Supporting heavy metal festivals STHLM Fieldsand Sonisphere not only took tremendous sonic power, but also an intelligently designed loudspeaker rigging system built for mission-critical circumstances. For the festivals' headliners Metallica, Slayer, and Mastodon, Starlight built a massive Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system with close to 200 loudspeakers. Within 24 hours, the system was flown and tuned for action for the two productions located 500 km from each other.
Both produced by Live Nation, the STHLM Fields welcomed a sold-out crowd of 50,000 in Stockholm's vast Gardet Royal Park, while Sonisphere drew 40,000 metal fans to Oslo's Valle Hovin stadium.
"Although the shows were two days apart, Metallica preferred to have the system ready for a 6:00 pm check in Oslo the day after the first show," says Fredrik Arwidson, systems engineer for Starlight. "We managed to deliver on the band's demands with only seven people on the audio crew; rigging and tuning LEO is that fast."
The main LEO system comprised dual main hangs of 16 LEO-M line array loudspeakers with two MICA line array loudspeakers for down fill. Low end was provided by 42 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements in dual flown arrays of 12 each and dual end-fire arrays stacked in rows of three by three, in addition to six M3D-Sub directional subwoofers for center coverage. Main stage out hangs each used 14 MILO line array loudspeakers, with six MICA loudspeakers for front fill. Four delay systems deployed a total of 24 MILO and 32 LEO-M loudspeakers and 24 flown M3D subwoofers.
System drive and optimization was provided by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 AES and eight Galileo Callisto array processors.
"The sound quality was great," says Christian Schøyen of Live Nation Norway. "The LEO system filled the entire stadium with plenty of volume, and it looked good, too."
Arwidson adds: "Every time we set up LEO, I'm surprised by how effortlessly it delivers extremely high output with no power compression. It seems that the headroom never ends. The audience was excited all the way to the back."
In addition to the main LEO system, the Stockholm site featured a dual-stage setup using a Meyer Sound system also provided by Starlight. It included 54 M3D line array loudspeakers, 42 700-HP subwoofers, eight JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 AES and two Galileo 616 processors.