Fly Open Air Continues to Prosper with Martin Audio MLA

Creation Live builds massive dance fest in grounds of an Edinburgh stately home

Creation Live started working with Fly Events on their inaugural Fly Open Air dance promotion in Princes Street Gardens back in September 2016.

By the time the event arrived at the 17th century stately home, Hopetoun House, the following May they had adopted sister company VME’s Martin Audio MLA, aware of all the sensitivities of presenting an EDM event in the 6500-acre grounds of a historic building overlooking the River Forth, which separates Edinburgh from Fife.

Since then the event has blossomed, more than doubling the original Hopetoun House attendance to 8,500 per day this year, and increasing the inventory of award-winning loudspeaker elements accordingly.

Creation Live’s Tom Whittle, who heads the event and production company which this year will see them execute 300 plus events of varying sizes, described the event as “absolutely amazing”. This was largely because of a bill that included Solumun’s first appearance in Scotland in a decade, alongside Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth, Peggy Gou and Seth Troxler. The other reason it excelled was because they invested in a set of 12m high PA towers to get sufficient array height on a main stage that was designed by Creation Live’s Tom Elkington. This gave them additional control.

The rig comprised nine MLA elements, with three MLD Downfill at the base on each side. A further 10 of the smaller Martin Audio MLA Compact enclosures were used for infills and for LF extension a row of 20 Martin Audio MLX was floor-mounted across the front of the stage.

The main FOH mix was in the capable hands of Jim Loseby, who according to Whittle “did a great job” largely because the amount of prep work that went in. “We tried to create an immersive environment, particularly for those at the front, and although we were permitted to run up to 107dB(A) in the audience area, we sensibly restricted it to 104dB(A) which was still loud.” At the same time they still met the offsite level restrictions over the different time thresholds, which was never greater than 70dB(A). In addition to main stage, Creation Live also fielded a further four Martin Audio W8C tops and three WS218S subs on the main stage.

Tom Whittle reports that MLA proved not only popular with many of the acts but also Fly Events’ director, Tom Ketley. “The sound at all of our events is always a very important element of the show, not just for us but also the audience, we always have great feedback about the Martin Audio MLA used on both of our festival events from the audience and the local authority,” he stated Turning to the production and events team Ketley added, “At Fly Events we always enjoy working with Creation Live and VME for our Festival shows; their flair for interesting and unique stage design, technical ability and attention to detail to get all elements of the event perfect continues to impress us.

Tom and his team worked tirelessly in advance of the event and over the weekend to ensure everyone attending the festival had a weekend to remember.”

The success of the event coincided with news that Fly Open Air’s sister festival in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens will go ahead on September 21-22 following a successful petition: Edinburgh City Councillors chose to give their backing to the event amid new rules over how open spaces are used. This will also see MLA deployed by Creation Live, this time in ground-stacked formation.