For the fifth year in a row, Delicate Productions provided audio, lighting and video for the BottleRock Festival in Napa, California, supplying Martin Audio speaker systems for the main stage and three other stages.
BottleRock is by now a popular and well-established three-day celebration of music, gourmet cuisine and drink with an eclectic musical lineup of over 70 bands that included Foo Fighters, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Maroon 5, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Modest Mouse, Ben Harper, Mavis Staples, Ani DiFranco and Gavin DeGraw, just for openers.
Typically, Delicate deployed a Martin Audio MLA system for the main Jam Cellars stage because of houses just a few hundred feet from stage right and the fact that the stage also faces downtown Napa 700 feet away. This required maintaining 105dB c-weighted front of house with a mitigation system to stay within the noise ordinances.
As Delicate President Jason Alt explains, “We’ve come to depend on MLA for the main stage because you can control the output really well. Plus, the versatility of the system and being able to steer it as the day progresses lets us stretch the audio back through the festival grounds so it never gets to the point where we exceed any of the limits for Napa and the surrounding neighborhoods.”
The actual setup for the main stage was 16 MLA and 2 MLD per side for the main hang; 12 MLA Compact on the stage left as a single side hang; 24 MLX subs ground-stacked in front of the stage in a broadside array; 12 MLA Compact per side for infill/front fill; two delay hangs with eight MLA Compact; an Avid Venue Profile console for FOH and a Yamaha PM10 for monitors. The main stage crew included Scott Edwards (Stage Tech), Kenny Kaiser (FOH, System Tech), Arturo Acosta (Monitors, A1), Mark Ramos (Stage Patch) and Ryan Trefethen (RF Tech).
To further complicate the issue, the other Martin Audio stages were all close to the main stage. As Jason points out, “BottleRock is not a very large site, so you’re trying to keep the sound away from other stages––the 4thstage, which is small, and the main stage literally fire at each other from one end of the festival to the other, so we had to keep the noise away from there as well.”
The 4th (Lagunitas) stage was dedicated to smaller electric and acoustic ensembles and was rigged with eight Martin Audio W8LC cabinets a side; 8 WS218X ground-stacked subs; four WT2 for front fills, two W8C and two W8CS a side for side fills and LE700 stage monitors. The crew included: Andrew Freid, (FOH/A1), Hussein Sami (MON A1) and Jake Gukowsky (Patch).
Showcasing super chefs such as Jose Andres, Hubert Keller and Masaharu Morimoto paired with leading musicians and celebrities, the culinary stage featured a Martin Audio system that included eight W8LC cabinets and two WS218X subs, four WT2 for front fills, and LE1200 stage monitors. The crew included Dave Williams (FOH, A1).
The VIP tent open stage had four WT3 cabinets, two WS218X subs, 4 WT2 for front fills, and Martin Audio LE700 stage monitors. Rob Speight served as audio engineer and stage tech. As Jason indicates, “This stage was only 300 feet away from main stage left. Luckily no one was on the main stage when they were performing in the tent––but we did send a live audio and video feed from the main stage to the smaller stages which allowed us to create a real festival experience for the VIP audience.”
Summing up with an evaluation of the MLA system’s audio performance, Jason concludes, “I’m a huge fan of Martin Audio and the MLA technology stands on its own. I don’t think there’s another speaker that does what it does. It’s an amazing system and we love deploying it.”
Photography © Bob McClenahan
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