The massive Grandstand stage at the Calgary Stampede sported an all-EV loudspeaker system supplied by Sound Art.Canada (September 13, 2007)–The Calgary Stampede, the largest outdoor rodeo in the world, is known to attract a crowd; over a million visitors caught the event during its ten days in July. There’s plenty of old-fashioned entertainment on-hand, but the concert stages are undeniably popular. Sporting Electro-Voice loudspeakers provided by Sound Art Calgary, the system regularly covered audiences in excess of 30,000 at the main Grandstand stage.
Sound Art Calgary deployed a range of EV equipment, from compact Sx and Zx speakers on stands to the X-Line, XLC-DVX and XLD line-arrays flown for the Grandstand shows in front of 30,000 people, with headliners including INXS and Collective Soul. Midas mixing consoles–including a Heritage 1000, XL4, XL250 and others–and Klark Teknik EQs were also part of the system.
The Calgary Stampede Grandstand stage and its PA can be towed into place and be running in 15 minutes. “We’ve used EV speakers for every one of the 12 years I’ve been involved in these events,” says Dan Frerichs, general manager, Sound Art Calgary. “Our EV deployment continues to evolve, from back in the day with the DML series, through to X-Array and X-Line, to today with the new Tour Grade (TG) amps, XLD and XLC-DVX line arrays controlled with IRIS-Net software. Working with EV has helped us maintain state-of-the-art standards here year after year, continuously streamlining operations and improving performance.”
Sound Art deployed combinations of XLC-DVX, XLD and Xsub line array systems at the three largest venues in the park, all powered by remote control TG and Precision RL amps. Sound Art is a longtime RL/IRIS-Net user, and Frerichs is impressed with the new flagship EV amps: “They all performed flawlessly; we used the TG amps loaded with RCM-26 modules for DSP via IRIS-Net, and the level of control and detailing on hand is amazing. Plus these amps are light, extremely efficient and, most importantly, they sound great.” In addition to these larger systems, Sound Art use dozens of Zx5, Sx300 and SxA100+ boxes to provide sound for around 16 additional stages.
The main shows at the Stampede are on a huge mobile stage, tugged into place with an oversized tractor. “All the speaker platforms for the grandstand show are on drive-able scissor lifts,” Frerichs adds, “and we need to go from no speakers anywhere to covering audio for over 30,000 people in 15 minutes. The arrays are driven into place and plugged in, and IRIS-Net tells us instantly if one isn’t patched-in correctly. That means a lot when every second counts.”