The Weekender festival in Plymouth finally made its debut this year after previous cancellations due to COVID-19. Hosting more than 20 acts over the course of two days, the event pulled out all the stops with musical performances from Jax Jones, Tom Zanetti and Wilkinson on a fully immersive stage, supported by Electro-Voice and Dynacord.
Plymouth-based AV company Concertsound took control of the festival set up and brought in friends Paul Caboche and Nub Sound from Plymouth, who deployed an Electro-Voice X2 line-array solution with additional X12 128 subs from Concertsound’s arsenal. Gary Platts, head of full service at Concertsound and father to the Weekender festival’s organizer Ryan Platts, recalls: “I fell in love with the X Line Advance X2 at a demonstration at EV and Dynacord HQ in Peterborough. It’s an incredible and versatile system and with detailed plots from EV’s PREVIEW loudspeaker prediction software, we were able deploy the right number of boxes, create the speaker placement and trim heights to cover the main stage area. This would provide enough noise for a potential 6,000 people a day.
“The first off site noise listening position was less than a mile away so horizontal coverage and sub positioning were critical,” he continues. “With a challenging maximum on site listening level of 97 dB it took some clever midrange manipulation from engineer Tristan Mallet combined SONICUE Sound System Software from Dynacord to ensure that the coverage was perfect and the physical audio experience was completely and totally off the scale. The feedback for the sound from the customers was as endless as the rappers F and C bombs! This is about as predictable as it ever gets. Electro-Voice have every base covered in all areas regarding sound reinforcement predictability at festival level.”
The Weekender festival did not receive one noise complaint from the nearest residential area of Plympton which is less than a mile away from the site. “Considering that the onsite noise level was raging, this is a testament to SONICUE and PREVIEW software, the loudspeaker systems and the experience of the engineers using them,” said Gary Platts.
The main system consisted of nine Electro-Voice X2 line array elements per side with 12 X12-128 dual 18” subwoofers providing the low-end. The system was driven by Dynacord TGX10 and TGX20 4-channel DSP amplifiers, delivering advanced 96 kHz processing, FIR-Drive technology and full networking capabilities to ensure smooth operation. “I’m still flabbergasted at the performance of the system and what it was able to achieve,” says Gary Platts. “It was astonishingly crisp and breathtaking. You would walk to the main stage and the sound was exactly where it needed to be – just completely focused on the 6,000-capacity area. It was on a completely different level of sound delivery – it was staggeringly good.”
Boasting an extremely compact cabinet for such a vast sound, the X2 system provided the festival with the perfect output levels, particularly for the main stage area. “There were times during the festival when I would just sit in front of the main sound system totally immersed in the sonic excellence it provides,” recalls Gary Platts. “I just couldn’t understand how such a small speaker surface could generate that kind SPL and then have it drop off so quickly at the required distance. You could tell the audience really loved it as well – a good system should be more than ear candy, it should excite every possible body sense to create a physical as well as an audio experience, and that’s exactly what the X2 achieved – it felt like every sense in my whole body was awake when I was stood in front of it.”
With the success of this year’s event, Plymouth council has allowed further capacity for the Weekender’s 2022 festival, which promises to be bigger and better. “They have given us the all-clear for next year so we’re just going to double everything up!” Gary Platts confirms. “We’re really excited for the year to come!”