Man stood at a mixing desk in the background an artist is performing

Mark at the mixing desk

When we set up our state of the art music recording studio at Orb, we did a clever bit of forward thinking about how we could use our resources to support our local community… We bought portable sound (PA) and lighting equipment that can be reused at live events in our wider community: concerts, drama, performance as well as music.

So far we’ve supported a range of events from the fashion and technology show at King James school in Knaresborough to pantomimes at local churches along with local event organisations like Kula, the Frazer Theatre in Knaresborough and Ripley Blues. We’ve also worked alongside artists like Georgie Fame, Snake Davis, Japanese Fighting Fish, Breathing Space, SaYes and Po90.

There’s more to it than sound and lighting expertise though. Every event we support is a valuable opportunity for our members who come along to get some hands-on experience at a real-life live event. The skills our members learn at Orb are put into practice, developed and are ultimately transferable into further training, employment or involvement with other community organisations like Orb. Mick, who now works in our Ecominds garden project took part in a few live events as well as Jake and Vaughn, two of our resident artist/musicians.

An empty stage showing sound and speaker set up

Outdoor event stage as set up by Orb

It isn’t for the feint-hearted though, providing sound and lighting support can be tough work for us, and our members are often faced with real problems and tight deadlines. But we see it as a challenge and the positive experience helps to push our members to the next level in their care and development.

But … Orb isn’t a hire company

We seek out events which will offer a service to our community or events which are beneficial to Orb’s mission: to provide a positive environment for people with mental health support needs. Orb is a sustainable organisation, so we exist on funding from different sources – sound and lighting support is just one of those.  In the past we’ve worked for donations, new equipment or just the sheer challenge of it.

Where will Orb sound and lighting be next?

We’ll be covering events at the upcoming FEVA 2010 festival in Knaresborough including:

  • Chris Newman & Marie Ni Chathasaigh in the Frazer theatre on Friday 13th August at 8.00pm (check the official FEVA programme of events)
  • Martin Simpson at Henshaws Arts & Crafts centre on Friday 20th August at 7.30pm (check the official FEVA programme of events)

You can of course see us at work on Sunday 15th August too at our exciting showcase event: Orb at FEVA 2010.

Need professional sound and lighting support?

We’re always up for a new challenge at live community events so we’d love to hear from you. You should contact us about your event or leave a comment below.

This blog article was written by Chris Kenworthy: copywriter and photographer