Opening & Closing Ceremonies of the XXVII Olympiad – Sydney 2000
Wireless Audio System Design and Spectrum Coordination
On secondment to Norwest Productions, Peter was responsible for the deployment, operation and interference/intermod free frequency coordination of the microphone and in ear monitor systems used at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In addition to the equipment directly under his control he also coordinated frequencies with the Olympic host broadcaster.
Recently we marked the twentieth anniversary of the Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony. Looking back, from 20 years later, this was still an incredible achievement by so many. At the time it was the biggest event ever attempted. Many of the team were new to Ceremonies. We were on the cusp of many developing technologies that are now mainstream. Conceived, designed, and executed by Australian crew.
From Julius Grafton’s report in Cx Magazine: “Genius was thick on the ground at Stadium Australia. Even the thing that momentarily stalled, the cauldron, astounded. We needed heroes, and now we have them. This should be a time when the Australian trait of cutting down the tall poppy is buried. When talk turned to the Olympics at ENTECH back in March, we heard a few dark pathetic and miserable souls commenting snidely that these companies couldn’t possibly do a show like this. These people live in a different Australia. The most interesting thing of all is that it’s very unlikely anyone will ever stage a show so large again.”
Of course this was not all the wireless equipment, far from it. This was what was under that stage. The builders plastic you see was part of a “tent” when the water fall was running behind Cathy, the water poured through the stage.
I was about 10m from Cathy just behind the waterfall.
Funny Story: Earlier in the evening, John Farnham realised the soles of his shoes were slippery, and he was about to walk out onto the stage with Olivia Newton-John to sing “Dare to Dream”, he asked if anyone had a Leatherman. Conveniently, Peter did, and John proceeded to cut groves into the soles. he commented “I can’t go out there and drop the blonde”. Working with John was always entertaining.