Spalding Festival 2017

For the second year, we were asked to provide full production support for Spalding Festival. This year marked the 50th Anniversary (almost to the day) of the 1967 Barbeque event that saw acts like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Cream and Geno Washington take to the stage in Spalding. As this years festival fell on such an important milestone in the towns history, the event organisers wanted to go bigger and better and so we made some significant improvements across all areas.

Staging

With Geno Washington and Zoot Money returning to the town to headline the Saturday night, the first major improvement was the staging. We took the reasonably small stage (provided by the venue) of 2016 and nearly doubled the stage floor space and raised it up to 3ft including a fixed drum riser at 4ft. We used Litedeck 8ft x 4ft deck to create a 24ft by 20ft stage space complete with step access USL and USR and 3 sided handrail. With this increase in stage size, meant an increase in the roof structure which leads us into the Rigging and Lighting section.

Rigging and Lighting

With the increased stage size and increases in lighting equipment, we opted for widening and deepening the flown grid above the stage. Going up to 6 points and 12m wide by 8m deep structure, we were able to implement a more interesting and visually pleasing lighting system to the more simplistic system of 2016.

The main roof system was constructed from 3 8m lengths of H30V hung downstage to upstage located, just offstage SL and SR and a central truss. Hanging under this was a 12m H30V length running across the US edge of the stage to support the lighting hanging below it, as well as the rear US black drapes hang to provide a masked corridor around the rear of the stage. A similar support of Astralite A03 was hung across the downstage edge.

To create some good visual impact, we used a diamond of A03 with LED battens and Mac 101s as you will see in the photos.

Lighting wise, we used 6 Mac 550 Spots, 8 Mac 101s, 4 Chauvet Intimidator Hybrid 140SR, 4 Mac 250 Washes, 12 Lanta Orion Link V2 Battens and a selection of LED pars and generics.

A specific request from the organisers was the rear end of the venue being somewhat dark in between sets – to combat this, we contemplated a generic wash of the rear of the venue but decided this was too simplistic and chose to do this through the use of LED fixtures from the FOH truss, meaning we could also utilise these during the band sets for colour effects.

Audio

This is the area we made significant improvements on last year. Firstly, we needed to try to overcome the RT60 time that hung in excess of 10 seconds. We cut this to 3s through substantial draping of the venue. We used BWS drapes hung around the rear of the venue behind the stage and down the sides and then a section of drape across the rear wall of the venue to prevent the high end slap that was giving us a lot of problems in 2016.

We also used a large amount of pipe and drape around the stage for masking, but this also aided in reducing reflections from the onstage wedges.

Our brand new TW AUDiO system was our major improvement this year. Gone of the 2016 ground stacked Flex Array system. We hung 5 VERA36 high packs a side from the roof structure allowing us to angle the array to provide audio where we needed it and not having it bounce off the rear wall. The difference in overall sound and clarity compared to the flex array was instantly noticeable.

For subs, we chose the VERA S33 sub from TW AUDiO, implementing 6 per side. These subs are designed with a front facing 18″ driver and rear facing 15″ driver for native cardioid arrangement. This means we were able to create a quiet stage and keep noise away from the housing estate that the venue backs onto. Due to limited space between the stage and crowd barrier, we opted for 6 subs per side, stacked in 3 columns of 2.

For front fill, we chose our TW AUDiO M8s. The small profile and rotatable horn meant we were able to place these across the front edge of the stage without obscuring site lines.

Monitor wise, we used TW AUDiO C12 and C15 wedges – both coaxial boxes with 3 pairs across the front, 2 floats and a C15 over 2 B18s for a drum mix.

All TW speakers are driven by PLM12k44’s from Lab Gruppen. With the Lake software, we were able to control the entire system with a control point at Monitor World and another at FOH.

Our control system was all Allen and Heath, with a DLive S7000 and DM64 rack for FOH and iLive 176 with iDR10 at monitors. Dante fed all the Lab amplifiers with AES backup and a 64 channel multisplit implemented for simple gain control on both surfaces.