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What The Bellhops have been doing lately: New Years Eve 2011

New Years Eve 2011 · Monday January 2, 2012

We had a fabulous night at Burwood RSL on New Years Eve, and we narrowly averted a major NYE disaster. Imagine a NYE where no one realises how close it is to midnight and no one does a countdown to the new year. Well, this didn’t happen, but it was a close thing.
Travis is the technician at Burwood RSL, doing an excellent job of running their very nifty wireless sound and light setup. He instructed us to have a break at 5 minutes to midnight so he could lower the large projection scene at the rear of the stage. The idea was to put the television broadcast of the countdown on the scene. We were to return to stage at 1 minute to midnight and lead the audience in the countdown to the new year, then launch into Auld Lang Syne and then continue with some serious new year party music with the Sydney fireworks as our backdrop.
At 5 to minute we stopped and left the stage, Travis lowered the scene, all good so far. Now typically, this large scene is used to view sporting events and is the default channel for the screen, so of course, when the picture came on instead of the countdown we got a soccer (football) game in progress. Travis went into meltdown because he did not have the remote for the screen and he frantically ran around searching for the duty manager who did have the remote.
Needless to say we sat watching the game assuming they would sort it out before midnight. Time went on and the game continued until I happened to glance at one of the smaller mounted TV screens in the club which was on the channel counting down to midnight. To my horror the countdown only had 30 seconds to go. I screamed to the other band member to get on stage NOW! pointing and waving like a madman at the smaller TV with countdown rapidly approaching midnight.
So with the soccer match as our backdrop we returned to stage with 20 seconds to go and kept our eyes on the smaller screen. We managed to count everyone down to midnight and ring in the new year right on time.
Oh, about 30 seconds into the new year the duty manager finally found the remote and changed the channel to the fireworks which was the best backdrop I have ever played to.

— Mark Roulston

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