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Budapest's 15th Annual Sziget Festival Celebrates with Meyer Sound
Held every summer on Óbudai Island in the Hungarian Danube River, the week-long Sziget Festival is the highlight of the festival season for European music lovers. This year's 15th anniversary attracted over 371,000 people, half of whom traveled from abroad to indulge in the sunshine and performances by international headliners including the Killers, Nine Inch Nails, The Hives, Tool, Madness and Pink, as well as the legendary Hungarian rock band, Locomotiv GT, who reunited after five years to perform at Sziget.
To deliver adequate coverage for this major event, Budapest-based audio firms Expander 2000 Ltd., Omega, HG Event Technics, B&B Sound, along with Capital Sound, Digisound, and ERLA joined forces to provide a battalion of Meyer Sound self-powered products for eight stages around the island. Members of Meyer Sound's European technical support and the company's Hungarian distributor Chromatica were on hand to give guidance and support.
Delivering quality sound for the sizable audience was no easy task, but the real challenge was in the tented hard rock stage called HammerWorld. "The tents are not really intended for amplified music," says Károly Gerendai, managing director of Sziget Cultural Management, the organizer of the Sziget Festival. "This calls for not only excellent loudspeakers, but also the right system design to achieve the best sound possible."
The main stage, which hosted an audience capacity of nearly 60,000 fans, was covered by two arrays of 18 MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers each, with six more MILO boxes for outfills and a center hang of six MICA compact high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers. Sidefills were handled by six more MICA cabinets and two 600-HP compact high-power subwoofers per side. Further back, two delay towers of eight M3D line array loudspeakers covered either side, with four MSL-4 horn-loaded long-throw loudspeakers behind front of house. Four CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeakers provided frontfill and 48 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers delivered a massive bottom end.
Gerendai and Expander 2000's technical director Béla Dudás are most proud of the Jazz Stage, which utilized a system of eight M'elodie ultracompact high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers and four 600-HP subwoofers per side. "People say it's one of the best systems at the festival," says Gerendai.
Other Meyer Sound products utilized at the smaller stages included M1D ultracompact curvilinear array loudspeaker, M1D-Sub ultracompact subwoofer, and Galileo loudspeaker management system.
"As Meyer Sound users for years, we know how well those cabinets perform," says Dudás. "We are glad to once again support the Sziget Festival with Meyer Sound equipment."
Besides bringing numerous internationally known music acts to Hungary, the Sziget Festival also offers a diverse cultural program that includes theatrical performances, dance, films, fine art, crafts, and children's activities. "After the changes in Hungary, there was no place or time for people to gather without having any 'political issues'," says Gerendai. "We are glad to have a totally non-political place to get people together and enjoy themselves."
The 16th Sziget Festival will be held on Óbudai Island from August 6-13, 2008.