On July 15 2020, Live Nation kicked off Crew Nation Presenta, a series of concerts at Madrid’s famous Sala La Riviera featuring a line-up of renowned local artists. The concert series is raising funds for the Crew Nation Global Relief Fund, set up by Live Nation to support the countless crew members whose work behind the scenes of live music has been brutally disrupted. Utilising the venue’s permanently installed L-Acoustics sound system, popular Spanish singer-songwriter Guitarricadelafuente headlined the opening concert, which sold out within a day of ticket sales.
La Riviera has an illustrious reputation in Madrid with a 30-year history of hosting some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Bob Dylan, James Brown, Paul Weller, Radiohead, James Taylor, and Björk.
Jose Antonio is the technical and production manager for La Riviera’s audio supplier, Hey Ho Lets Sound (HHLS). He has been working with the venue since 2011 when he was part of the team that installed the L-Acoustics system.
“I originally worked with Sorter S.A., one of the top companies in the Spanish market for 30 years, which has a history of working with L-Acoustics equipment since 1997. We recently decided to take the company a step further and create HHLS,” he says. “Sorter was influential in the decision to install the L-Acoustics system at La Riviera, which was supplied and installed by L-Acoustics Spanish distributor, Takeoff. HHLS continues with Sorter’s philosophy of providing exceptional audio, an experienced team of professionals and an exclusively L-Acoustics inventory, which is why our association with the venue continues to this day.”
La Riviera’s permanent L-Acoustics system provides the backbone of Crew Nation Presenta’s sound system. It comprises left/right hangs of six Kudo each for the main PA, along with four floor-stacked SB28 subs per side and a centre fill of three Kara. Delays for the upper balconies are two Kara per side, two ARCS, and four MTD-112P, all powered by nine LA8 amplified controllers.
For the opening concert, HHLS also provided ten 115XT HiQ for stage monitoring, plus side fills composed of four ARCS and two SB-28, all powered by six LA8.
“La Riviera’s L-Acoustics system is perfectly designed and calibrated,” said Manuel Requena, Live Nation production. “It responds with the same quality for any content format and audience capacity and leaves the most demanding engineer satisfied, to the extent that international artists who travel with their own equipment can leave their system in the truck and enjoy a touring-calibre sound system without having to load in and load out. It is always a pleasure to work with the technical team as well; they have my full confidence.”
Complying with all safety and hygiene measures established by the local authorities, the audience was limited to 550 people in the 2,250-capacity venue: seated in chairs divided into four sections, each of which had different access and exits, as well as specific bathrooms and bars. In addition to the obligatory use of masks, and daily disinfection of all areas, access, and evacuation of the audience was performed in an orderly and staggered way, with the audience following the venue personnel’s instructions.
“I was very happy with the sound,” concluded Alex Tapia, Sound Technician for Guitarricadelafuente, 84 (who also played at the opening concert), Sidecars, and others. “I’ve been to La Riviera many times, and I must admit that I like to mix in that room. The L-Acoustics equipment sounds incredible, and Bruno Fernandes, the PA assistant technician, always has it adjusted to perfection, which makes my job much easier. Everything working instantly, and nothing going wrong on stage is also fundamental for things to go smoothly. To me, the Crew Nation Festival seems a great initiative to try to save, little by little, this sector that is suffering so much in this crisis. I’m so glad to have been a part of it.”