This weekend’s Sonic 25th Anniversary Party didn’t go smoothly for anyone involved. Both attendees and stream viewers, which numbered in the thousands, suffered a strong dose of awkward as the show was plagued by stalls, confusion, and a still-haunting buzzing noise that took over the stream’s audio for some time.
Bridges and his team are huge Sonic fans. “Working for SEGA is a dream gig for us,” and they spent over a month painstakingly preparing for a show that quickly turned into a seemingly endless series of problems.
“Rental house didn’t give us a lens. 300ft wireless working at <20ft due to RF interference, etc,” Bridges listed. “The AV techs tried to do things completely different than planned. One of them changed my settings on my rig while I was setting up antennas.”
Once it was time to get rolling, a feeback signal blew out their mixer output and audio interface, creating that comforting BZZZZZZ noise.
“I had to decide whether to cut stream and fix (and lose reach on SEGA’s behalf) or maximize content people got while hearing my mistakes.” The show went on, and Bridges worked while Crush 40 held the stage down with over a dozen Sonic song performances. “I chose to kill crowd mics while isolating audio issues,” he added, referencing the crowd’s apparent silence during the performance. “People _were_ singing along to @Crush40. The crowd was ballistic.”
“I fixed the issue during Crush 40’s set. Had to reroute mixer through aux outs and hotswap audio interfaces while live. Might have crashed.”
Nothing crashed, but issues started stacking up in the coordination department. With so many attendees, the event started a half hour later and the original four-hour script needed to be condensed.
“So after we breathe a sigh of relief from killing the buzz,” he continues, “our host’s girlfriend suffers an accident and ambulance takes her to hospital.” Skyler King left to identify his girlfriend to the paramedics (Bridges says she is “ok”), leaving a crew member to interview Warner Bros Interactive on stage.
Despite the technical setbacks, coordination panic, and a strong dose of improv, the stream never stopped.
“We actually made it from intro to credits without stopping. I couldn’t believe it.”
“It was intense dealing all that when I knew 50,000 people were watching,” Bridges said. “But I think given the circumstances, we all made the right choices and minimized the degree of failure as much we could. Nonetheless, the mission was a failure. A lot of hard work wasted. But oh boy will I learn from it, and what a great story too.”