Nope, something new:
New for 2019 was the IICONIC stage, featuring a 65ft sculpture of a human head wrapped in a VR headset evoking ‘the pervasive nature of technology on the human spirit’. Martin Audio’s WPL made its festival debut on the stage by way of an immersive surround sound system designed by RG’s Simon Honywill, consultant sound engineer for the festival. WPL is Martin Audio’s new large format optimised passive line array from the Wavefront Precision series and is designed to offer an adaptable approach to optimisation of line arrays through Scalable Resolution, whereby the user decides upon the number of enclosures with dedicated amplifier channels that are required for the coverage, consistency and control of the space.
“I thought that rather than just having this incredible structure and then just straight forward left right standard deployment, let’s go a bit crazy and do it in surround sound,” said Honywill. “So we had six hangs of ten WPL all pointing inwards with optimisation of the sound fields to maximise the experience through the space for a 15,000 crowd. A single 23-metre long SHX218 sub array in a broadside cardioid pattern provided the thumping bass, but also control too. Each night there was a specially-commissioned presentation where the stage structure is projection mapped combined with 6.1 surround audio which worked highly effectively. Then for the DJ sets we used a Trinnov Altitude 32 system to effectively up mix the stereo output to the 6.1 surround system and the results of that, were frankly outstanding.”
Nice modest self-assessment at the end there.