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Mon 18 Apr 2016

The Rolling Stones in Cuba with UNITED

The Rolling Stones in Cuba with UNITED

Rolling Stones concert footage is always pretty unique in its own right. However, documenting “the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world” playing Cuba, where their music had been banned for years, is extra special.

As part of the America Latina Olé tour, The Rolling Stones gave their Concert for Amity in the Cuban capital Havana on Friday, March 25th. A groundbreaking event and a historic landmark, in part because access was free and this was the first open-air concert ever given by a British rock band in Cuba. An estimated one million visitors attended and United were there too. Bolke Burnaby-Lautier’s team made a 4K DVD recording for JA Digital with director Paul Dugdale and producers Simon Fisher and Sam Bridger.

Challenging task

Cuba has limited supplies of A/V rental equipment, so all the necessary gear had to be shipped out. Bolke: “Twelve pallets of equipment, 3,800 kilos in total, were transported by air. However, exporting to Cuba is difficult; there’s a great deal of government red tape involved. In addition, there are many restrictions and prohibitions related to equipment, use of frequencies, and so on. What’s more, we didn’t have a full OBV, which is what we’re used to working with, so we took a very 'Rock 'n Roll' approach and built a direction set beneath the stage.  Mick Jagger was literally jumping over our heads. Given the circumstances, I think everything went pretty smoothly.”

Much appreciated

Alissa Jalink, Head of Assistance Service, adds: “We worked very hard to realize everything and the Cuban location made everything even more impressive. During the ‘surprise day’ which had been organized for us after the concert, we really became acquainted with the country and locals. We were driven around in old open-roofed cars, through the island’s interior and to beautiful beaches. We travelled on board an old train and ate with locals. We had a great time, and we felt our hard work on previous days was really appreciated.”