Britannia Row provided the sound for three major stages at this year’s Creamfields festival, which took place at Daresbury on the British August bank holiday weekend.
Founded in 1998, Creamfields is a leading UK dance music festival and the brainchild of club promoter Cream.
Led by crew chief Alex Hore and with system designs from Josh Lloyd, Britannia Row supplied sound solutions to Arc Stage, Horizon Stage and Stage 4, AKA, the iconic 15,000 capacity Steel Yard (which is so popular, it has become a festival in its own right with events staged in Cream’s hometown of Liverpool and in London).
Hore oversaw a 16-stong crew across the three stages and worked closely with off-site noise management consultants, Vanguardia.
He commented: “The design of the systems and the ethos behind them is to provide the best sounding and largest-area-covering audio we can, whilst limiting the potential for any off-site sound problems. Any stage, at any time, can be called on to adjust levels and frequencies to limit potential issues at particular locations off-site. This relies on the skills of the system technicians and FOH engineers to respond quickly to any changes.”
The Arc and Horizon stages saw L-Acoustics K1 chosen for the main hangs. Arc had K2 on ground fill and delay duties, as well as KS28 for ground subs, ARCS II as ground delays and Kara for front fill. Horizon had a similar rig, with the smaller capacity requiring few boxes. Arc had an SSL L300 rider, whereas Horizon opted for the Midas touch with PRO2Cs at FOH and in the monitor position.
The Steel Yard system deployment had the arsenal of flown subs, utilising K1-SBs in the air, a KS28 sub enclosure – both flown and on the ground – K2 enclosures as main hangs, SB18 for delays, ARCS II as ground fill and front fill via Kara. At FOH, a DiGiCo SD5 and an SD11i on monitors controlled the mixes. The systems were controlled by Lake LM 44s and Focusrite UFX Interfaces.
Hore continued: “I was particularly happy with the sound at the Steel Yard stage. It benefited from having two sets of delay hangs which meant we were able to get fantastic coverage at the back of the very large structure – without having to drive the main system too hard.”
Prior to the festival set up, advancing included meetings with production management company LarMac, festival promotors Cream, Vanguardia and the audio rental companies on the other stages. “The entire production team and all of the other audio rental companies worked very well together to maximise the results and minimise any difficulties,” explained Hore. “It was a pleasure to know that we were all pulling in the same direction and were giving each other support to make it all work.”
Creamfields’ production manager, Ian Greenway of LarMac Live, said: “As a show, we’ve made a big effort this year to lessen our off-note noise impact on our neighbours. With more audio suppliers than most festivals, gluing together a single approach across all vendors was critical. Our very long-standing relationship with Brit Row allowed us to have open and honest conversations about what helps and indeed, what doesn’t. The technical expertise of Josh Lloyd, Dave Compton and Alex Hore delivered on-site, as we delivered less level off-site. Double win.”
Hore, who has freelanced for Britannia Row for over 15 years, concluded: “What impresses me most is the incredible level of time and effort that’s invested in the build-up to any event they do. A large number of people spend a lot of time preparing the ground before a single cable is plugged in, and the attention to detail is amazing. They have some very talented people working there, many of whom have been ‘in the field’ themselves and have a wealth of event experience to call on when working on largescale events like Creamfields.”