Adlib Solutions’ audio division once again supplied a complete L-Acoustics sound system and crew to Production North for the 2012 Capital FM Summertime Ball staged at Wembley Stadium, London, UK in early June.
This year’s star-studded line up included Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Usher, Katy Perry, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, The Wanted, Flo Rida and many more. The event kick starts the summer with an action packed day of pop music.
Adlib’s crew of 17 was chiefed by Marc Peers. Key people included systems tech Tony Szabo, RF co-ordinator Dave Kay, presenter console operator Ian Nelson and patch by Michael Bernard Flaherty all intent on delivering a precisely planned mission involving some superlative teamwork.
Peers worked closely with Production North’s sound supervisor Ant Carr and their event production manager Sarah Hollis on the advance logistics ensuring all the requirements of the acts performing were met.
“We have an extremely harmonious relationship with Production North on these shows,” comments Peers.
“A vast amount of detailed ground-work in the months leading up to the event is needed in order for things to run smoothly on the day,” comments Peers.
It’s the second time the Liverpool based company has supplied audio for the Summertime Ball. It also services the Jingle Bell Ball winter version – again under the auspices of Production North - at the O2 Arena.
The precise schedule, similar in format to a large live TV show, kicked off at 4.03 p.m. and ran until 10.30 p.m., with the average changeover between bands being two minutes and the shortest just 30 seconds.
A flip flop desk setup and two days of sound checks enabled all bands to be catered to.
Everyone was mic’d up separately, which involved a lot of kit with no margin for error. A revolving stage was utilized in order for upcoming bands to be set up and the backline rotated around and ready for their performance.
A large upstage LED screen also flew in and out for stage entrances and exits.
The L-Acoustics K1 sound system consisted of two 16-speaker arrays for the main hangs, with side hangs of 15 x V-DOSC speakers left-and-right and an upstage hang of five V-DOSC a-side.
Two sets of delays – with another 10 x K1s in each - were located just behind the FOH mixer position.
To cover the top tiers of seating, Adlib integrated the venue’s house system speakers into theirs.
The subs were 16 x L-Acoustics SB28s a-side ground stacked, and the entire system was processed through the standard Adlib Lake set up with the audio transported back to the amp racks via a Dante optical backbone.
Three Avid Profile consoles were provided for the FOH mix, two were used for the live acts and one for the video play-ins which featured heavily throughout the show. The video console was also used for all the presenter mics.
For monitors, Adlib supplied two Yamaha PM5D consoles and 24 of their new MP4 low profile wedges, which feature upgraded drivers from the original MP3 wedge. The stage was approximately 60 feet wide, 100 feet including wings, with side fills comprised 3 x L-Acoustics ARCs and 2 x SB28s a-side.
The entire monitor system was powered by Lab Gruppen PLM 10000s, for which the wireless remote was invaluable for tuning and EQ’ing.
Peers noted that thanks to Sennheiser’s Mark Saunders and Tim Sherratt, they were provided with Sennheiser’s invaluable support on these shows.
The load-in commenced on the Wednesday afternoon with everything up, running and ready for inspection 24 hours later. Friday was a full day of sound-checks (as was Saturday morning) and then the group rolled into the show.
Peers says, “Each and every one of our crew were complete superstars on this, all playing their integral roles in ensuring a seamless audio performance under very high pressure - a real team effort in every sense of the word”.
Account handler Phil Kielty added “Working with Steve Levitt, Ant Carr and all of the Production North team is always a complete pleasure. People have no idea (thankfully!) what a huge military-style operation goes on behind the scenes but no-one gets flustered and everyone pulls together with a great stage crew to make it all look so effortless & smooth!
“The K1 system was so well received and I can’t think of many pop festivals that can pull off the staging of performances by such an amazing array of superstars”.