Italy - Soul star John Legend performed on 25 July at the Greek Theatre of Taormina, Sicily. It was Legend's only European exhibition, accompanied for the occasion by a 100-piece orchestra.
The event was lit up by186 DTS projectors (Raptor, NRG 1401, Brick, Katana, and Wonder).
“The atmosphere of the Greek Theater of Taormina was beautiful,” said Nicola Mongi, lighting project manager. “DTS projectors, supplied through Madema Italia, integrated well with that unique place; in addition to their brightness and colour quality, the choice of DTS projectors was perfect because they are all very compact and lightweight, the right fit for the stage space – 2300 years old – that is obviously to be treated with the utmost care and does not allow for cumbersome installations.
“I am really happy with the result. The audience and the production were enthusiastic about the show.”
Sweden - The country’s largest fixed installation of Nexo’s STM Series modular line array has been completed at the Konserthus of Västerås, a city about 100km to the west of Stockholm. Designed and supplied by the Bright Group, the system includes several Nexo models, and is “a state-of-the-art solution for a busy modern performance environment”.
With more than 200 events a year, including folk and world music, dance and new circus, pop and rock, jazz, chamber and orchestral performances, drama and comedy, the Västerås Konserthus is a buzzing cultural centre for its community. Its principal venue is The Great Hall, with its capacity for 900, and two wraparound balconies seating 215 and 125 people respectively.
The team at the theatre, led by stage technical manager Per Andersson, conducted an exhaustive tender process involving nine well-known suppliers and manufacturers, and including live auditions of the proposed system solutions in the theatre.
“We had a ‘jury’ of five people,” explains Andersson, “two in-house sound techs, Emil Hedin and Lars Alehag, and three freelance sound techs, Mathias Andersson, Johan Hellgren and Thomas Malbeck, all of whom gave the Nexo STM Series the highest scores for coverage and evenness of distribution. It also got great praise for its true-to-source reproduction.”
Using a system design from the Bright Group, the theatre staff installed the equipment themselves. Bright Installation’s project manager Drew Black was there to oversee the process, with input from Fredrik Arwidsson (Brigh
Argentina - Berlin-based creative studio battleROYAL recently drew on the power of Green Hippo’s Hippotizer Media Servers to provide a ‘dazzling product experience’ at a corporate event in Buenos Aires devised for a financial services provider. The new Platinum Corporate card by American Express was the motivation for this creation, directed by battleROYAL’s Brendan Shelper and conceived and produced with Ogilvy Argentina and NA Producionnes.
The show, part entertainment and part art installation, was played to 200 guests facing the open sides of a 7m x 11m stage. Upstage, projection surfaces covered the rear two sides of the performance area, forming the setting for a story told through the interplay of human movement, tracking projections and light.
“battleROYAL continually create new ways to integrate technology into their performances,” says UK-based video engineer Steve Jackson, a technical partner for battleROYAL’s productions for the past five years, and a Hippotizer specialist for the past seven.
For this show, Jackson used Hippotizer Karst+ media servers with HD SDI outputs and capture card, to play media through multiple projectors, including Barco HDX and Epson 15K units, covering the walls and floor of the stage, and a performer’s dress which becomes its own projection surface. With limited time on-site, the precise technical layout was completed in advance using CAD and Cinema 4D. The system design was then completed in Cinema 4D and SHAPE, Hippotizer’s 3D toolkit, where projection angles, throw distances and required
Croatia - HUST has completed the design and installation of sound systems throughout the new Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, using a combination of Community and Apart loudspeakers with Biamp control. This five-star 209-room hotel enjoys a stunning setting on the Adriatic coast of Croatia, with views of the old town, islands and sea.
With over 40 separate zones, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj’s audiovisual systems can be controlled and monitored via an intuitive GUI on any computer within the hotel network, or via separate wall-mounted digital OLED controllers located strategically throughout the complex. Twelve choices of music genre are available in any zone via the streaming service.
A central feature of the hotel is its grand ballroom with stunning views of the city of Rovinj. The hotel also has three multifunctional/lecture halls, which can be divided or joined in various combinations. In these areas that require foreground entertainment and presentation audio quality, HUST chose Community V Series and D Series loudspeakers. Dual 8-inch and 12-inch V2 loudspeakers, supplemented by dual 12-inch and 15-inch subwoofers, deliver powerful high quality front-of-house sound, with distributed D6 ceiling loudspeakers providing additional, even coverage throughout the rooms.
