The 10th Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival, held in late February, moved to a spacious new site this year at Dubai Festival City, with a Meyer Sound MILO-based line array loudspeaker system covered the site with exemplary sound—even after being pummeled by a ferocious sandstorm. Total attendance topped 46,000 for the nine evenings of performances.
“On the second day of the festival we had one of the worst sandstorms in recent years,” recalls Karl Da Costa, technical manager of Dubai-based Artes Middle East LLC, which has equipped the festival with Meyer Sound systems for the past five years. “A couple of video screens came down, and dust was getting into everything. Yet we managed to get through the afternoon sound check. Fortunately, the winds died down by evening, and all the loudspeakers performed flawlessly for the show.”
The main stage hosted four nights of international genre-blending headliners, including Jason Mraz, James Morrison, Spyro Gyra, James Blunt, Acoustic Alchemy, and Jools Holland with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.
The left and right arrays for the main stage each comprised 13 MILO loudspeakers. Flown above the MILO loudspeakers were two M3D line array loudspeakers aimed squarely at the VIP balconies, which were set 70 meters back from the stage. Sixteen 700-HP subwoofers bolstered the low end, six CQ-2 loudspeakers supplied front fill, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors handled system drive.
“I was extremely satisfied with the sound quality,” says Anthony Younes, CEO of Chillout Productions, founders and organizers of the Dubai Jazz Festival. “We received positive feedback on the quality of sound throughout the festival from our corporate partners, as well as from those in the crowd.”
Audio for the smaller Jazz Garden Sub Stage was supplied by 12 Meyer Sound M3D line array loudspeakers, six M3D-Sub subwoofers, four M’elodie line array loudspeakers as outfills, four UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers as front fills, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor.
Artes also supplied full FOH and monitoring packages for the festival. The principal console at the main stage was a Yamaha PM5D-RH and a Midas Heritage 3000 for Jonathan Butler; the principal monitor console was another PM5D-RH, with an Avid VENUE D-Show for James Morrison.
The sub stage deployed a Midas PRO2C console at FOH and a Yamaha LS9 console at monitors. Shure supplied wireless microphones, with wireless in-ear monitors from Shure and Sennheiser. Eight MJF-212A stage monitors from Most High Productions provided foldback for the main stage, augmenting a system that included six UM-1P stage monitors from Artes.