MC at the Festivals

Posted by | November 14, 2012 | , | No Comments

With no Glastonbury this Summer due to it being the fallow year, combined with the sustained torrential rain experienced in the UK’s wettest drought ever, you’d be forgiven for thinking the festival season was a non entity! But that’s where you’d be wrong.  Check out our selection of the best Summer Festivals – and yes of course they included products from XTA and MC2!

In 2012, The Glade Festival took place at Houghton Hall, near King’s Lynn in Norfolk.
This mammoth dance music event has been officially operating as a festival since 2004.  It began as a day event in celebration of Drum & Bass at the Glade Arena in Glastonbury and then grew in size to the four day event it now is. It is widely regarded as the “Glastonbury for dance music fans,” combining highly acclaimed music with art installations and an holistic approach.

12_fesitvals_profg_ttThis year it was held just ten miles outside King’s Lynn in the 1000 acre estate of Houghton Hall and featured 14 stages. Headlining at the Festival were the likes of: Trance DJ Sven Vath, Drum and Bass Guru Andy C, Pretty Lights, Stanton Warriors, Essaisos and Krafty Kuts.

As with all dance events, top-class sound remained a priority, with this year being no exception.  In fact over the years Glade has become infamous for its high quality sound-systems.

Main stage: Glade Stage – This consisted of a Funktion-One F221 / Res5 System with MC2 Amps and XTA processing. MC2 amps and XTA processing were also used in the monitor system for the Glade Stage

On the Dance-off Stage the system comprised: a Four stack F218 Funktion-One System with MC2 amplifiers and XTA processing.  The Origin Stage consisted of a Funktion-One system incorporating E45, E90 and E100 amps from MC2.  The Geodesic Dome required special attention as it was designed with a boom spot right in the centre of the Dome so that all audio sourced from this point would return by reflection to the same spot, creating a God-like voice.  This was achieved using a Funktion One system including 1 x MC2 E45 amp.  Finally the I Scream Stage also featured a Funktion-One system using 1 x MC2 E45 amp.

The next Festival to attract our attention was the Isle of Wight Festival.  Originally held between 1968 and 1970, this classic rock and pop music festival was revived in 2002 and has been getting bigger ever since. Since 2002 it has hosted names as big as the Rolling Stones, Paul Weller, Bryan Adams, The Who, David Bowie, Snow Patrol, Coldplay and Groove Armada to name but a few.

Located on the outskirts of Newport at the Seaclose Park recreation ground, this year’s  event extended even further northward along the fields of the eastern Medina Valley and boasted the likes of Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Tinie Tempah, Jessie J and Madness.

This year there were five main performance areas: Main Stage, Big Top Tent, Garden Stage, Hipshaker Lounge and Dance Tent.

12-festivals_jjProfessional Audio hire company Wigwam Acoustics was in charge of installing the various sound systems on the main stages.  They used a variety of XTA products including:
GQ600 – both live on the main stage, and in the main stage monitor system.  Several DP448s were also used for different stages and a DP224 was also used in the monitor system.  As testament to the longevity of XTA products they also used a G2, C2 and SiDD in the offboard racks!

Our final choice is Orchestra in a Field – This two day event, backed by TV dragon Deborah Meaden, was the brain-child of British conductor Charles Hazlewood who originally held it in his back garden in Somerset three years ago.  The internationally reknowned conductor wanted to create an event which brought together the best qualities of a concert hall with those of an outdoor festival.  Since then, the spectacle has evolved and expanded with this year’s event taking place in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey.

Festival goers were treated to a host of star attractions including: Charles Hazelwood’s All Star Band, The British Paraorchestra, The Post-War Orchestra, The Srapheap Orchestra, Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, Professor Green, and Labrinth.

The music itself ranged from renditions of the likes of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells and  music from the UK’s first ever national orchestra for musicians with a disability, to performances by grime artiste Professor Green backed by a full symphony orchestra.

From a pro-audio point of view, the task was daunting.  Colchester-based Audio Plus had to come up with ways to handle the different requirements of an orchestra, rock band, opera and hip hop in a way that avoided the need for complicated changeovers.

At FOH, some 160 channels of audio were used and mixed by three DigiCo consoles.  The PA Hang on the main stage consisted of nine Resolution 5 point source per side, hung through rows three wide, and three deep with down fills.  For subs, positioned underneath the hang, four F221s per side were used.  The system was powered by MC2E100 amps with XTA 448s handling processing.  Audio Plus operations manager Mark O’Neill, “It sounds totally effortless, powerful and subtle.  It always does.  I don’t ever go onto a show worrying about whether this system can deliver.  Everything sounds really natural, especially in the mid range which is really important for an orchestra.”

With thanks to Tpi magazine and Wigwam Acoustics for information and various excerpts.