SAS Gives Godiva Festival Debut to Martin Audio 

Coventry’s Godiva Festival, which takes place in the City’s War Memorial Park. For much of the event’s life Chris ‘Stan’ Saunders has been overseeing its evolving technology requirements, as has the company with which he has long been associated, Stage Audio Services (SAS).

This year the event, which now imposes a nominal admission fee for the 120,000 who attend over the weekend, headlined with The Levellers, Feeder and Busted on the respective days.

Stated SAS owner, Kevin Mobberley, “We’ve been providing event services for Godiva since the year 2000 but this is the first year we have used Martin Audio’s MLA PA. Previously, we have used other brands.”

They rigged the full-sized MLA, nine elements per side, with 10 MLX subwoofers in a cardioid array along the front. Three MLA Compact enclosures provided near-fills and four DD12’s were also on hand should any other gaps have needed plugging in the coverage pattern.

One of the key challenges was the proximity of the two stages, but with programming in the capable hands of Stan, a fully-qualified MLA operative, sound spillage was kept to a minimum. “I have used MLA quite a few times and it was good to give it some profile at this event,” he said.

As for the audience sound, measured at the FOH mix position, the target level was set at 98dB-99dB. “But we were able to bring it up to just over 100dB without a problem.”

The contribution to that figure from the low end was substantial but highly controlled in the hands of the experienced technical crew. Said Stan, who aside from system teching, was FOH supervisor and crew chief, “We have been doing cardioid design for sub arrays for a long time, and combined with using a ‘hard avoid’ setting for the MLA arrays we managed to significantly reduce the sound to the rear.