Producing mass for Pope is "like a rock concert"


Three hours after Pope Francis delivers the first ever canonization mass on U.S. soil next Wednesday, Ed Sheeran and Christina Perri will perform across town at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center. But the two events are more alike than one might assume. “Producing an event for the Pope is similar to producing a rock concert,” said Blayne Candy, co-founder of Showcall, the D.C.-based events company responsible for producing the mass.

Candy and his partner, Ajay Patil, said they were not at liberty to divulge the total production cost for the mass. But that number is likely dragging quite a few zeroes. Because such an event requires personnel, high-tech equipment, and security of, well, biblical proportions.

An estimated crowd of 25,000 will attend the mass, which will take place on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The event will utilize 100 microphones, 150 high-powered speakers, and 1.1 miles of audio cable. Two hundred feet of metal truss will bolster 100 automated moving lights as well as 104 conventional and 18 LED light fixtures.