Optocore helps spread Pope’s message to 2.5 million in Poland

An optical fibre network was recently deployed by Optocore and its OEM associate BroaMan at the 2016 World Youth Day (WYD), an international Catholic event focused on faith and youth billed as ‘the biggest event in the world’, which this year took place at two sites in Kraków and Brzegi.

Pope Francis addressed a crowd of 2.5 million pilgrims and given the scale of the event, the pressure on providing a suitable public address system and pristine signal delivery to all worshippers across the vast spaces was immense.

Considering the large number of sound towers and receivers deployed — and vast distances between them (the furthest was located almost 2km from FOH) — the only solution was to use fibre. Optocore and its OEM associate, BroaMan, went down this route, and set up a fully-redundant optical fibre network using advanced, protocol-independent tools.

Both the principal sound rental companies — GigantSound-Letus and GMB Pro Sound — were charged with sourcing the inventory to implement this. They relied heavily on large multi-node redundant Optocore ring networks for the two main sites, Blonia Park in Kraków, which holds 600,000, and the nearby village of Brzegi, where the site could accommodate 2.5-3 million people. The latter location saw the largest deployment of technical gear ever put out for a single event, according to Gigant’s Jurek Taborowski.

The person responsible for specifying the BroaMan/Optocore solution was Marek Kotomski, coordinator from the WYD Organising Committee and co-designer of the fibre infrastructure in Kraków.

In total, some 160 devices from the German company were deployed, with a high number of interfaces provided respectively by French partners, Lumière & Son and GB4D.

Meanwhile, another Polish company, 4Vision, was contracted to install and maintain these systems, with onsite support throughout from the Optocore technicians. 4Vision also had to manage the timetable in what proved to be a fast fit project, with challenging deadlines.

Brought in by the WYD Organising Committee, the 4Vision team received training from Optocore before taking delivery of the pre-configured rack systems at the two French bases.

“Aside from the distances we needed to cover, the advantages of using Optocore was that the system was so simple for installation and control,” stated Pawel Fila, who supervised the technical installation.