed a tear," Samuel Berger describes his emotions when the first concert swept across the stage. Normally, nothing upsets the experienced stage manager. But the last few months it was too quiet for him in Switzerland. Now that the events are slowly picking up speed again, emotions are running high among artists, supporters, organisers and the visitors. Stefanie Heinzmann puts it this way: "Playing in front of people who dance and sing - I can hardly wait and I'm totally nervous."


State-of-the-art audio, video and lighting technology

BernExpo is a well-known organiser of trade fairs. This year, it wanted to venture into something new with a festival and finally hit the people around Bern with hot beats and powerful voices again after the long Corona dormancy. Kilchenmann AG acted as general contractor for the complete technology on site as well as the technical pre-production. "We supplied the complete audio, video and lighting technology as well as the stage. On site, we provided the entire technical infrastructure with up to 18 technicians and a stage management team. All with the support of long-standing partners," explains Stephan Huber, technical manager at Kilchenmann AG.

The big event organised in 6 weeks

At the kick-off with BernExpo in May for the programme, the ideas sprouted: "Why not offer a public viewing during the European Championship? And since the big screen is already in place, we could use the time between the European Championship and the concert highlight for an open-air cinema". Thought, said, done! So there was just one month left from the kick-off on 24.5.2021 to the broadcast of the first match on 26.6.2021. A lot to do in such a short time. Among other things, the entire pre-production, i.e. the technical clarification with the artists for the upcoming concerts. As a reminder: Normally, such a production needs 6 to 12 months of planning time. "Everything happened in quick succession: team calls, bilateral discussions, quick decisions," recalls Martin Loosli, Technical Project Manager at Kilchenmann AG. Getting such a major event off the ground in such record time is only possible thanks to many years of experience, great trust between the partners, great commitment and a lot of joy.


The challenges for the event organisation

Undeniable: The extremely short-term planning phase was demanding, but everyone involved was very happy and committed. It was impossible to pull the event out of the drawer, as it was the first time it had been held. But with all the professionals at work and a few night shifts, everything was ready on day X. The COVID protection measures are still a challenge as well. In the end, however, the implementation of the whole certificate obligation for visitors and artists worked flawlessly, so that everyone felt safe and could celebrate exuberantly. Unfortunately, the weather made capers, which partly affected the number of visitors. "The festival has absolute potential and we would be happy if it were held in 2022," said Martin Loosli.


The pleasures

"Finally standing live in front of the stage again, a beer in hand and enjoying the atmosphere, simply fantastic," reports a visitor and her companion adds: "I'll be back next year!" Francine Jordi also said: "I was so carried away by the crowd. I didn't even know how to go live any more! I'm thrilled with what the crew has put on here. I'll be back for sure!"

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