Drawing 8,000 people to Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz (castle square), was a festival that marked the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation with two days of live music, workshops and more. But with stars appearing on stage including electropop duo Glasperlenspiel and singer Laith-Al Deen, plus a speech by Baden-Württembergs regional prime minister, Winfried Kretschmann, it was imperative that the historic square was evenly covered with intelligible audio – a challenge that was met by a comprehensive TW AUDiO VERA36 and VERA20 sound reinforcement system.
Special events have been taking place in Germany throughout 2017 to commemorate one of Germany’s most famous sons, Martin Luther, and his leadership of the Reformation. According to popular legend, on October 31st, 1517, the monk defiantly nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church, providing the spark that lit the torch of the Protestant Church.
For leading rental and events company PML Veranstaltungstechnik’s Berthold Blocher, meanwhile, Das Festival… Da Ist Frieheit, which took place across September 23rd and 24th, presented a number of unique challenges, from the sheer volume of celebrations taking place, to the shape of the square itself.
“The entire Schlossplatz was filled with various stands as well as two additional small stages,” Blocher explains. “A lot of other activities were happening while the ecumenical festival on the main stage was also taking place, and we had to be considerate of that fact with the main stage’s sound reinforcement system.”
The combination of the activity in the square and a tight schedule also meant that although system alignment was conducted with Smaart, no sound check was possible before the show started. Nevertheless, the number of VIP speeches taking place, from regional prime minister Kretschmann to the regional bishop, meant that speech intelligibility was a priority, as was the delivery of even and consistent audio coverage throughout the audience area. That was made more challenging by the space that needed to be covered, which was wider than it was long. “We had to evenly cover an audience width of approximately 96 metres plus a throw of 50 metres from the main stage to the front of house tower.”
Providing the ideal solution was a front of house system comprising 12 per-side hangs of TW AUDiO VERA36 plus a near-fill system comprising 24 VERA20 elements flown 12 per-side. A further eight T20 enclosures provided front-fills while two T24N enclosures were used for side-fills. Low-end extension was courtesy of eight S33 subwoofers plus an impressive 12 BSX subs. For onstage sound, two B18s were used for drum-fills, while 12 C15 wedges provided artist monitoring. Power for the system was delivered by nine Lab.gruppen 20KQ, four Lab.gruppen 12K44 (used for the monitor system), and four Powersoft K3 amps.
“Because no soundcheck was possible it was great to be able to align the system before the festival began, although my experience with TW AUDiO meant that I knew precisely what to expect,” says Blocher. “Although the width of the venue was worrying to begin with, the TW AUDiO system performed flawlessly and we were very happy.”