The systems are managed by a Biamp TesiraSERVER I/O AVB digital network server, supplemented with a 16x16 video matrix and an audio mixer for live performances. In the ballroom, Sony SRG-300HC cameras have been set up to monitor and play back events on two large Screenline video screens, via
USA - Each year since 1979, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! festival takes place at the Prospect Park Bandshell. This year, the largely free event delivered 29 shows over 10 weeks, from June through August, to an estimated 175,000-plus people, featuring artists including Patti LaBelle, Liz Phair, Iron & Wine, Salif Keita and Bomba Estereo (free concerts), as well as The National and Courtney Barnett, and Father John Misty and Jason Isbell (ticketed double-bills). What was different this year was the sound: an L-Acoustics PA system was acquired and will now be an integral part of the event going forward into its fifth decade.
“This was a big year for the event, its forty-first year,” says Brendon Boyd, of Boyd Design, the event’s production manager who was celebrating his 20th year with the festival, where he began as a lighting apprentice in 2000. “It took us a couple of years to get the process for acquiring this new system together, but we knew it was time to upgrade the Festival’s sound. We also knew we wanted an L-Acoustics rig. During the bid process we went back over three years’ worth of contract riders to see what the bands were carrying and what they were requesting, and overwhelmingly it was L-Acoustics.”
The new system, which was installed by local systems integrator Audible Difference Inc. (ADI), was centred on a stereo line array with 10 K2 loudspeakers per side, augmented by seven ARCS II speakers per side as side-fills and out-fills. Beneath the newly renovated bandshell stage, eight KS28 subs rumbled away while another 10 K
Hungary - Szeged Sabadteri opera and music festival takes place annually across the city of Szeged, with a major feature being the diverse programme of lavish productions ranging from rock musicals to opera being staged in the vast central Dóm Square.
This year’s futuristic treatment of Aida, where love is set against the backdrop of war, marked the 80th anniversary since the eponymous opera’s first 1939 staging at this striking venue. Complementing director Gergely Kesselyak’s use of high-tech LED and multimedia scenography, TiMax SoundHub with HARDCore FPGA spatial processing added a new level of vocal and orchestral sonic immersion to an audience of 8000 over two nights.
Hungarian TiMax specialists Votec have managed the event’s audio for several years, but Votec international business manager, Otari Tsereteli, revealed, “For the first time we were able to create a natural and immersive sound here at the Szeged Open-Air theatre together with TiMax.”
Votec deployed TiMax SoundHub with their own proprietary loudspeaker brand ES Audio; Otari continues, “The audience heard the opera like never before. Every sound - music - voice came from the direction of where it physically was on stage. It felt real! Though, incredibly, some people thought the speakers were turned off.”
TiMax dynamic vocal localisation was controlled in real-time by all-new TiMax TrackerD4 precision stagetracking, employing seven TTd4 Sensors, with five mounted above the stage at the front, sides and upstage, plus a pair downstage at stage level. Twel
France - The 12th Annual Natural Games Festival took place in Millau in June, bringing together the world’s leading competitors in eight outdoor pro/amateur competitions. On the programme were boulder climbing, freestyle kayaking, kayak boarder, acrobatic paragliding, slopestyle MTB, trial MTB, stand up paddle racing, highline and jumpline.
A without limits sports playground, Millau has become the world capital of outdoor sports, and The Natural Games has established itself as the European leader in outdoor sports and music entertainment festivals. In addition to the exciting official competitions the event featured a brand village, free workshops, shows and live concerts.
Lighting designer Jean-Charles Lacombe chose 12 Claypaky B-EYE K20s, provided by STE Audio, to illuminate the stage because he is very familiar with the lighting fixtures. “They completely meet my expectations and customers ask for them, too. Their reliability is also an important factor,” he says.
Lacombe positioned B-EYE K20s on all sides of the stage. “At the top, on the median, on the ground and in front,” he explains.
“The B-EYE K20’s effects panel perfectly matched the current and electronic music festival. It provided a wide colour range with excellent rendering,” he reports. Lacombe also liked the fixture’s macros, its opening zoom and its unbeatable power. “Their versatility was a real plus compared to others projectors” he concludes.
Lacombe gives praise to AMG Audio and Damien Bosc, the console operator, who assisted on the show.
