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Entertainment Installations’ twilight concerts from the middle of a Sydney zoo
The Twilight at Taronga concerts in Sydney have become a summer family-outing staple, since they began over ten years ago. This year there are 17 weekend concerts over a two month period, featuring acts such as Rufus Wainwright, Belle & Sebastian and Conor Oberst, along with a number local Australian artists.
For the last three years, Entertainment Installations has been tasked with setting up the concerts, which take place in the middle of an open and crowded Taronga Zoo. The performances will see around 1600 concert-goers each night, picnicking as the sun sets behind the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
The zoo itself sits facing the harbour, within the leafy suburb of Mosman, which means the event planners need to ensure off-site noise doesn’t become an annoyance to neighbours.
“Being a Sydney Harbourside location there are a lot of local residents who you don’t want to disturb with noise. Being located within a zoo, we are also sensitive to the animal residents, which is why we started using [Martin Audio’s] MLA Compact,” observes Entertainment Installations’ MD, Neale Mace.
The company had initially invested in the Wavefront W8C Compact system, but eventually moved onto Martin Audio’s W8LC line array, which Neale says has solved any off-site noise issues.
“[The noise management protocol for the location] asks for an 85dB limit at the perimeter, but we can achieve this and still reach 100dB at the FOH desk,” he said. “[Due to its] ability to fit the audio to a designated area, with very little audio beyond that space, I don’t believe there’s another PA on the market that can deliver the coverage and level that’s required without causing off-site noise.”
Neale and his crew have rigged eight MLA Compact elements per side in the PA towers, on 1-tonne chain blocks. Along with two Yamaha CL5 consoles, a number of Martin Audio LE1200 wedges and three DSX subs stage-stacked on each side under the PA hangs.
“This, along with the large complement of W8C, WSX, W8LC and WS218X means we have the biggest Martin Audio inventory in Australia,” Neale boasted.
The MLA system has left a good impression on Twilight at Taronga audiences and (most importantly) with the neighbours.
“I’m told by the Zoo and the promoter that the first year we were involved was the best result they’d had in terms of audio quality, with no noise complaints,” he said.
“We’ve built on that experience over time and tried to make it better every year. Now they are starting to book bigger and better international acts, boosting the popularity of the event, we are getting more promoter representatives, tour managers and other industry people,” Neale continued. “The MLA system is instrumental in that success.”
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