Rock in Rio is one of the largest, most recognized music festivals in the world, with several global affiliations. With K-array featured at this year’s Rock In Rio in Lisbon, there was something noticeably missing from the festival lineup: large, heavy speaker boxes!
Held in Portugal’s capital at Parque da Bella Vista, K-array’s top-of-the-line Firenze system featuring Slim Array Technology (SAT) and digital steering was chosen by Brazilian rental powerhouse, Gabisom, to be installed and operated at the festival’s secondary stage sponsored by Vodafone.
The stage was scheduled to host 3 live shows each day for a grueling 14-day period. The system was required to cover 4,500 sq m that was 100 x 45 m wide so an array of 9 KH8 loudspeakers were paired with 6 KS8 subwoofers per side and two KH7 loudspeakers used for center fill and horizontal coverage. After the initial setup by local partners Audiomatrix, the system stayed in place for the duration of the festival.
“The location of the the stage was of top of the hill, the highest point in Lisbon, which provided us with challenging climatic conditions, such as lateral winds and regular patches of rain, explained Audiomatrix sound tech, Marco Rodrigues. “Nonetheless, the system performed flawlessly and without any additional protection.”
The two main KH8 arrays were made up of three connected frames, each containing three slim compact boxes, that hung in a perfectly straight line – a benefit of the digital steering feature. The loudspeakers’ sleek design allows sound to exit instantaneously without resonance, so smooth, even coverage was provided throughout the entire audience area carrying all the way to the back and easily achieving 108-110 dB SPL. The FOH was positioned at 40 m from the stage on axis with the Right side array. The system’s power as well as its dynamic range was demonstrated through an average FOH SPL of 114-116 dB C.
The audio team was impressed by the ease and quickness of the system’s setup, as well as the performance: “I have been on the Rock in Rio gigs since they began in Lisbon and I’m sure this is the best system I have used,” said Rodrigues, who mixed for three of the acts that performed on the Vodafone Stage. “The Firenze system provided impressive clarity and definition from the stage all the way to the back of the venue.”
“I’ve also never seen a system so easy and quick to set up. There’s one signal cable and one power cable for up to 12 boxes, so all you have to do is hang two hoists and clip the sets of boxes on three at a time. The speed which you can do this and also aim each box is perfect for a festival job where time is tight.”