Off the back of the recent announcement of the acquisition of the William Aston Hall in Wrexham specialist Music and Venues Company VMS Live announce a series of production upgrades to a number of their venues.
‘Eventim Olympia’ – Liverpool
VMS recently enlisted the support of Liverpool based Adlib to design and install a touring specification audio and lighting system for its 1900 capacity ‘Eventim Olympia’ venue in Liverpool.
This project was led by VMS’s Managing Director, Steve Forster, who consulted with Adlib’s Andy Dockerty to deliver the project. Dockerty in turn appointed two of Adlib’s senior technicians to design and deliver the installation of the systems; Ian Nelson for the audio and Stuart Gray for lighting.
The auditorium, originally constructed in 1905, has a layout that comprises a stalls area to the front of the stage and two balcony levels. The middle balcony has a bar to the rear and only a small viewing envelope to the stage. One of the main aims in designing the new audio system was to ensure it provides a level of sonic experience that satisfies touring artists, offering a viable and attractive alternative to bringing in their own productions. It was also essential for the system design to be flexible enough to cater for the many in-the-round, sporting and Dance events that the venue hosts.
The challenge for the audio team was to achieve powerful, quality and even coverage throughout the venue, including coverage of the middle balcony. A powerful and flexible solution was also needed to deal with the wide range of events that the Olympia regularly hosts. To achieve this, VMS had to heavily invest in the venue infrastructure to provide new rigging points. These points are 1 Tonne points and provide the venue with the ability to fly substantial audio systems for the first time. This makes a serious statement about the Olympia and VMS’s intent to provide a quality venue.
Having mapped and plotted the venue and utilising the new flying points, the Adlib team proposed a CODA LA12 system. Adlib were also delighted when having selected CODA, that the manufacturers system specialist George Puttock also got involved with the design, installation and commissioning of the system.
16 x CODA LA12 line array speakers are configured as two main left and right hangs of 8 a-side. These cover the main room, front 3 rows of the 1st balcony and the upper balcony positions perfectly. For coverage of the middle and rear of the 1st balcony there are four CODAViRAY cabinets (2 a-side) in delay positions, each located at the rear of an unused Royal box.
8 x CODA SC8 Cardioid sensor-controlled sub-bass cabinets are positioned to the left and right of the stage, ensuring as much low-end energy as possible is directed into the auditorium. They are also rigged upon a heavy duty wheel board, allowing them to be moved to another location giving the flexibility required for any in-the-round sporting events.
For in-fills, a pair of CODA ViRAY cabinets were added, with the entire system driven by the CODALINUSCON DSP platform and CODA C10 amplifiers.
The Front of House console is a Soundcraft Vi3000 chosen for its audio quality, speed of use and general flexibility.
The monitor system comprises 12 x Adlib Audio AAMP5 wedge monitors and an Adlib Audio AA215 drum sub, all driven by Linea Research 44M amplifiers. The monitor console is a Soundcraft Vi1. There is a full complement of touring specification microphones, DI’s and stands.
For the lighting system, Adlib utilised the existing truss grid already in the venue and broke it down to give a separate rear truss whilst maintaining a smaller grid over the stage. This gave Adlib the ability to design a versatile ‘house’ rig. Adlib installed new drapes at the rear of the stage providing a black back drop and extended the front truss to facilitate wing drapes, giving masking to both sides of the stage.
Lighting fixtures consist of 10 new CHAUVET Rogue R2X Spot’s and 14 x CHAUVET Rogue R2 Wash’s, installed onto the overhead stage trusses to provide wash lighting and effects. Adlib also installed 6 x Source 4 15/30 zoom profiles onto the front truss to provide key lighting. 2 x Unique hazers provide smoke effects and control is via an Avolites Tiger Touch II desk utilising the existing house multicore. An Avolites ART2000 T4 provides all power and dimmer distribution which Adlib installed into the roof to allow for space in the stage wings.
Adlib’s Andy Dockerty concluded “we are delighted to see so much money and infrastructure being put into a Liverpool venue. We are very proud to be a part of the team delivering this and we genuinely believe that the specification we’ve put in place rivals the majority of the venues in the country with similar capacities. We truly look forward to some exciting shows in the near future”.
From VMS, Operations Director, Richard Maides commented ‘having signed a new long term agreement with Silver Leisure as well as a name in title deal with tickeing Company Eventim. It was important that all parties invested heavily in the site in order for it to achieve its full potential in the shortest amount of time. In working with Adlib and specifying the system we have, we are confident that we have fulfilled our end of the bargain. We have venue production in place of the highest order. From a VMS perspective as well, we have the ability to move equipment where necessary between our Liverpool and Wrexham venues so this giving us maximum flexibility and coverage across our North West sites.
VMS similarly commissioned Adlib to install a substantial Nexo Geo-D system into the William Aston Hall (WAH) at Glyndwr University, Wrexham.
For the venue to compete on a national basis an upgrade to its auditorium sound system was required, this also meant investment into upgrading the buildings infrastructure. Amongst other things, the project required the introduction of new steelwork strong-points to support the GeoD-10 System, cabling infrastructure upgrades and upgrades to the sound power supplies.
The WAH venue now boasts a system of 6 x flown Nexo Geo-D10 loudspeakers per-side providing full range audio coverage for the upstairs balcony and the majority of the inclined stalls area, with an additional 3 x ground-stacked Geo-D10 elements per-side to provide coverage for the nearfield seating of the auditorium.
