Alcons Systems inspire at TNW conference
Thursday, 19 July 2018
jurlights-with-alcons--thenextwebThe event has grown from around 200 attendees to over 15,000
The Netherlands - Effectively a festival and conference in one, The Next Web (TNW) conference is an annual gathering with the tag line ‘innovation through inspiration’ - and Alcons Audio systems are used throughout.
TNW 2018 was the 13th year of the event, which has grown from around 200 attendees to over 15000. Backed by a number of major brands, it is held in Amsterdam’s Westerpark in late May. Jurjen ‘Jur’ Hesseling - founder of event production company JUR (formerly Jurlights) - has provided the production infrastructure for the event since it began.
"Because TNW is all about new and future technology, the production for the many presentations, lectures, discussions and other live events has to be at the cutting edge of our industry," he says. "The whole event is executed on a really high level and our assignment is to make everything look and sound extremely cool - they want the best technology to make it a fantastic showcase. We have used Alcons loudspeaker systems on it for many years, ensuring that it always sounds as good as it looks."
Westerpark includes the former Westergasfabriek gas works site, whose Dutch Neo Renaissance-style buildings are now used for a range of events. Its biggest space is the Gashouder, a former gas holder which has been repurposed as a 3100-capacity, circular venue. This was the centrepiece of TNW2018, where Jur used Alcons LR18 Compact mid-size line array modules to deliver the event’s first in-the-round presentation space.
Being a giant cylinder with a volume of nearly 132,000m3, Gashouder has very difficult acoustics. 53.8m in diameter and 14.5m high, its 5m high circular brick wall is topped with several more metres of vertical steel, which then forms the roof. "There are a lot of drapes, but significant acoustic challenges remain. However, Alcons speakers can be aimed so accurately that we were able to design a perfectly-focused centre cluster, which overcame any issues," says Jur.
The circular centre cluster featured six arrays of nine LR18, complemented by six BC543 very high-output cardioid subwoofers. The system had to deliver speech and playback for presentations, as well as live music for the event’s opening show.
"The high and mid-frequencies of the LR18 are so easy to listen to and so good for quality speech that it was a huge advantage for the Gashouder system," adds Jur. "Unlike video and lighting, where it is easy for people to see really high standards, loudspeakers look like the most ordinary things in the world. People also often expect poor sound from large PA systems but, as soon as the LR18 system was in use, they were visibly surprised. It definitely had the wow factor."
(Jim Evans)

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