Big thank you from

Jenny Monroe talks to Alan Wiese of Sound and Light NI

Alan Wiese Alan Wiese runs Sound and Light NI in Railway Street with his business partner Trevor Falconer. He also runs an entertainment agency and is well known having worked in the music industry for over 35 years including commercial radio and in electronics. Sound and Light N.I provides PA and Lighting Systems for different occasions and applications.

I wake up around 8.30am, and soon after head to the shop, bleary eyed.

Throughout the day I divide my time between the running the shop with Trevor and looking after the entertainment side of things.

After some coffee I have a look in the entertainment diary and see what is booked in for the day and then get in touch with the entertainers to confirm they know where they are going and at what time.

At the shop we provide sound and lighting to clients all over the North of Ireland. We specialise in providing sound and lighting for events of all shapes and sizes from Band Gigs, DJs, discos and conferences to festivals. As well as our hire department we also offer an installation service for all types of venues from Nightclubs to Bars, Stage to Schools.

Sometimes clients just require a one off installation customised to the specific requirements of both the venue and likely usage or a portable system, which can be used in a wide variety of venues - either way we can help.

After an installation we can also provide after sales service including training for individuals and groups from simple power up and operation of the system through to advance sound engineering techniques

Throughout the day I deal with phone queries and with people coming into the shop. As well as managing musicians and Dj's I also promote venues too. It is my job to make sure that the most suitable entertainer or Dj is selected for a particular event or venue so I spend time doing some research by going to the venues and seeing what the demand is.

If a venue contacts me I use my research and feedback to draw up a package and think about the requirements of the venue and the same if it is for a client wanting to book an act for an event. I might be given two months, two days or even two hours notice to sort out entertainment packages so it does vary quite a bit.

As well as the regular mainstream gigs which requires Dj's and musicians I also cater for anniversary parties, karaoke nights, provide magic acts and have even organised a puppet show for kids. It really is down to what the client requires. I am regularly found at the printers getting posters and leaflets for gigs I am promoting printed up and I have to arrange advertising too.

When a gig has been arranged, I leave the shop and head to the venue with the appropriate equipment. I do sound and lighting checks and confirm everything is ok with the venue. If I am Dj'ing myself I will then have to leave and go to wherever I am booked. Once my gig is finished I have to pack away my gear and then head home. It really isn't a 9 - 5 job.

I enjoy my job. I have worked in the industry for years but this particular aspect of it is completely different. I pride myself on offering trustworthy advice and I make sure that the entertainers are professional and good at what they do. I also am proud that anyone coming into the shop can expect truthful advice and receive expert opinion.


Ulster Star