Gladstone Regional Council, Australia

The Opportunity

Established in 2008, the Gladstone Regional Council in Queensland consists of the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Center, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum, Gladstone Regional Parks and Recreation Center and Tondoon Botanic Garden. To celebrate the return of live entertainment following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gladstone Regional Council staged two nights of live music headlined by Queensland musical sensation Sheppard on November 20 and 21. Festival organizers wanted a versatile system with smooth output and wide coverage in order to provide exceptional audio throughout the festival grounds.

The Solution

AV integrators Stage and Audio Event Solutions and CMI Music and Audio selected JBL VTX Series speakers to meet these requirements and provide an immersive music experience for audiences.

To cover the vast 300-by-300-foot festival area, the installation team deployed twelve JBL VTX A12 line array loudspeakers on each side of the stage. The redesigned Radiation Boundary Integrator provides the A12 with reduced horn edge diffraction, improved low-frequency sensitivity, lower distortion and 90-degree coverage down to 250 Hz, making them the ideal speaker choice for mid-to-large performances and tours. Additionally, JBL VTX A8 line arrays, featuring 110-degree dispersion and an HF compression driver, act as out-fill and front-fill speakers. Finally, JBL VTX G28 subwoofers provide reinforced low-end and impactful bass response thanks to the innovative Differential Drive technology. JBL Performance Manager software allows festival engineers to adjust delay settings, reduce design time and automate control interface configuration with ease and efficiency.

In addition to the sonic performance, Buchholz also praised the VTX speakers for their newly designed rigging system. Built with touring productions in mind, all VTX Series speakers’ auto-locking capabilities, comprehensive mounting accessories and lightweight design make setup, fine-tuning and takedown as streamlined and efficient as possible.

The Impact

“We didn’t know who the headliner was going to be, or quite how large the coverage area was, but we based our bid on the JBL VTX A8 system,” said Aaron Buchholz, Head Technician, Stage and Audio Event Solutions. “When the scale of what the council was proposing was made clear, we discussed various ideas using JBL VTX Series solutions with Brian Vayler at CMI. The final solution was a combined VTX A12, A8 and G28 system.”

“We set up the system and established a baseline for tuning, and it was already good,” added Buchholz. “After minimal tweaking, it got better and better. The VTX system is loud but so clear and distortion-free, and the headroom is ridiculous. There were no red lights and no compression or limiting on the top boxes.”

“The crew was very impressed with the newly designed rigging system,” said Buchholz. “Everything about the VTX speakers is easy to work with, from wheeling in the stacks to setting the pins with no weight on the boxes to picking up the first stack and unlocking into the right angles––all with no effort. One person could do it all with one arm tied behind their back. There’s no lifting or any significant manual labor involved. Everything about the rigging is perfect.”

A spokesperson for the Gladstone Regional Council reported that the VTX Series speakers achieved excellent crowd coverage throughout the festival and performed beyond their expectations.