Behind the scenes at BIT rehearsal
By Azaraimy HH

The Brunei International Tattoo (BIT) 2006 will be the biggest gathering of military bands in the region with 13 countries sending contingents to the not-to-be-missed extravaganza.

Behind the scenes, over 2,000 "support" personnel from the public relations to production teams to the secretariat are working round the clock to ensure that everything is perfect during the show, which is expected to last three hours.

Although the event is organised by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in conjunction with the 60th birthday celebrations of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, it also involves manpower support from others such as the Royal Brunei Police Force, Fire Services and Rescue, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as well as "freelancers" including students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

The Bulletin went behind the scenes at the venue for the BIT 2006, the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, yesterday and spoke with several officers, including Australia's Lt Col Patrick Pickett, Advisor and Senior Director of Music for BIT 2006.

He said the main challenge is that as the contingents are from different countries, they have to work as one big team, while the choreographers have to design a programme that flows smoothly.

He said basically each country has individual performances but some segments, such as the grand finale, require a coordinated show as well as formation by all the contingents.

Production also involves not just perfecting the field performances, but also making sure that such aspects as the lighting and audio system are in order.

One of the main attractions during the Tattoo is a giant triple LED screen or Light Emitted Display screen which is a crucial part of the renditions as it displays pictures and backgrounds.

The fireworks display is another important element of the show - coordination is one of the key aspects for the production team.

Meanwhile, the public relations team has been working for months to make that the show a success. They handle such matters as sponsorship, protocol and marketing.

Besides military personnel, the public relations team also comprises civilians and "freelancers" including from Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

The support team's main concerns are logistics, security and communication. There will be around 20,000 spectators on each night, so security and safety are crucial elements in staging the BIT 2006. - Borneo Bulletin (28th July 2006)