After accomplished musician and BRIT award-winner George Ezra completed his third album, Gold Rush Kid, last year, he embarked on a UK arena tour at the end of the year. This was followed by a European leg, which started at the beginning of February and finished in April at The O2 in London. Adlib, one of Europe’s leading event technology partners, designed and supplied the PA system, which featured the L-Acoustics K Series, including the industry benchmark K1 and the ‘lightweight heavyweight’ K2.
James Coghlan, Adlib’s Systems Engineer, worked closely with Ezra’s FOH Engineer, Mike Timm, on the system’s initial design, and throughout the tour. Together, they played a crucial role in ensuring the system delivered a flawless audio experience for Ezra’s fans throughout.
“L-Acoustics has always been the go-to touring solution for George Ezra,” noted Coghlan. “As Mike has had great experiences with their sound systems, he likes to work with them whenever possible, therefore he specified L-Acoustics for the current tour.”
Coghlan points out that the tour played mainly in arena-style venues, which of course, influenced their design choices. “Using Soundvision, L-Acoustics 3D modelling software, we decided on the positioning of the arrays at the beginning of the UK run,” he explained. “We’ve used a combination of K1 and K2 for the main and side arrays. A combination of A and X Series enclosures are used as front-fill to draw the image of George’s vocal down from the main arrays for the first rows closest to the barrier line.
The general setup comprises main arrays of 12 K1 over six K2 down, with eight K1-SB flown behind them. For side hangs, 12 K2 are deployed both left and right, along with 12 KS28 positioned on the floor in a broadside configuration. The fill system comprises four centrally placed A10, three ARCS II per side as in-fills, two X15 for out-fill, and four lip-fill X8, evenly spaced across the front of the stage. The entire system is powered by 46 LA12X amplified controllers. Supplementing the system for the O2 shows in London were additional K1 delays and extra K2 side hangs.
“Four L-Acoustics P1 processors on the front-end, utilising an AVB based returns system, provide us with better sound quality and greater flexibility of routing,” Coghlan adds. “The system is easy to set up and has proven to be rock solid.
Coghlan also notes the use of custom cable bridges with a centre hinge to allow navigation of the PA cabling around the various lighting and design elements on the stage. The team collaborated closely with production and designers to ensure the bridges were the perfect fit for each venue. “Despite some challenges, we were able to create a setup that worked seamlessly, even in tight spaces with minimal tolerance, particularly over stage right,” he explains.
With the audio experience perfectly complimenting Ezra’s unique sound and style, fans have been treated to unforgettable shows and consistent audio, regardless of where they were in the venue. “The tour has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with some audience members going so far as to approach FOH to say it’s the best live show they have ever heard,” Coghlan added.
“I’ve been a big fan of L-Acoustics since first mixing on ARCS in the late 1990s. I just feel that ‘the brown boxes’ translate what I want my mixes to sound like better than any other system on the market,” concluded Timm. “I’ve been working with James since 2018, and he quickly learned what I wanted from a system. Since then, I’ve trusted him to consistently deliver the sound I want to hear for the whole audience, with minimal variation. Adlib’s gear is always well-maintained and up-to-date, and that contributes to the quality of the final result!”