EUROPALCO, the largest provider of solutions for events and shows in Southern Europe, assumed a pivotal role in managing audiovisual signal distribution across all PA systems and LedWall towers for World Youth Day 2023, hosted in Lisbon, Portugal.
Since its inception in 1985, World Youth Day (WYD), a monumental gathering for young people organised by the Catholic Church, has seen the convergence of up to 1.5 million attendees during the Pope’s visit. For the iconic “Colina do Encontro”, one of the main meeting points of the event, Europalco took on the key role of providing impeccable image and sound distribution. The 40-metre-wide and 24-metre-high main stage designed by the architect João Matos, spanning an area of 430 m², was prominently positioned within the Parque Eduardo VII. Everything featured on the stage was seamlessly broadcasted throughout the sprawling 30-hectare venue in Lisbon’s heart.
Europalco engineered a bespoke distribution system for this purpose, designed to seamlessly transmit the appropriate video and audio signals to each tower. Utilising multiple fibre-optic connections spanning distances of up to 5 kilometres, all centralised within the master control room, the engineers successfully disseminated signals to 25 key points featuring PA systems and LedWall displays and facilitated stage and backstage monitoring.
Nélio Lima, technical director at Europalco, explained, “We designed each transmitted signal to include a video signal with embedded audio to ensure synchronisation between the two components. We converted these signals into a fibre-optic format for transmission. When the fibre signal reached each tower, we converted it back into a video signal and distributed the audio”.
Lima added, “Inside the Master Control Room, we received multiple audio channels, allowing the sound operator to control each designated point individually. We integrated these audio channels into the corresponding video signals and then directed them to their destinations”.
Considering the extensive distances involved, the engineering team’s initial priority was introducing a delay in the video signals. This was done to ensure that audio delays remained consistent, thereby offering the audience the experience of synchronised audio with the nearest screen. Signals with the required delays were dispatched from the Master Control Room.
In case of an emergency, Europalco had established a system capable of sending zone-specific messages, including both audio and video. This setup allowed the engineering team to issue evacuation warnings for a particular area without impacting the rest of the venue.
Europalco also took on the responsibility of overseeing all the content and sources that would be mixed for all the screens at the event, this encompassed video content, camera signals, sign language, and hand choruses. Sign language interpretation was conducted at the media centre, with the signal transmitted to the Master Control Room via fibre-optic connection.
Nelio Lima added, “We oversaw the event’s intercom system, which required coverage for the entire stage area, backstage, and a secondary stage approximately 500 meters from the main stage. This coverage was achieved using wireless stations. Additionally, we had fixed stations strategically placed in various key areas, including sound (front and monitors), lighting, video, production, the Master Control Room, and the interface with the host broadcaster’s vehicle.
The Portuguese event provider had the additional responsibility of installing and running all the lighting systems under the lighting design, which involved illuminating the entire altar palace and its surroundings in Campo da Graça within Parque Tejo, a venue hosting several pivotal events where young people met Pope Francis.
At this other venue, Europalco oversaw the management of all content and sources integrated into the screens at the event; this encompassed various elements such as video content, camera signals, sign language interpretation, and hand choirs.
Europalco’s founder and CEO, Pedro Magalhaes expressed his pride in contributing to such a significant event of immense importance for numerous individuals. He conveyed the company’s deep satisfaction with the outcome of WYD 2023.
EUROPALCO has 26 years of experience working alongside national and international clients, making Portugal the base for the most important corporate events worldwide.
Its mission is to provide creative, technological, innovative, and 100% personalised solutions that ensure successful and memorable results.
Focusing on their clients and their event requirements, they offer the broadest global package of products and services that cover everything from exclusive furniture rental to the latest audio-visual technologies, including stages, structures, printing materials and much more.
With facilities in Lisbon and Porto, Europalco continues to grow.