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d&b GSL fit for royalty at Holland’s King’s Day festival

The d&b GSL system was deployed by the Netherland's Oranjebloesem electronic dance music festival in Amsterdam

d&b audiotechnik’s GSL sound system was deployed to enhance audio quality at Holland’s Oranjebloesem music festival in Amsterdam, which takes place every year on the Dutch national holiday, King’s Day, on April 27.

The fast growth of the festival meant a larger and louder sound system was required. Last year’s statistics showed 20,000 festival-goers enjoying four stages of DJs and live bands at Amsterdam’s beach, Blijburg aan Zee.

Festival organiser and co-owner of Chasing The HiHat, Ridder Haspels, said: “We positioned Oranjebloesem as an alternative to the more traditional King’s Day festivities and it’s now one of the major house events in Amsterdam.”

Meanwhile, on the noise regulation side, organisers faced challenges of constructing the festival within close quarters of residential areas. “When it comes to noise control, the regulations in Amsterdam are very strict. There are always challenges when it comes to having the proper levels in front of the stage versus nuisance for the local residents,” Haspels said. “To reach a solution, we used Event Acoustics’ MeTrao system to monitor the sound levels at both FOH and the perimeter of the festival. This, in combination with the d&b audiotechnik GSL system, gives our sound operators the tools to get the best possible sound levels within the boundaries set by the Amsterdam Municipality.”

Haspels specified a GSL system consisting of eight GSL8 and two GSL12 speakers per side, in full-range mode, with eight SL-SUBs, in infra-mode for the main stage at Oranjebloesem. Four Q7s were used as infill and outfill. All were driven by 15 D80 amps. Monitoring for the DJs and bands on-stage was via two Y8 and four Y-SUBs, powered by a single D80 amp.

Haspels continued: “The d&b GSL system gives us a lot more freedom in terms of stage positioning, which is great, especially since space is scarce in the Netherlands, being able to really tailor the sound to the area greatly reduces the noise local residents might experience.

“I was impressed by the pressure the system was able to generate over the desired area. When you walk around the measured sound area and then start moving outside of it, the sound levels drop significantly – and much more than I anticipated it would. The noise cancellation on the side of the new GSL loudspeakers definitely works well. The feedback from the sound operators and the crowd was all very positive.”

Peak Audio constructed the GSL system and supplied it to Haspels and his team. Peak Audio’s Guus Hoekstra, also serving as production manager for the festival, said: “In 2018, Oranjebloesem doubled in size and so did the PA systems. Due to the noise pollution regulations in Amsterdam, we thought it would be great to take our GSL system to the beach and use them outside for the first time with its full-spectrum cardioid behaviour.

“The cardioid function of the line array works incredibly well and makes noise pollution much easier to control. I personally think d&b took its line-array design to another level with GSL. Everyone was very impressed – the system behaved unexpectedly well outside. It offers a lot of power, lots of detail and is a beautiful sounding cabinet.”

Oranjebloesem 2018 welcomed some of the Netherlands most popular artists on stage, such as techno artist Colin Benders, the DJ duo Dekmantel Soundsystem, DJ Joris Voorn, and afro-beat rockers Jungle by Night.