The Blossom Music Center is an amphitheatre located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Owned by The Cleveland Orchestra’s governing organization, Musical Arts Association in Cleveland, and managed by Live Nation, the pavilion seats 5,700 people, with space for about 13,500 more on the lawn. It is the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, performing its annual Blossom Festival at the amphitheatre. The site’s natural setting, sloping slate roof, and the area’s natural wooded surroundings distinguish it from other contemporary amphitheatres. The venue operates May through October.
The venue is also host to a full summer schedule of popular music acts and symphonic performances. This year, the venue plays host to Drake, Lady Antebellum, Radiohead, Dave Matthews Band, 2012 Country Megaticket Tour, Beach Boys Reunion Tour, Phish, 2012 Vans Warped Tour, Barry Manilow, just to name a few.
The facility, originally designed by architect Peter van Dijk, underwent a $17 million renovation in 2003; however, NAC Technologies in Cleveland was brought in to design a sound system to replace the aging lawn system. “Musical Arts is a non-profit organization so we had a tight budget and needed to have a system that would deliver the best bang for the buck,” states Rick Galbraith, senior audio engineer, NAC Technologies. With assistance from NEXO independent rep firm, R. Joseph Group, a 10-box NEXO GEO S12 line array system, supplemented with three NEXO Alpha speakers for fill zones, all powered by multiple 4×4 NXAmps, was installed.
“The new system had to be able to take care of the needs of the Orchestra and cater to Live Nation events,” says Galbraith. NAC has a long history with NEXO. “NEXO is always a sure thing. We have used the NEXO GEO systems in four of the five theaters at Playhouse Square, and installed a 64-box GEO S12 system in the Palace Theater that most Broadway shows use instead of what they are carrying.”
Prior to the season opening, NAC installed 48 NEXO Geo S12 cabinets in the ten existing sound bays. The bays are arranged in an arch, are about 35’ apart and vary in height from 19’ on the ends to 29’ in the middle. The longest part of the lawn with the highest bays, has two hangs of five GEO S1210 and one S1230, with the next bay of 4/1, then 3/1, then a bay of three S1230s in a horizontal configuration and mirrored on the other side. The system is powered by all NEXO 4×4 NXAMPs.
For time alignment and EQ, NAC installed a Yamaha DME64 to straighten out the bays and give the visiting engineers their own delay device. Last year NAC installed three NEXO Alpha full range cabinets per side on a pole system on the outside of the pavilion. Since the system must function for both the orchestra concerts and rock shows, the DME allows scene storage for any and all events.
For orchestra concerts, NAC also provides a 40-box NEXO GEO S8 LCR system, PS10 and PS15 floor monitors, and Yamaha M7CL digital consoles.
“I’ve always thought for years the only thing keeping Blossom from being an absolutely perfect venue (although it was always still my favorite) was the lack of a decent lawn sound system,” notes Bill Horschke, from sister Live Nation venue, Nautica. “I was very pleasantly surprised when attending a DMB concert to see a nice NEXO rig installed for the lawn, thus completing my jealousy from this nature loving concrete and steel veteran. Kudos to all who made the new system happen. It is very, very cool. Crank it up, and rock them trees!”
For more information on NAC Technologies, visit www.nac-tech.com.
For more information on NEXO and Yamaha products, visit www.yamahaca.com.
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.