Grand Junction, CO (August 17, 2004)–Lawrence, KS-based Stage Pro handled full production responsibilities for Country Jam 2004 in Grand Junction, CO. Held June 24-27, the annual festival featured country superstars such as Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, John Michael Montgomery and Travis Tritt. Stage Pro used its newly-purchased JBL VerTec VT4889 rig for the event.
Owner Jay Waller arrayed one column of 12 line array elements on each side of the stage. “Grand Junction is one of most brutal environments in which to do anything,” said Waller, whose company has been providing event packages for Country Jam since 1992. “The temperature and humidity varies from every extreme. It’s not that high in elevation, but in June, temperatures get into the 100s and there’s zero humidity. But when the sun sets, the temperature drops dramatically–this completely changes the sound of the show for the huge crowd.”
Compound these fluctuations with high winds (which twice reached 70 miles per hour during the festival), and Waller and his audio crew had quite a challenge on their hands. “We found ourselves changing the output of the high end by 10-12 dB over the course of the day,” Waller pointed out. To counter these extreme environmental issues, Waller built delay stacks that were thirty feet tall instead of the usual eight, and to ease the job for band soundmixers, was given permission to move the mix position in closer to the stage from what is normally 225 feet.
These adjustments, along with the even coverage characteristics of the VerTec line array elements, helped make this year’s Country Jam a success. “The old loudspeaker boxes were using a horn-loaded trapezoidal design that wasn’t conducive to that type of environment,” Waller added. “They were really hard to control and EQ, and with no humidity, their pattern control was completely shot. This year, the sound was dramatically more consistent because the coverage of the VerTec system is so smooth and predictable.”