UK - Southwest London venue Under the Bridge has benefited from the installation of a new LED wall as well as lighting and audio upgrades at its premises.
“Since Under the Bridge launched in 2011, we’ve taken great pride being one of the UK’s most unique and technically-advanced, mid-sized, multi-purpose venues for hire,” says creative manager, Alan Tenenbaum. “With approximately 100 confirmed events scheduled to host for the remainder of 2019, we’re excited to share this production upgrade with our clients and audiences. The upgrade puts our intimate venue in a class of its own, beyond comparison.”
The 3.9mm pixel-pitch LED screen from Absen supports a video resolution higher than Full HD (1080p), making it ideal for presentations, image projections and video content.
The venue also has a new LED lighting rig, expanding the existing stock to offer more intelligent lighting, including LED spots and Fresnels. Under the Bridge has specified Claypaky’s new wash and beam fixtures, the B-EYE K25 and Mini B, as well as 14 of Ayrton's Mistral S spot luminaire. Dimming is via an Avolites 24 way dimmer (48 way patchable).
On the audio front, the AV team have improved facilities with a Shure Axient Digital wireless system and high-performance RF with better command and control for visiting sound engineers.
Poland - Rental and visual production company Transcolor has invested in 200 Robe Spiider LED wash beams.
These have been added to their rental stock which currently owns several thousand lighting fixtures including around 1,000 Robe moving lights.
The company was founded in 1992 by Lucjan Siwczyk and has enjoyed success and respect as it has become active in all areas of professional lighting and visuals, especially TV, film, touring and corporate / special events.
The current facilities just outside Warsaw are the company’s headquarters. In addition to offices and warehouses, this includes five full-size studios and rehearsal rooms which are in constant use for television and movie productions, promo and advertising shots, production rehearsals and a wide range of other events.
As a lot of their work is TV and film-based, the proper quality of colours in lighting fixtures is important, and that was one of the reasons Lucjan and his team wanted the Spiiders, together with the fact it’s new: “It has a nice zoom and the central LED makes it even more adaptable as it can be used for various effects.” The Spiiders were delivered by Robe’s Polish distributor, Prolight.
Transcolor has also been the first company in Poland to purchase Robe’s RoboSpot remote follow spotting system, which went straight into action in March this year for the latest season of Dance, Dance Dance, recorded in one of their own studios.
“It’s a huge advantage not having to have people on trusses rigged high under the roof operating for lon
USA - Craig Richter believes in coming out of the gate fast when lighting a concert. “When the first song hits, I like the audience to get a full immersion of sound and light all at once,” he says of his design approach.
Richter’s philosophy was on full display recently when he lit Grammy-winning rockers Halestorm on their coheadline tour with Alice Cooper with a rig that featured 52 Chauvet Professional fixtures, supplied by Bandit Lites.
“This is an intense, no-nonsense rock band, so I wanted our show to match that feeling in terms of its power and directness,” says Richter. “The overall idea was to create a big massive look. I always aim to give the crowd a wow moment multiple times during the show, but I also don’t want to distract from what the band is doing on stage. People paid to come see Halestorm not me. So, for this design I wanted an old-school look with a big wall of light behind the band, kind of like back in the par can days, but at the same time I needed more versatility than what par cans can offer.”
Although Richter’s show crushed the senses with its massive and powerful looks, his rig was put together with some strict practical concerns in mind, given that his client was touring with Alice Cooper. “The biggest challenge was in the beginning with stage space needed,” he says. “Cooper had a new large set and lots of props that took up a good amount of room. Thankfully, the Cooper camp is super friendly and were willing to accommodate us in any way they could. We designed the Halestorm system so it could go o
Canada - Acting as a hub for performing arts in Winnipeg, the Centennial Concert Hall has long upheld a sense of community for the people of Manitoba. With a seating capacity in excess of 2,300, the venue is the largest performing arts space in Winnipeg. When Centennial Hall decided to upgrade its lighting system to improve energy efficiency and coverage, ArcSystem stood out as a top choice.
The outdated system at Centennial Hall was causing multiple problems for the staff, patrons, and performers. On top of poor lighting quality, the old system required excessive maintenance. Denis Crymble, stage electrician at Centennial Hall, says, “I never liked the feeling of the light. To me, it was always dingy. The upkeep of it was horrendous. We had little to no flexibility in the old space.”
