This year's Steelhouse Festival, headlined by Swedish rock legends Europe and Thin Lizzy alumni Black Star Riders, featured the first appearance in the UK for new STM M28 compact line array cabinets by Nexo.
According to the French manufacturer, the M28 omnipurpose cabinet completes the line up of the STM series of modular line arrays. At Steelhouse – which takes place on a Welsh mountain peak at Hafod-Y-Dafal Farm, near Ebbw Vale, making it the UK's highest outdoor music festival – the M28 was used as the main cabinet, accompanied by B112 bass and S118 sub-bass cabinets, in a system designed by rental company SMS-PA and Nexo concert sound specialist Val Gilbert.
Steelhouse last year used a Nexo GEO S12/RS18 system, and SMS-PA owner Ian Smith says he was "eager to take a pioneering role with the new M28," launched this summer.
The system was designed to provide even coverage over a 65m audience area using a traditional L/R omnidirectional sub setup. Either side of stage, the main PA was nine M28 compact cabinets with eight STM S118 subs, and a single M28 per side was used to provide front row coverage up to 10 metres.
System control and signal transport was carried out over Dante, with a Yamaha CL5 console at FOH and another CL5 on monitor duty, both provided by SMS-PA. Dante was set up in a primary/secondary network, ensuring a "flawless" network topology.
"The system required very little tuning and provided extremely smooth coverage on both horizontal and vertical planes," reported Nexo’s Val Gilbert, "from 65 metres all the way to the front of the stage, thanks to M28’s 15º inter-cabinet angle and the 120º Configurable Directivity Device (CDD) on the last cabinet of the array.
"Setting up the system was a piece of cake – rigged, flown, stacked and ready to play in about one hour!"
The fourth Steelhouse Welsh International Classic Rock Festival took place on 19 and 20 July and was attended by over 5,000 people.