Under new management, BottleRock 2014 provided three days of exceptional music without any of the problems that affected last year’s trial launch. As Jason Alt of Delicate Productions, provider of audio, video and lighting for the event points out, “This year’s festival was smoother, more organized and better run. Participating vendors and artists were taken care of in advance and everyone had a very positive festival experience.”
The eclectic lineup for the festival included The Cure, Outkast, Weezer, TV On The Radio, Heart, Third Eye Blind, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Gin Blossoms and dozens more bands, solo artists and comedians that spanned a range of styles and musical generations.
Once again, Delicate provided Martin Audio MLA and MLA Compact loudspeaker systems for the two main sponsored stages, Toshiba and Sprint, to ensure proper coverage within the festival grounds and output control to prevent noise overspill in surrounding residential neighborhoods.
“The city of Napa didn’t have a noise ordinance until after last year’s event and we teamed with the city to establish one that would work for the festival and the city,” Alt explains. “We came up with 105 dB C-weighted at front of house, 110 feet from the stage, measured over an hour period average. This gave us enough latitude for bands to get louder for ten minutes at a time, which allowed for dynamics within that average without adversely affecting any artist’s performance.
“None of the artists or engineers had any issues with the noise ordinance. Even with the newly imposed time restrictions of stopping by 10 pm, the festival went really well. And we had no noise complaints from those living near the festival site either.”
Part of this year’s new PA guidelines included removing the delay towers from the main stage to eliminate excess noise, which had no negative impact on coverage according to Alt. “It made the throw for MLA about 600 feet and the system still performed really well. The audience listening experience didn’t suffer at all. People were able to hear it and everything sounded really consistent and clear.”
The Toshiba main stage system included two arrays per side, each consisting of 16 Martin Audio MLA and two MLD (downfill) enclosures; 24 ground-stacked MLX subwoofers; 12 W8LM speakers for front fill; two clusters for side fill, each containing four W8C, four W8CS compact subs, and two WS218X subs; and six MLA Compact each as side hangs.
An Avid Profile 96/24 console was used for front of house, and Yamaha PM5D-RH, DSP5D and Avid Venue 48/24 consoles were on hand for monitors. Six Shure UHF-R wireless systems with SM58 capsules were also part of the main stage setup.
For the second (Sprint) stage, Delicate combined 18 Martin Audio MLA Compact enclosures per side with 12 DSX ground-stacked subs; two side fill clusters containing two W8Cs, two W8CS compact subs and a WS218X sub; four W8LCs for front fill and Martin Audio LE1200S and LE2100S stage monitors to complete the package.
“I enjoyed the system a lot,” says Outkast FOH engineer Darcy Khan. “The most important thing was the clarity at 200 feet. I was skeptical about that because a lot of line arrays claim to have it but don’t deliver. And this is the only system I’ve come across that can produce enough low end with just 24 subs, but the way Delicate set it up with that block across the front of the stage, it was there. I was very pleased with it, the system really delivered the goods.”
Concluding, Alt adds, “Overall the MLA’s performance exceeded our expectations. Everybody was very impressed with what the system was able to do and all of the engineers, many of whom were new to the system, had a great mixing experience with it.”