Low frequency support is offered in the shape of 4 x Adlib Audio AA218HL Sub-bass cabinets. The system is controlled via a pair of Nexo NX242 processors and powered by Camco V6/Crown MA5000VZ amplifiers.
The system design provides excellent audio coverage and for its capacity is one of the best facilitated venues on the circuit.
The front of house mixing console is a Soundcraft Vi1, with the option of upgrading to a Soundcraft Vi3000
A full monitor mix comprising of 12 x Adlib Audio AAMP5 wedge monitors along with 1 x Adlib Audio AA215 drum sub all driven by Linea Research 44M amplifiers can be made available along with a full complement of touring specification microphones, DI’s, stands and cabling system.
The added benefit as well is that our ‘Liverpool Olympia’ installation is available for Wrexham as well, so the intention was to share kit if necessary across the two sites.
Speaking on behalf of VMS, Commercial Director, Carl Bathgate commented. The venue really is very flexible equally at home staging Live Events through to Comedy and Theatre. It’s in a great location with easy access and parking on site and with the new PA/Lighting in place it starts to become a much more cost-effective option for any visiting production. Our aim is to try and drive as much high quality content into the building as possible across as many genre’s as possible.
Venue website: www.thewilliamastonhall.com
Last but by no means least, we move on to the Lemon Grove in Exeter. A new venue to the VMS Estate.
Exeter – Lemon Grove
The most recent addition to the VMS Estate, is a long established venue from the once thriving ‘College Circuit’. VMS have entered into a long term partnership with the Guild of Students to operate the building and re-develop the once vibrant gig trade. As part of this process VMS have approached Production Hire to install new PA & Lighting systems to the Main Auditorium, an 800 capacity room, which also doubles up as a Nightclub space.
Speaking on behalf of Production Hire, Managing Director Mark Neil commented ……
We were approached by VMS to install a new sound system within The Lemon Grove. A system that would be equally at home for both Gigs and Clubs. As part of the the overall package we were asked to supply a Microphone and stands package for visiting artists to utilise.
After making a site visit to the venue and understanding the layout, we made an offering to achieve maximum sound quality and even coverage within the venue.
The Lemon Grove installed a roof beam to allow the L’acoustics PA to be flown hang.
We supplied L’acoustics ARCS Wifo line sources to provide high SPL with perfect acoustic coupling, with a solid LF performance and constant tonal balance over distance which was a perfect match for the venue, coupled with 4 x SB28 sub woofers, and 2 x 8XT as front fills. This is all powered by LA8 Amplification and controlled by LA Network Manager.
The front of house mixing console consists of 1 x Soundcraft Vi3000 and is accompanied by Vi1 monitors.
The monitor system used was Martin Audio LE1200 on 6 mixes inc cue, and AA215 Drum subs, which is all powered by FFA Amplification & BSS processing.
To accommodate the different array of artists, we supplied The Lemon Grove with a DJ and microphone package consisting of CDJ2000 Nexus and DJM 900 Nexus for visiting DJ’s, and a mixture of Shure and Sennheiser microphones for live music acts.
Overall Comment On Forthcoming VMS Developments
Discussing recent developments in the Company, VMS Managing Director, Steve Forster commented. This is a really important period for VMS. Over the last 5 years we have more or less doubled in size year on year. While retaining the ethos of a small business we are in the position where we have had to decide whether we are going to look to expand further or try and consolidate our current position. With the opportunities that are being presented to us, we have very much decided to go down the route of expansion – but with a major caveat of looking after our existing clients and business. As an entirely self funded business, this does mean that we have to carefully select the opportunities that we look to pursue. An investment in the quality of the infrastructure is key to our long success in my opinon.
We promote events in our own right such as the Urban ‘Inner City Live’ brand (2018 shows with Orbital, Wombats, Levellers, Chase & Status, UB40 for example) as well as working with partners in a variety of different formats. For example we have an ongoing arrangement with ARC to deliver their ‘Music Live’ (music after racing) across their racecourse estate (2018 saw events with, Brian Wilson, Kaiser Chiefs. Happy Mondays, James Blunt among others), as well as developing stand alone events on non Race Days (e.g. Brighton Racecourse – with Orbital, Faithless, Gentlemen’s Dub Club). Alongside this we have venue arrangements that vary between ‘Booking Services’ through to full ‘Venue Management’ arrangements. So we really do offer an entirely bespoke service to each individual client as well as the events and venues that we deliver solely for VMS. In this sense ‘balancing our portfolio’ and ensuring that we have the appropriate mix of management contracts, venues etc is very important to the long term development and success of the business. With this in mind the acquisition of the William Aston Hall as well as the investment in production across our venues are the first of a number initiatives that we hope to announce in the near future. As an entirely self-funded independent, with no debt or bank loans, we are incredibly proud of the way we have developed the business over the last 7 years.
VMS are an independent Venues and Live Music Company founded in its current format in 2011. VMS offer a range of bespoke services to businesses and organisations in the live music and venues management sector. Using our experiences gained over more than 20 years we work with clients to help shape their businesses going forward. We offer help in among other areas: Venue Management & Consultancy; Venue Refurbishment; Event Booking & Delivery; Event Production, Sponsorship & Marketing; Club Brands. Ticketing & Technology Solutions; Health & Safety Management; Licensing