For decades, the venue had few technology upgrades. Looking to the future, the Centennial Hall team decided to move to an LED house lighting system. Although the staff knew this move would greatly reduce the venue’s ecological footprint, many were concerned about the quality of light that could come from LED fixtures.
“When we started looking at LEDs for house lights, I was sceptical. The ceiling is 60ft feet high in some places,” says Crymble. “I didn’t know if we were going to get enough light out of LEDs.”
Vince Paulich, facility supervisor at Centennial Hall, knew that throw distance was going to be a major challenge when looking for LED luminaires. “When I first saw ArcSystem, it stood out as a solution that could solve the majority of our
Russia - The Sound Line Agency received its first Clair Brothers speakers in the form of the 1.5AM stage monitors.
For its production needs, Sound Line purchased several Clair Brothers components, including the kiTCurve12 system, 8CX front-fills, 1.5AM stage monitors, i218-Ms and CS218-Ms.
“This was my company’s first experience working with Clair Brothers gear, but I had heard such positive feedback from musicians who’d had direct experience with the American brand that I already had high expectations,” explains Andrey Kabanov, owner of Sound Line Agency.
“Back in 2005 I had the pleasure of seeing a Sting concert in Moscow where Clair Brothers loudspeakers were used. Since then, I’ve never heard another system of equal quality. The problem in those days was this incredible equipment was exclusive and not readily available to companies like mine.”
Kabanov continues: “The kiTCurve12 system is powerful and multifunctional and can be used for smaller events, as well as, for front and side-fills at the big venues. It’s a self-powered system that uses a DSP processor, which gives it another big advantage. The 8CX is a compact system that is excellent as front fills at jazz concerts and business conferences. As far as the 1.5AMs, from my point of view, there is no equal monitoring system in its category. These monitors deliver perfect sound quality, which means everything to musicians and vocalists.
Since joining the Clair Brothers roster of international partners, Sound Line has put on numerous high-level shows with global
USA - Harman Professional Solutions celebrated the grand opening of The Reach at the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.
The opening of The Reach marks the first new construction at The Kennedy Centre since its opening in 1971, and is comprised of three contiguous pavilions creating 72,000sq.ft of interior space, 4.6 acres of green space and gardens, and a pedestrian bridge over Rock Creek Parkway that connects the Kennedy Centre to Washington, DC’s other memorials.
The centre describes The Reach as “a home for non-traditional programming with an emphasis on active participation and access. The open, informal spaces of the new expansion draw visitors directly into the creative process and inspire new connections and collaborations between creators of multiple genres and disciplines.”
“We are very proud of our decades-old relationship with The Kennedy Centre that has helped the world’s most celebrated artists deliver incredible performances through our audio products," says Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman. "Congratulations to president Deborah Rutter, the board of trustees and the Kennedy Centre staff for reaching a new milestone in their pivotal role of showcasing the very best of the performing arts, across the nation and around the world."
As the official ‘sound of the Kennedy Centre’, Harman provided JBL Professional loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers, Soundcraft mixers, Martin lighting and AMX control system products to ensure patrons enjoy the highest quality multimedia experiences at Th
USA - Hard rock band Chevelle has embarked on a summer amphitheatre tour across North America, co-headlining with Breaking Benjamin and lit by Ayrton Khamsin LED profile fixtures.
Chevelle has sold over four million albums in the US and has a new record forthcoming in 2020. Production designer, Robb Jibson of Chicago-based So Midwest was searching for a 1000W LED fixture, with a shuttering mechanism that could close completely over itself in one direction. He held a shoot-out featuring ‘the top contenders’ in the category. “While all the fixtures we tested did a good job, Khamsin was the most well-engineered, the most well-polished of the group,” Jibson reports. “Its optics, clarity and perceived brightness won out. I also liked its edge sharpness, the flatness of the field and the way it physically looked.” Bandit Lites, Chevelle’s lighting vendor, invested in Khamsin for its inventory and supplied them to the tour.
The tour was a late addition to Chevelle’s schedule, and the team at SMW had just a short period of time to design the summer shows. “We have a new concept that we are working on for the next record cycle and considered revealing it for this summer tour, which really falls in-between the record cycles for them. So we decided to just adapt a few elements from it as a preamble to next tour,” Jibson explains.
