Billed as the UK’s biggest indoor winter music festival, taking place at Butlins’ large holiday camp in Skegness, TWSTD Festival runs over 2 back-to-back weekends.
2017’s event was dubbed Circus 2017 (which reflected its theme) and Martin Audio partner Stage Audio Services (SAS), who have regularly serviced the event under its different guises fielded their MLA Compact PA.
Contracted by leading event production company Zero Degrees Events, SAS flew 10 MLA Compact elements per side and 10 MLX subs in a broadside array. SAS’ Nat Hopking, commented: “MLA was proposed by Zero Degrees as a solution to getting the most from the event without having to compromise on noise levels, and the restrictions imposed due to local residents in the area. But thanks to the way this system works the acoustician monitoring the off-site noise had no issues.”
Artists such as DJ EZ, Lethal Bizzie, Hannah Wants, Sigma and Tom Zanetti appearing SAS had originally hoped to fly hangs of 12 enclosures but this proved unnecessary. “In the end 10 was perfectly sufficient as the MLA Compact is incredibly loud for such a small box. We had 4 [Martin Audio] DD12’s available for fills but the way the stage was built, and the position of the barrier, they just weren’t needed.”
Hopking himself acted as System Technician and FOH Engineer, mapping out the room in the Display software to ensure the measurements were correct, and ‘hard avoiding’ the stage. Consequently he had no trouble reaching the required levels. “This box is truly witchcraft!” he exclaimed. “At 45 metres distance I was able to maintain a constant 112dBA at front of house without a hint of struggle from the PA. It’s incredible! Then you walk 5 metres behind front of house and you can have a conversation about how loud it is.”
“Also, the monitor engineer [Henry Cook] loved that my MLX subs moved his wedges around the stage for him.” Hopking concluded by saying that one of the greatest attributes of MLA Compact was having the control to limit sound at your fingertips. “The clarity of the system is fantastic and the amount of volume it generates is truly impressive. The MLX is for me one of the best subs in the world — it’s so musical as well as incredibly powerful.”