Liverpool, UK, based audio and lighting rental company ADLIB were well prepared in all ways for the Creamfields 2011 staged in Daresbury, Cheshire. They supplied three integrated sound and lighting/visual packages for the Paul van Dyk/Cream Arena, the Pryda/Cocoon Arena and a large Hospitality area at the 3 day camping festival, spawned from legendary Liverpool superclub, Cream.
Even periods of torrential rain didn't dampen anyone's spirits, as once again ADLIB was proud to be involved in the UK's best known electronic music extravaganza, working for Loudsound Events and the production management team of LarMac LIVE led by Ian Greenway, assisted by Anthony Norris.
Getting The Cream
Achieving sonic excellence in the Cream Arena - the largest tented space of the Festival – at over 9,000 capacity, was undertaken by ADLIB's Otto Kroymann and Jay Petch. Saturday night's stellar line up was presented by the amazing Paul van Dyk and apart from himself headlining, included - Ferry Corsten, Judge Jules, Eddie Halliwell and many more. ADLIB supplied their JBL VerTec sound system, consisting of main hangs of 10 x VT4889s a-side, with another 2 x 4889s a-side in the delay hangs positioned half way down the tent.
The low frequency design featured 12 x VerTec VT4880As a side with a central sub array of 8 L-ACOUSTICS SB 28s, producing an impressive SLP with even coverage that was appreciated by bass gurus, performers and the audience alike.
The VerTec high packs were driven by Camco Vortex 6 amps and the Vertec subs by Labgruppen PLM 20000s.
They utilised two Soundcraft Vi1 consoles for FOH & monitors, and all of the processing, system EQ and time alignment was via a standard ADLIB Dolby Lake system. Kroymann explains, "It was a question of 'back to real bass-ics' with tried and tested hardware that we knew from experience was totally appropriate".
DJ monitors were the trusty ADLIB MP3 series – 2 x MP3 drum subs a-side with an MP3 wedge on top, to ensure that the 'serious' levels of bottom end were maintained. These were augmented with Nexo Alpha side-fills; a single stack with an additional sub!
The challenge was to deliver the required sound - in terms of levels, style and mode - for a typical club night over a massive arena for long periods of time - the Arena ran for 14 hours on the Saturday & 11 hours on the Sunday, so the pace and the power was relentless the whole time with no breaks - straight from one DJ to the next with minimal changeovers.
The Pryda/Cocoon Arena was presented on Saturday night by cutting edge Swedish DJ Eric Prydz. ADLIB's Carlos Herreros oversaw the sound requirements with a full CODA system. Prydz' 'friends' being presented included an incredible line up with the likes of Pete Tong, Sasha, James Zabiela and others.
Another fabulous full sounding system from ADLIB featured a CODA Airline LA12 line array and 16 x Coda SC8 sensor controlled subs, 5 x LA12 a-side in the main hangs were flown off the front lighting truss, together with 3 more LA12 a-side as delays hung from the mid-tent lighting truss. Another 2 x LA12 were stacked for front fills as part of one of the sub stacks and 4 x LA8s were ground stacked each side of the stage as out-fills. The large arena sloped considerably towards the stage so there wasn't an option to ground stack much of the PA as it would be masked by the audience, but the light weight of the LA12 enabled us to get the boxes up where they needed to be, with the help of the lighting infrastructure.
With no live acts, only DJ's performing in the arena, monitors were 2 x ADLIB single 15 inch subs with an ADLIB FD mid high either side of the DJ booth, which worked brilliantly for delivering the requisite atmospheric and searing SPLs .
Monitors and the FOH mix were both engineered from the one Digidesign SC48 console, with Lake LM 26s for the matrixing, time alignment and EQ.
Herreros worked alongside Sam Proctor, who looked after all the DJ changeovers (which were lightening quick), whilst he concentrated on the room coverage, for which the sonic challenge was producing a rich consistent sound within the 98dB FOH limitation.
Using the CODA system offered plenty of advantages. The tight focus helped it to achieve excellent coverage throughout the space & to concentrate the energy so it was right where it needed to be, enveloping the audience and making them central to the whole experience. The sound was "Powerful and clear" says Herreros, who also thinks that the SC8 subs are brilliant with their precise low frequency response, and in fact are fast becoming one of his favourites!
ADLIB's Head of Lighting Peter Abraham project managed the supply of lighting to the same three areas, for which Cream's Saturday night was designed by Paul van Dyk's team and the Sunday by ADLIB's own TPi award winning LD Ian Tomlinson.
