Since investing in a NEXO GEO M12 line array a couple of years back, Bluestone Audio is winning more and more mainstage jobs at festivals where they might previously have supplied systems for second or third stages.
A perfect example is Lakefest which took place in August at the picturesque Eastnor Castle Deer Park in the UK county of Herefordshire. The Bristol-based sound rental company has previously handled the VIP Gold Stage at the festival, but this year moved up to the mainstage, with headliners including UB40, Manic Street Preachers, Leftfield and Supergrass.
“This year’s Lakefest gig is typical of how our business is growing with the GEO M12 system” says Bluestone owner Sam Brook. “And we’re building relationships with other NEXO-equipped rental companies like Total Sound Solutions from Swansea, who are partnering with us at this event.”
With an audience of around 8000 people, the system at Lakefest comprises left and right hangs of 10 x GEO M1210 line array elements with 2 x GEO M1220s at the bottom as down fills. Sharing the same sonic signature, small hangs of 4 x GEO M10s are employed as delays, and PS10 cabinets are used across the stage for front fills. Two stacks of 10 x MSUB18s in a cardioid configuration deliver a powerful and tightly focussed LF response.
“We usually spread the subs evenly across the front of the stage but NEXO’s Engineering Support Team suggested the cardioid configuration in their NS-1 software system design for the event” comments Sam. “And it works fantastically well.”
A long-term fan of NEXO’s legendary original point source system, Bluestone built two stacks of Alpha per side as stage side fills, ‘so the bands would know they were at a party’, and 14 x P12s from NEXO’s latest point source speaker range are on the stage for monitoring.
“The P12 is the one box that’s never in the warehouse” says Sam. “Whether we’re doing a conference or an ‘evening with’ event, it’s just so flexible. And as a floor monitor with the dedicated settings on the NXAMPs, it’s amazing.”
Amplification and processing are provided by 2 x racks of NEXO’s NXAMP 4-channel powered controllers, with 2 channels powering 3 boxes each of the main system in active mode.
“GEO M12 is perfect for an event of this scale where strict license conditions apply, even though we have plenty of headroom in the system to go a lot louder” says Sam. “And it’s so much more sustainable to truck a compact system which also requires much less power than a large festival system. The GEO M12 is beautiful with even coverage across the field. And it sounds awesome.
“I’m confident that NEXO is working for my business. Every year, we’re getting bigger and bigger events using this equipment. The GEO M12 is such a versatile system. We can ground stack it, fly it, put it in a club one day and a small venue the next, then scale it up for a festival on the weekend. It’s a fantastic all-round box.”
Speaking on behalf of NEXO, UK Sales Manager Rich Soper says “At NEXO we actively encourage collaboration, not only with our internal teams such as Engineering Support who were involved in the design of the system, but also with other NEXO users. So, it was a real pleasure to see Bluestone Audio and Total Sound Solutions working together to deliver this highly successful project. There were a lot of surprised faces from the touring engineers when they heard what was being achieved from such a compact system as this which soon turned into big grins; everybody had a great show and positive comments were plentiful from production to engineers to festival goers alike.”
For further information on Bluestone Audio, visit: bluestoneaudio.co.uk