Fifty weeks out of the year, WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona is an equestrian center and special events facility, but during Arizona Bike Week (ABW), held in early April of this year, the ABW Cyclefest turns WestWorld into a raucous concert venue.
A 27,000 square-foot tent is erected on the premises and dubbed the HandleBar Saloon, and it’s where the majority of the concerts take place during Bike Week.
Arizona Bike Week, which actually spans 10 days, is an annual event that has taken place for the past 13 years in the territory in and around the city of Scottsdale and is the fourth-largest bike festival in the country.
Pre-Rally Days, the five days leading up to Cyclefest, also features concerts, rides and events – including the coronation of Miss Arizona Bike Week – that take place at various towns in the area. This year Pre-Rally Days started off with a concert staged at Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa by the Charlie Daniels Band.
Pro Production Services has been handing production for ABW Cyclefest since 2004, and the Tempe-based company maintains a pretty diverse client base covering everything from fairs and festivals to corporate shows and even events for the White House.
Donovan Mote, director of operations for Pro Production Services out of their Phoenix office, relied on EAW KF750 loudspeakers and BH760 subwoofers driven by Crown I-Tech Series amplifiers to provide the wide horizontal coverage needed for the tent, as well as satisfy rider requirements for the bands coming through. This year’s lineup featured performances by hometown group the Gin Blossoms, Blackfoot, Eddie Money, and Cheap Trick, as well as performances by local bands.
Faced with the physical challenges of staging a large scale production in a tent, Mote has tried various configurations opting this year to go with ground stacked mains positioned in front of a 40- by 40-foot stage, expanded up this year from a 40- by 32-foot stage to satisfy set requirements for Cheap Trick. Crown I-Tech amps provided the power, and Rational Acoustics Smaart was employed by Mote primarily for time alignment of the system.
At front of house and monitors, both analog and digital consoles were represented. “This year we had a Midas XL200 (analog) at front of house, which is kind of our festival workhouse,” Mote says. “It’s really easy to use. There’s not always a lot of time for sound checks and there are charity raffles and things like that that happen in the tent where the concerts occur as well, so something that is really familiar to everyone is pretty important.”
A Midas Heritage 3000 (analog) console was provided for monitors, while Yamaha M7CL digital consoles were situated at both house and monitors. Mote continues, “It’s really kind of an ideal scenario for us, some bands prefer to work on the M7CL because they already had the cards or were more familiar with the console, so we were able to provide the headlining acts what ever they wanted to use.”
Both 12- and 15-inch Radian MicroWedges (the original Dave Rat design that the new EAW monitors of the same name are based upon) were employed on stage, again powered by Crown I-Tech Series, though as Mote recalls, “Several of the acts had in-ears, and we provided some. We used the Shure PSM 700s and the PSM 600s for hard-wired, and Cheap Trick brought out their own set.