RG Jones returns to Glastonbury with Martin Audio
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
glastonbury-pyramid-stage-stormzyStormzy headlined the Pyramid Stage
UK - RG Jones Sound Engineering returned to Worthy Farm following its fallow year to deploy Martin Audio systems across four major stages of the Glastonbury Festival.
While Martin Audio’s flagship sound system, MLA, once again graced the Pyramid main stage as well as West Holts and the Genosys stage of Block9, Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision Longbow (WPL) made its festival debut on the new IICON stage featuring an immersive 6.1 channel surround sound system designed by Simon Honywill.
The Pyramid Stage bustled with electrifying performances throughout the three-day festival, with Stormzy delivering an impassioned headline set on the Friday, followed by The Killers on the Saturday and rounded off with a nostalgic tour de force by The Cure to close out Sunday night. Other performers included Sheryl Crow, Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, Bastille and Kylie.
The system deployed on the Pyramid Stage was designed to maximise SPL levels and even coverage for the 150,000 strong audience while respecting offsite limits. A total of 72 MLA comprised the four main hangs with a further four MLA Compact arrays for in-fill flown from the proscenium arch. Eight delay positions in an inner and out ring consisted of MLA and MLA Compact arrays to optimise coverage across the expansive field. A massive broadside cardioid array of 38 MLX subwoofers stretched across the entire width of the stage to provide sub-bass support and control to the entire system.
Davy Ogilvy, FOH engineer for Tom Odell, comments: “I thought it was great, I expected the sound to get blown away in the wind but all the power stayed there, I’m very happy.” This was further endorsed by Mike Timm, FOH engineer for George Ezra. “I was really impressed with how it held up in the wind, it sounded great and the low end was good.” More praise came from Paul David Hagar, FOH engineer for Miley Cyrus, “The rig sounded great, even with the wind. Everyone on the crew was so nice and professional but you guys always are. Had a great time mixing on the system.”
Kenny Kaiser, FOH engineer for The Killers, adds: “I’ve been touring with MLA for the last five years, but I’ve not had much experience with it outdoors and I was a little scared. But this system was phenomenal, everything was there, and MLA still has a very long lifespan in my opinion.
Meanwhile, West Holts enjoyed some equally stellar performances from the likes of Lizzo, Janelle Monae, Jorja Smith, Wu Tang Clan and Jeff Goldblum. This year, West Holts had 14 MLA per side, an out-hang on house left of six MLA Compact and a house right out-fill of eight MLA Compact which helped to extend coverage out to the Pathway to extend arena space.
Twenty-one MLX subwoofers deployed in a cardioid pattern kept noise on stage to a minimum but chest pumping energy to the audience. Two hangs of 16 MLA Compact delays were positioned 95m from the stage and extended coverage for another 75m before tapering off sharply using Martin Audio’s Hard Avoid feature to prevent sound spilling into market stalls.
Over on Block9 - a collection of EDM stages - MLA Compact was once again deployed on the Genosys stage, a massive, 70ft high post-industrial piece of architecture draped with exotic plants and steaming tubes, at the centre of which was a DJ booth. Sean Hatton, system tech, described the set up. “We’ve got 10 MLA Compact aside with six DSX subs either side of stage. Some of the issues of the site this year has been massive changes in temperature, from searing heat in the day to then very cold at night, but the snapshots that are easily uploaded in an instant without artefacts has meant we have been able to keep the coverage patterns we need. It’s been great.”
The highlight of Block9 this year, however, was the new IICONIC stage featuring a huge human head wrapped in a VR headset evoking the pervasive nature of technology on the human spirit.
The visual spectacular was matched by an audio spectacular with Martin Audio’s WPL making its festival debut in an immersive surround sound system designed by RG’s Simon Honywill, consultant sound engineer for the festival.
“I thought that rather than just having this incredible structure and then just straight forward left right standard deployment, let’s go a bit crazy and do it in surround sound,” said Honywill. “So we had six hangs of ten WPL all pointing inwards with optimisation of the sound fields to maximise the experience through the space for a 15,000 crowd.”
Summing up, John Carroll, managing director of RG Jones Sound Engineering, says: “It’s an honour and privilege for RG Jones to once again be at the forefront of the Glastonbury Festival. From headliners to all-night dance music this was a triumphant year and we are so pleased with the feedback from audiences, engineers and organisers to what we were able to deliver. My thanks also to Martin Audio who provided such unwavering support in the planning and execution this year and we can’t wait for next year and the 50th Anniversary of Glastonbury Festival.”
(Jim Evans)

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