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L-Acoustics goes long over the Tyne for Great North Run opening ceremony

Jon Chapple 23 October 2014
L-Acoustics goes long over the Tyne for Great North Run opening ceremony

Tyneside production company Nitelites made use of L-Acoustics’ K1 for the spectacular opening ceremony for the 2014 Great North Run, which featured live music from Sting, Mark Knopfler and Chase and Status, poetry, pyrotechnics and projections on both sides of the River Tyne in Newcastle, UK. The Great North Run is the second-largest half-marathon in the world, and takes place in Newcastle every September.

“With stages on both sides of the river and audiences spread across the whole city centre, timing issues and noise control were the main issues,” says Jamie Moore, managing director of Nitelites. “I would not have used anything else on this gig. K1 is the only product in my opinion that could deliver the throw that we needed. Its accuracy and directivity was essential on this gig.”

For the main stage, which faced the river and whose audience were almost 100m away on the opposite quay, Nitelites deployed a traditional LR hang of 12 K1s, with eight SB28s per side, ground-stacked directly in front of the stage facing out over the river.  “It was really all about imaging,” Moore comments. “Creating a natural sound for the audience from both the main stages, as well as other show feeds, from elements such as boats along the river.”

Six delay towers of 12 KARAs, with four SB28s accompanied by two ARCS for fill, were placed on the audience side of the river and were set up at 90 degrees to the main stage hang in order to cover the quayside audience and reduce noise leakage. “We placed three hangs to the left-hand side and three hangs to the right-hand side of the stage, and we pointed them up and down the river rather than in line with the main stage hang in order to cover the wide-flung audience,” explains Moore, “so timing issues were critical. We also used KARA’s horizontal 110 degree symmetric vertical directivity to ensure that our directional brief was met.”

SONY DSCIn addition to facing the challenge of a wide-flung audience on both sides of a major river, Nitelites faced noise-control issues. The opening ceremony’s main stage directly faced Newcastle Magistrates’ Court – and the court was in session during rehearsal days.  For this reason, the main PA system could not be used properly until the actual night of the event, with a two-hour window given for tuning two nights prior to the concert, so Moore relied heavily on L-Acoustics’ SOUNDVISION 3D modelling.

“I don’t think we could have pulled off the event with any other system,” he concludes. |Intelligibility and musical quality was second to none. All of the comments from the client to public and local press have been hugely complimentary.

“I believe that the show is the biggest and best thing that Newcastle has ever been part of. To be part of something so special in our hometown is something to be proud of for Nitelites. The audio growth of the company has a lot to do with taking on L-Acoustics and becoming a part of their culture. We are hugely looking forward to working with K2.”

www.greatrun.org/north
www.l-acoustics.com
www.nitelites.co.uk

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