The two very different styles and looks for the stage necessitated an intense overnight changeover.
A ground support system was erected at one end of the Arena (by Prism), and 2 x 15 metre long trusses were flown down either side of it between the tent poles to provide positions for the audience lighting. Each truss was loaded with 10 x Martin Professional MAC 700 Wash moving lights and three Atomic strobes. The delay speaker arrays were also flown on these trusses.
On the stage were 22 x MAC 700 Spots, 18 x MAC 301 LED washes, 14 x Atomics, 12 x Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s and 6 x 4-cell moles. These were positioned all over four over-stage trusses on the first night and six on the second. In addition to the two extra overhead trusses going in for Sunday, two small ground support trusses were added either side of the stage to extend the entire width of the performance space.
Consoles were an Avolites Pearl Expert with a Touch Wing and a Road Hog Full Boar with two playback wings, the latter specified by Paul van Dyk's designer Oli Metcalf and operated by Rik Schoutsen.
ADLIB's crew were Andy Rowe, Mike Summerfield and Geoff Bond.
The challenge was to keep it looking fresh over long periods of time and to keep the vibes & atmosphere pumping, for which lighting is such an essential element. The overnight changeovers and complete redesigns help enormously in producing totally different visual environments, and all agreed that despite the additional pressure, the end results were well worth the extra effort.
In Pryda/Cocoon, Neil Holloway and Stu Wright ensured that all ran smoothly. The design again featured two audience trusses, and Ian Tomlinson produced a completely bespoke structural design for the stage, based on a variety of different towers and stands, which gave it a real 3D depth and definition plus a quirky appearance.
The two audience trusses were again rigged to the tent king poles, each loaded with 6 x MAC 700 washes, 2 x Atomics and 2 x 4-way Moles.
Over and around the stage were 12 x MAC 700 Spots, 8 x MAC 250 profiles, 6 x MAC 250 beams. For the WOW effect there was a “huge spikey, beamy rear look” created with 4 bars of ACLs a-side, offering a warm & a cold look.
ADLIB also supplied some of its new PIXLED F-30 screen. Thirty-five tiles were integrated into the visual design, rigged all over the structure to create a “random look”, enhancing the multi-layered 3D architectural feel of the space. The screen was fed with content from one of ADLIB's Catalyst media servers, with both consoles - another Avo Pearl Expert and a Hog 3 with a Mini Wing - optimised to drive it.
For the Saturday night, the Eric Prydz team installed their own video set up, complete with a series of grey scenic boxes on stage, and a projection system set up at FOH. Lighting and visuals were operated by Robert Zlotnicki and their tour manager was Mark Calvert.
Prydz' set was removed at the end of the night leaving the PIXLED F-30 panels, and with ADLIB's re-rig of the lighting & additional trussing installation - it effectively morphed into a completely different venue.
"The production values and everyone's expectations of visual presentation have increased considerably in the last 5 years, especially for dance / electronic events - they have really become aware of how visuality can help make or break the atmosphere and feel of an event," confirms Abraham.
To ensure that the overnighters ran like clockwork and their hard working site teams could get some sleep, ADLIB brought in fresh crews to work these shifts in both arenas, under the direction of the respective crew chiefs.
The Sunday night Cocoon line up presented by MixMag was totally different from Pryda, but equally as exciting and energy pumping with Sven Vath, Marco Carola, Josh Wink and more ...
The Hospitality area featured another - smaller - CODA system from ADLIB, with 2 x stacks of 3x SC8 subs each with 4 x LA12 tops .
Lighting went to town in this area, dealing with the challenging rigging logistics of the 'tri-span' (triple arch saddle-span) tent. At the front centre point of the tent, a 4 metre trussing circle was flown, rigged with MAC 250 Washes and MAC 350 Spots, together with Abraxus LED 'snowflakes' to add some sparkle!
The opposite side of the tent was highlighted with MAC 301s and 350 Spots hung directly off the tent superstructure. Onstage with the DJ were four upright sections of 8ft trussing, populated with PixelPARs and MAC300s.
The full glamour and glitz potential of the Hospitality area lighting was energised via the programming skills of Charlie Rushton using an Avolites Pearl Expert, working with ADLIB team-mate, Chris Richardson.
For more press info. on ADLIB, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888, or Email â€˜[email protected]', Contact ADLIB direct on +44 (0)151 486 2214 or check www.adlibsolutions.co.uk