The Chevelle’s tour performances feature no video and no spotlights. Instead, big frames of LED light battens ring the band in a semi-circle around the stage. The Khamsin fixtures are mounted in rolling carts o
France - In Paris on 4 July, Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Ahmed Jamal performed the world premiere of his album Ballades at The Louis Vuitton Foundation, a glass-clad, Frank Gehry-designed building that takes the form of a boat’s sails. Enhancing the dramatic impact of the moment was a lighting display by Puzzle SA that featured eight Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures.
Arranged in an oval-like pattern behind centre-stage, their independently controlled moving heads pointing in multiple directions, the Rogue fixtures created beguiling geometric patterns that not only reflected Jamal’s music, but also harmonized with the large angular glass sails.
Seemingly pointing in every direction at once as they reach for the sky, the building’s 12 glass sails work with its other features like the prismatic yellow columns by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and the waterfall next to the auditorium, which is also highlighted.
This flows naturally with Ahmad Jamal’s music, which casts off the shackles of conventional phrasing and timing to reveal the essence of jazz.
Completing this liberation of the spirit are the Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures, which create myriad patterns in the background as they reflect the music.
“Among the most interesting parts of this project was how the Rogue R1 FX-B enhanced the performance of the musicians,” explains Bruno Madec, technical director of the Puzzle SA. “The lighting provided support for the musicians, creating a lively atmosphere to best reflect their work. The jazzmen are without a s
UK/USA - Pink’s Beautiful Trauma world tour started in North America in March 2018 and is set to conclude this November on the same continent.
The tour, in support of the singer’s seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma, will have taken in 157 dates across 18 countries in North and South America, Europe and Australasia. This included a weekend of sold-out shows at London's Wembley Stadium, where 150,000 fans gathered to see the rock/pop starlet dazzle with her vocals and gymnastic skills.
Working in conjunction with its family of partners Clair Global and JPJ Audio, Britannia Row successfully delivered a worldwide audio feat.
Britannia Row’s Dave Compton says: “Once again, we’ve really enjoyed working with Pink’s team. It’s been an amazingly popular worldwide tour where the artist and engineers have given it their all across a multitude of dates in some huge - and tricky - venues. We’ve been managing the project from London, shipping the universal control package and key crew from the UK and picking up the rest locally from Clair Global and JPJ Audio in Australia. Having this kind of worldwide back-up and resources makes a world tour on this scale a smooth operation to execute.”
The tour’s L-Acoustics sound design comprised K1, K2 and flown KS28 subs with K1 boxes as side-hangs and additional boxes of K2 covering below the stage, out-fill and ground-subs. K2 delay towers in the various stadium configurations altered depending on venue size and capacity. Lake LM 44s and LM 26s, and L-Acoustics LA12X were use
USA - Perry Farrell recently wrapped a tour with a lighting package provided by Bandit Lites. Farrell, Jane’s Addiction front man and a founder of the Lollapalooza festival, dazzled audiences with deep cuts, popular favourites and new songs from his most recent project, Kind Heaven, his first solo album since 2001.
Lighting designers Todd Erickson and Mark Janowitz created a rig that would be versatile enough to provide the classic rock look to match earlier songs as well as lower light movement look for the newer material.
“The artist had some clear vision of some photographic artists that he wanted the set pieces to look like,” says Erickson.
Bandit Lites supplied GLP X4S as side light across the band, casting the low-light, theatre look. GLP X4 Bar 20 provided light to the set pieces from below as well as acting a gradient light source, while VL 3500 Spots supplied texture to both the band and the set.
“The X4Bar 20s are an amazing fixture as they have the ability to zoom and focus, and also have individual cells,” continues Erickson. “This provided versatility to light the set in any capacity. The GLP X4s are very good fixtures as well; the colour saturation is amazing for how small the lights are.”
“It was a sincere pleasure to work with this organisation,” adds Bandit Lites vice president Mike Golden. “I met Conrad many years ago and we have stayed in touch through the years. I have always looked for the opportunity to work with him again, so when Conrad called, we had just a few days to put something
USA - With a rich history of providing a genuine worship experience to families across the greater Orlando area, Calvary Orlando has recently set off on a new direction. Wanting to better illuminate the sanctuary as part of a complete lighting and dimming upgrade, they turned to Techni-Lux who designed and specified a new house system filled with Chalice LED downlights from Altman Lighting.
“Calvary Orlando is the second largest church in the Orlando area, and it is also used as a special event and live concert facility,” says Tony Hansen, Techni-Lux head lighting designer and project specialist. “We have worked with them for a number of years, and this is a project that has really been in need for some time. The lighting system dated back to its original construction and it was very antiquated. Additionally, they were having consistent issues with the dimming system and it was becoming difficult to maintain.”
As Calvary Orlando began the sanctuary renovation process, new lighting fixtures were not originally part of plan, but soon became a design possibility. Wanting to maintain the aesthetics of the facility while still upgrading the lighting experience, the church was attracted to the performance and ease of installation offered by a Chalice solution.
“Prior to the lighting renovation, we had only been discussing putting in a new dimming system, but as funding for the lights started to come into place, the Altman Chalice was also coming onto the market,” continues Hansen. “The church started testing products with multiple demos, an
India - AM Integrated and Crescendo AV recently outfitted The Piano Man Jazz Club in Gurugram with a complete Harman Professional Solutions sound reinforcement system.
The Piano Man Jazz Club is a full-service restaurant, bar and music venue founded in 2015 by classically-trained pianist and entrepreneur Arjun Sagar Gupta. The first location in Delhi was so successful, Gupta decided to open a second location in the bustling city of Gurugram. In addition to being one of the few venues in India that showcases live jazz music, The Piano Man Jazz Club also features diverse acts from young singer-songwriters to international brass bands.
The venue hired AM Integrated and Crescendo AV to design and integrate end-to-end Harman Professional audio and lighting systems, including solutions by JBL, AKG, Soundcraft and Martin Professional.
“We wanted premium audio solutions that would provide unique experiences for our artists and guests,” explains Gupta. “We chose Harman for its wide range of loudspeakers, superior quality of end-to-end solutions and their extensive service support network. Getting a rich and warm sound can be a challenge, but Harman delivered a comprehensive live entertainment system without compromising any of our ideals.”
The Piano Man Jazz Club Gurugram is a wide, oval-shaped venue - a design that was chosen specifically to achieve a close and intimate seating arrangement around the stage. This design posed a unique set of acoustic challenges when it came to implementing a front-of-house speaker system.
UK - More d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers than ever before delivered the strums, beats and vocals of Glastonbury this year, as KSL made its debut on The Other Stage and Y- and V-Series graced The Acoustic Stage.
Glastonbury veteran, Skan - which has been providing PA systems for the festival’s second stage since 1989 - supplied the d&b KSL System for The Other Stage, where headliners included Tame Impala, Chemical Brothers and Christine and the Queens.
“The stage size and technical demands increase every year, and we have increased the spec and system requirements alongside this growth,” says Skan senior designer Matt Vickers. “We beta-tested the GSL System at Glastonbury in 2017 and that experience has contributed to the stunning results we can get from both GSL and KSL Systems.
“‘Punchy, tight and so clean’ were words thrown around by various incoming engineers, and comments overheard backstage and given to our stage team were that the KSL System was generally considered to be the best sounding - and best behaving - rig across the site over the weekend.”
Skan specified the KSL System with 20 boxes on each main hang, plus 18 on each side-hang, and 20 SL-SUBs arranged vertically (stood on their ends) in a distributed array along the downstage edge. Fills consisted of a single centre flown pod of V-Series, and out fills of J12.
“The barrier line of an event of this size is somewhere around 5m from the downstage edge, so we can cover this from the flown arrays, and it is far enough away for the perception of the so
UK - Communications solutions specialist, Surfhire, has provided essential services for UK Athletics (UKA), the governing body of athletics in the UK, for the 10th consecutive year.
Responsible for overseeing the governance of athletics events in the UK as well as its athletes, their development, and athletics officials, the UKA hosts a programme of key events throughout the British summer.
For the 2019 season, Surfhire deployed a considerable amount of kit, including walkie talkies, matrix intercom, commentator systems and extensive networking services across six events.
The comms, radios and networking infrastructure - with comms for the UK Athletics Sport Presentation being run by head of comms, Paul Carter - is a multi-faceted operation. A central control area and several remote locations, as well as interfacing to the host broadcaster, The BBC, all come under Carter’s supervision.
