To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, German chancellor Angela Merkel led Peter Gabriel and the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra in a celebratory performance, supported by a Meyer Sound LEO linear reinforcement system, which drew more than 100,000 people to the Brandenburg Gate.
“LEO has a slim profile, yet it has a massive sound and incredible output,” says Marcus Mechelhoff, production manager for Berlin event management company mediapool, which designed and coordinated all audio, lighting, video and pyrotechnics for the event. “It was the perfect tool for every requirement. Speeches were clearly heard everywhere, while rock, pop and classical music were perfectly reproduced. I received only positive feedback about the sound quality from the FOH engineers for very different musical artists.”
To cover a crowd spread across a 150 x 150m area, mediapool configured four arrays of 12-each LEO-M line array loudspeakers and 34 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. Four delay towers comprised a total of 16 MILO and 16 MICA line array loudspeakers, with 12 UPQ-1P loudspeakers as near fills, and 12 MJF-212A stage monitors, 12 CQ-1 and four UPA-1P loudspeakers provided onstage foldback. A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system, with one Galileo AES 616 and four Galileo Callisto 616 array processors, supplied system drive and optimisation.
Sound system configuration and equipment supply were handled by POOLgroup, of Emsdetten, Germany, a full-service production provider that has supported other high-profile events, including two visits to Germany by President Obama and a G8 summit.
“With such a massive crowd, LEO’s extraordinary long-throw capability was much appreciated by the production,” says Tim Humpe of POOLgroup, who served as project manager for the event. (PSNLive interviewed Humpe in June for a feature on live music in Germany.) “LEO once again proved to be the ideal solution for a high-calibre multimedia event.”
POOLgroup also provided a DiGiCo SD7 and two Soundcraft Vi4 digital mixing consoles, 16 channels of Shure UR4D wireless microphones systems with KSM9 handhelds and 14 channels of Shure PSM 1000 in-ear monitoring.
Audio reinforcement specification for the tender was commissioned by mediapool to Ivo König and Til Schwartz from IT AUDIO. Schwartz also served as audio coordinator for the worldwide television broadcast.
As part of the programme, Peter Gabriel sang David Bowie’s Heroes in front of video footage showing the fall of the wall, and the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra, with conductor Daniel Barenboim, performed Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony №9 . The ceremonies also included speeches by Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, former Polish president Lech Walesa and ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.