RGJ maintains MLA winning formula at Henley
Wednesday, 15 August 2018
henley-festival-2018-1Water music - the annual Henley Festival
UK - One of the highlights of the UK summer season is the Henley Festival - a traditional black tie event for Martin Audio partner RG Jones Sound Engineering, spread over five days.
The company has serviced the event for 36 years, and in recent times they have fine-tuned their coverage of the main stages with Martin Audio MLA components, including the tricky Floating Stage.
As festival technical manager and head of sound, Jim Lambert, says: “The Floating Stage has always been a challenge in that the front to back of the arena is only approximately 30m, but it is extremely wide, and with the introduction of general admission tickets outside the arena we are being asked to cover a width of something like 100m. The MLA Compacts more than rise to this challenge and yet also enable us to keep to the fairly strict off-site noise limits set by the Council.”
It again provided the setting for main stage headliners Rita Ora, Chic (featuring Nile Rodgers), Grace Jones, Curtis Stigers and ENO, particularly since the highly experienced sound team of Steve Carr and Mark Edwards, both of whom have an advanced knowledge of MLA, were on hand to supervise the main stage.
Having refined the system last year, the service company further fine-tuned the PA this year, adding the powerful Martin Audio DD12’s as arena delays in the grandstand to replace the previously used DD6’s. Production also used MLA Mini for infill, and decided to retain the same curved MLX sub bass arrangement that they had introduced in 2017. According to Jim Lambert, “This produced a much smoother response in the far reaches of the main stage arena.”
“It also enabled us to achieve more even coverage of the tricky grandstand whose roof partially shadows the audience from the main stage arrays,” explains head of department, Jack Bowcher.
Set opposite a residential area in the picturesque town of Henley-on-Thames, the arena levels need to be held at a respectable level. “This helps us achieve the offsite limit with a large amount of headroom,” continues Lambert. “Having said that, with a bit of careful tuning of the system we were still quite easily able to achieve front of house levels that you would expect indoors,”
In addition to the Floating Stage, where MLA Compact was not only used for main PA hangs but also out-fills, along with the MLA Minis for in-fills, MLA Minis were also used in the Bedouin Tent and Jazz Garden - two of the other three stages equipped by RG Jones - the only onsite sound contractor for the festival.
A spokesperson for the Festival adds: “The quality of what RG Jones brings to Henley both in terms of kit, but most importantly people, is right up there.”
(Jim Evans)

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