For the comms rack, Surfhire utilised an RTS Adam 80-way Intercom Matrix, an RVON IO IP Convertor, Optocore X6R-FX Fibre Convertor, Wohler VAMP-SDR Audio monitor, Canford Audio patch bay, and Sonifex Redbox Audio DA with assorted panels; KP32 CLD, KP32 and KP12.
Glen Fuller working for Surfhire took charge of the radio shack and RF base. The RF Rack boasted Bolero V2 Base, Bolero Beltpacks, Bolero Active Antennae, two TAIT TB7100 bases and four Surfhire SiFace simplex radio interfaces.
Surfhire’s Simon Hodge, who has provided comms packages for Hugh Jackman, Drake, Take That, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Sam Smith, One Direction, Queen + Adam L
Hungary - This year’s annual seven-day-long Sziget Festival on Hajógyári Island, north of Budapest, was the event’s biggest yet, breaking attendance records on the day that Ed Sheeran appeared.
Capital Sound, the event’s long-standing main stage sound reinforcement supplier, now has the logistics down to a fine art, hauling Martin Audio’s MLA loudspeaker array family across Europe in a two-truck arrangement and ‘topping up’ with assistance from Hungarian-based MLA partner, BG Event. The latter, in turn, provided its own Martin Audio inventory for two dedicated EDM dance stages.
Both partners were equal to the demands of this event which last year alone saw an aggregated 565,000 visit the picturesque location on the Danube.
Capital account manager Robin Conway comments: “This year, we made changes to the field delays on main stage and upgraded the subs to MLX. We had 48 MLX on the front end in three 16 cardioid stacks with a further four three high cardioid stacks in the field, making 60 MLX in total.” This was the result of a request by long serving Hungarian audio crew chief and system designer, Marci Mezei.
It led Capital head of operations & sales, Paul Timmins - another omnipresent figure at Sziget - to remark, “The event gets bigger every year which is why the PA spec has grown. We are consistently asked to upgrade it.”
With a stellar line-up including the Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, Martin Garrix, The National, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Years & Years, he was
Belgium - Throughout the summer Pioneer Pro Audio XY-Series systems have appeared at a host of festivals across Europe. For the most part the systems have been used at leading electronic music events but from time to time, XY Series has stepped outside the traditional festival model into something completely different.
As well as an immersive three-day arts and music event, the Horst Festival extends to a two-month long exhibition which features in-situ art installations in public spaces. This year the exhibition was based on the ASIAT site in Vilvoorde, north of Brussels, a former military base complete with six hectares of urban space, 20 warehouses within a maze of corridors and two huge cooling towers. It was inside one of these towers that artist Emeka Ogboh placed his renowned installation The Way Earthly Things Are Going and KAGE Audio deployed Pioneer Pro Audio XY-Series speakers to reinforce the essential sound element. The installation has proved to be very popular, drawing national TV coverage in Belgium.
Simon Nowak of Onkruid, the commissioning team responsible, reports, “This was an installation that had been on show in smaller form in the Tate Modern, which combines multi-channel audio with a real time video feed of the Stock Exchange on a large LED wall. The immersive audio uses 12 individual audio tracks of polyphonic Greek chanting, where each track requires a separate speaker in order to accomplish the spatial experience as the visitor walks on a temporarily installed path.
“Placing it inside a huge cooling tower presen
USA - Growing up in northeastern Louisiana, country star Tim McGraw was familiar with the kind of hot, humid night he encountered when he took the House of Power Stadium stage as the headliner presented by Orange Motorsports and Entertainment and House of Power Production at the at the Orange County Fairgrounds. On stage, McGraw relied on his team, including long-time lighting designer Patrick Brannon, to bring the kind of production associated with a multi-Grammy winning icon.
Although the House of Power Stadium stage was not nearly as large as many that McGraw performs on, Brannon was able to give him comfortably familiar production-style looks with help from a rig that featured a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures, including the new Maverick MK3 Profile, supplied by Dynamic Productions.
“When I design for a full production tour, it’s exactly that. The tour carries everything, so I never have to worry about different fixtures,” says Brannon. “On these tours I typically focus the lighting, and then we are show ready. For state fair and festival touring, it's a different system every day.
“So when I design for those dates, I use lighting fixtures in basic/common modes that are more responsive to cloning,” he continues. “With that being said, I put together a design that is not out of budget for these promoters to provide me with the tools I need to give the fans a show that maintains the energy that our more common venues offer. The Maverick fixtures were a big plus in helping me do that at this fair.”