Battersea Evolution proved a popular choice of venue (photo: Tom Martin)
UK - When the annual TPi Awards switched from the Hammersmith Novotel to Battersea Evolution in 2015, turnkey event technology specialists VME were delighted.

Moving across the river to the large, wide open 5,500 sq.m Evolution temporary structure in Battersea Park was almost familiar territory, and the restricted sightlines and low balconies that had challenged them at the Novotel became a thing of the past. "We have worked in similar venues at Aintree and Tatton Park and are entirely comfortable in this marquee type of venue," he said. And of course he knew that the offsite sound restrictions imposed would pose no problem for MLA, with its advanced multi-cellular control software.

The Manchester-based company fielded its MLA Compact and MLA Mini systems to stunning effect - and leading the praise afterwards was the compere himself, stand up comedian Russell Kane.

"He was completely blown away with the sound, and told us he had never experienced anything this good - which was awesome," reports Davie. "In fact all the feedback we had was positive, with guests saying it was the best sound ever."

Confronted with ample rigging points, no weight loading restrictions and 6.4m height to the eaves, VME were able to put on a first class show for over 1000 of their production company peers.

They flew 14 x MLA Compact elements as the main FOH PA - arranged in two hangs of six each side of the stage, with the remaining two providing centre imaging. Handling the LF extension were eight MLX subs in cardioid pattern, with three subs facing forward and one reverse on each side of the stage. Delay points set midway back through the banqueting room comprised three hangs of four MLA Mini, with an MSX Mini sub at the base.

Martin Audio's Andy Davies provided technical support, and was de facto system engineer on the night, creating the optimisations in the Display2.1 software. VME's project managers were Ben Hyman and Steve Ness, while mixing at FOH on a Yamaha CL1 was Mike Thorpe.

"Acoustically these spaces are not bad, and we were able to maintain a high SPL," continued Dion Davie. "Russell Kane covered a lot of ground across the stage with his Sennheiser handheld radio mic. But with so much rejection and loads of headroom in the system we were delighted with the way the MLA system behaved."

He also praised the role of NoNonsense Group's Liz Madden. "You couldn't ask for a better production manager - she was brilliant."

Madden, in turn, reciprocated, "As always, the VME team were a pleasure to work with."

(Jim Evans)

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