L-Acoustics solution for Willow Creek worship
Monday, 21 September 2020
lawillowcreekWorship under canvas in Willow Creek (photo: Tristen Crow)
USA - For decades, Willow Creek in South Barrington, Illinois has been one of the most well-known and influential non-denominational megachurches in the United States. However, like many houses of worship during the 2020 pandemic, its 7,200-seat Worship Centre has switched over to become a streaming-only broadcast site, a change that will continue to be the case throughout the remainder of this year.
To retain some physical sense of community, Willow Creek set up a large tent in its parking lot to host nearly 30 congregational events between 19 August and 6 October. The primary focus of these has been the church’s hour-long evening programme series of 16 Prayer and Worship Gatherings, comprising a live praise team set, a brief message from new campus pastor Shawn Williams, and a time of prayer for 100 pre-registered and masked guests.
To ensure that guests can properly hear both the music and message, Willow Creek turned to Milwaukee-based Clearwing Productions to supply an L-Acoustics X Series loudspeaker package for the tent.
“Our congregation had not been able to worship together since the state closed down in March. The tent was an opportunity to gather small groups of people in a safe way, to worship and especially to get back that essential feeling of community,” says Troy Bartholomew, who has served as Willow Creek’s Weekend technical director for the past eight years.
When the tent concept first came to Bartholomew’s attention, his immediate inclination was to find a “one-stop shop” for audio, lighting, and staging. “We were on a pretty tight timeline, and also in the middle of running a large virtual broadcast event during the design and bid process,” he recalls. “We’re lucky to be in the Chicago market where there are a lot of fantastic production vendors. Ultimately, Clearwing provided a solid L-Acoustics system from their inventory that fit within our budget, delivered exceptional coverage and clarity, and provided a professional-grade, weather-friendly solution, since these events would be continuing into the fall.”
To provide blanketed audio coverage to the full space, four L-Acoustics coaxial 12XT are flown from a truss, while six short-throw X8 are spread out across the 24x8ft stage. Ample LF reinforcement is provided by a pair of SB28 subs located under the stage, and the entire system is powered by a single LA-RAK housing three LA8 amplified controllers.
Because of the band line-up changes, plus a desire to simplify the programming, Willow Creek also opted for six more 12XT to be used as stage monitors driven by an additional LA-RAK. “Even though all our musicians are accustomed to stereo in-ears with a dedicated monitor engineer, the transition has been seamless with no issues or complaints from our artists. That’s a testament to the quality of the 12XT as a wedge,” Bartholomew adds.

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends