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Serious Request: The Lifeline - 24/7 radio and television from a backpack

Trekking across the country for 3FM Serious Request: The Lifeline
This year, NPO 3FM and the Red Cross adopted a different tactic for their acclaimed annual benefit campaign Serious Request: they introduced ‘The Lifeline’. Instead of a week-long radio broadcast while locked into the ‘Glass House’, three duos spent a week trekking across the Netherlands. In stints of 24 hours, they attended various organised charity events to raise money for the Red Cross. The public were given the choice of three themes to support: saving lives in the Netherlands, protection from natural disasters and emergency help in war and conflicts. A total of over € 1.3 million was raised.

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Serious Request: The Lifeline - 24/7 radio and television from a backpack

For this year´s Serious Request: The Lifeline, three DJ duos trekked across the country collecting money for three good causes. In stints of 24 hours, they went from event to event, arranging food and somewhere to sleep along the way. The routes were called ‘Lifelines’. After a trip lasting seven days, the Lifelines converged on Christmas Eve at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, the headquarters of the campaign. Various events, activities, performances and workshops had been organised in TivoliVredenburg throughout the week.

A unique collaboration between 3FM, Backbone International, FabriQ Media, United and Red Bee Media was formed for the TV and radio production of 3FM Serious Request: The Lifeline. All the parties taking part had one common goal: to raise public awareness of the good causes and collect as much money as possible for the Red Cross. All the DJs had two Point of View cameras attached to their backpacks so that the teams could be monitored night and day. They were also accompanied by an ENG crew throughout their trek. The backpacks were fitted with audio and video equipment that sent the signal via 4G directly to the Master Control Room of Red Bee Media in Hilversum.

High-speed communication
The direct communication with audio control and the United control vehicle in Utrecht was set up through a high-speed fibre-optic connection. The control vehicle enabled communication with the crew in all the rooms in TivoliVredenburg, and monitored all the incoming lines to decide what should be broadcast on television and radio. The result was transmitted via a fibre-optic connection to the Red Bee Media Master Control Room, the hub where all the signals came together, and subsequently broadcast via radio, internet and television.

The organisers 3FM, Backbone International and FabriQ Media are grateful for the successful partnership with United and Red Bee Media for the new format of this programme

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