JBL VERTEC® VT4889 Systems Dominate European Summer Festivals

With the 2010 European summer music festival season drawing massive numbers of music lovers to meadows, air fields, sports facilities, event grounds and historic estates throughout the continent, a wide range of popular musical styles and increasingly diverse audiences of all ages have been gathering to experience their favorite live entertainers in outdoor settings. Some of the largest and most popular of these events are serviced by leading concert sound rental and production firms using JBL VERTEC® as their system of choice to meet the contract “rider” requirements of international artists.

Helping to kick off the season in the U.K., BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend took place May 22-23, drawing over 40,000 festival-goers to historic Faenol Estate Park on the banks of the Menai Straits in Bangor, North Wales. UK-based Adlib Audio supported the “In New Music We Trust” stage with a JBL VERTEC VT4889 fullsize line array system, underpinned with VT4880A arrayable subwoofers fitted with 2269H Ultra Long Excursion 18-inch woofers. Featured artists on the stage included Faithless, Vampire Weekend and Bombay Bicycle Club.

Northern Europe’s longest-running and largest music festival, this year’s legendary Roskilde Festival (Denmark) was staged July 1-4 and drew Scandinavian youth and attendees from throughout Europe. Roskilde was serviced by veteran Danish sound rental firm DPA Soundco and featured artists like Prince, Alice in Chains, Patti Smith, Muse, Jack Johnson and The Prodigy. With a 60,000-person capacity for each of four days, the legendary “Orange” (main) stage was supported with a multi-array JBL VT4889 fullsize line array system.

In southeastern Europe, the historic Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia, was the site of this year’s Exit Festival, staged July 8-11. Regional audio, lighting, video and staging production company Studio Berar, celebrating 10 years of working with the festival, provided a total of 64 VT4889 fullsize line array elements, 80 VT4888DP midsize line array elements, and 100 VT4880 full-size arrayable subwoofers for the Main Stage, Fusion Stage and Dance Arena. Featured entertainers included Faith No More, The Chemical Brothers, Missy Elliott, Placebo, Mika, LCD Soundsystem, and Crystal Casteles.

Finally, Rock In Rio was once again staged in Lisbon, Portugal (May 21-30) and Madrid, Spain (June 4-14). With a 2010 promotion and production budget of 27 million Euros (32.7 million US dollars), the world’s largest music festival is an all-encompassing concert, entertainment, social action and lifestyle event. This year’s festivals drew nearly 500,000 fans with a diverse list of main-stage entertainers including Bon Jovi, Motorhead, John Mayer, Miley Cyrus, Megadeth, Jane’s Addiction, Rihanna, Elton John, and Shakira, with a grand finale in Madrid for a crowd of 48,000 by headlining act Metallica. The experienced and well-equipped concert sound firm Gabisom (Sao Paolo, Brazil) managed all audio requirements with massive hangs of JBL VT4889/VT4880 loudspeaker line arrays, transported from the Lisbon site to the Madrid site.

“To meet the critical demands of top international touring acts, outdoor music festivals require rental vendors to have and deploy superior equipment and practices,” noted Paul Bauman, Director, Tour Sound Product and Application Engineering, JBL Professional. “Each of the above JBL VERTEC system owners has demonstrated their understanding of, and ability to execute, the highest standards of live sound system design and operations for some of Europe’s most enduring and enjoyable music festivals.”
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