James Taylor performing at the 2008 Chicago Ravinia Festival
A Sound Choice and Masque Sound provided the audio gear for the 2008 Ravinia Festival located in Highland Park, Ill., just 20 miles north of Chicago. A fixture of the city's summer entertainment scene since 1904, The Ravinia Experience features three venues: the 3,200-seat open-air Pavilion; the 850-seat Martin Theatre and the 450-seat Bennett Gordon Recital Hall. Performers during the 2008 season included dozens of genre-spanning artists such as James Taylor (pictured), Lyle Lovett, the Emerson String Quartet, Backstreet Boys and Chicago blues icon Buddy Guy.
According to A Sound Choice principal Mike Gotshall, tech guru Paul Klimson performed extensive tests throughout the venue to formulate a package. Masque co-principal Geoff Shearing developed a program that enabled Sound Choice to rent everything needed while staying within their budget.
“Our gear package for Ravinia is designed to serve a multiplicity of performance needs — from the soft jazz to hard rock to full symphony orchestra,” Klimson says. “Because optimum flexibility was a priority, the system can provide full FOH mixing capabilities for artists who travel without consoles or function as a ‘guest position’ for self-contained acts.”
Gear spec'd includes Yamaha PM5DRH digital consoles at FOH and monitors, L-Acoustics wedges, a Meyer Sound P.A. and a full list of high-end mics.