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Live Sound

RG Jones Joins In at Henley Festival

The Henley Festival’s trademark Floating Stage used Martin Audio MLA Compact speakers to cover a shallow but unusually wide audience area on the side of the Thames River.

Henley-on-Thames, UK (August 21, 2018)—RG Jones Sound Engineering recently provided sound for the annual five-day Henley Festival in the UK—as it has for the last 36 years. This year, that meant providing audio for the likes of Rita Ora, Chic (featuring Nile Rodgers), Grace Jones, Curtis Stigers and ENO. The event sports a number of main stages, but none as unique as the festival’s trademark Floating Stage.

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Festival technical manager and head of sound, Jim Lambert, said, “The Floating Stage has always been a challenge in that the front to back of the arena is only approximately 98 feet but it is extremely wide, and with the introduction of general admission tickets outside the arena, we are being asked to cover a width of something like 330 feet.”

To accomplish that, RG Jones’ audio team of Steve Carr and Mark Edwards fielded Martin Audio MLA Compact loudspeakers for main hangs and outfills. “They more than rise to this challenge and yet also enable us to keep to the fairly strict off-site noise limits set by the Council,” Lambert explained.

For this year’s edition, RG Jones added DD12s as arena delays in the grandstand to replace the previously used DD6s. Production also used MLA Mini for infill, and decided to retain the same curved MLX sub bass arrangement that it had introduced in 2017, resulting in a smoother response in the far reaches of the main stage arena, according to Lambert.

In addition to the Floating Stage, MLA Minis were also used in the Bedouin Tent and Jazz Garden — two of the other three stages equipped by RG Jones – the only onsite sound contractor for the festival.

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“Rita had the crowd jumping and the sound system sounded incredible––a floating fairy-tale on the water,” reported touring production manager for Rita Ora, Daria Dee. “I’ve been working with RG Jones for many years now and it’s always a relief to see their name on the sheet. The people behind this company are very passionate about what they do––they are a family-run independent business and it really distinguishes them. I’ve been to Henley Festival as a guest and it’s a truly unique event. Working on it this year was equally fun and refreshing; the festival team are as wonderful as they are professional, and our crew were well looked after.”

Martin Audio •