Martin Audio’s WPL at Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park

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Take a Thameside location in the well-heeled town of Marlow, a picturesque park, great weather and a cocktail of the very best in food, drink and music and you have a perfect recipe for Tom Kerridge’s firmly established Pub in the Park festival. In truth this is more of a four-day community event than a festival - complete with stages, pop-ups and a line-up of top chefs, mingling with the DJs and artists of the calibre of Van Morrison, Paloma Faith, Busted and Example, while the array of DJs ranged from Judge Jules to Gok Wan via Vernon Kay. For the 7,000-8,000 visitors to the town’s Higginson Park this was definitely a crowd pleaser.

Martin Audio partner SWG Events have a had a long history with the event, this year bringing their flagship WPL line array to main stage. The rental company will also be providing a turnkey solution for the other three Pub in the Park events, in Chiswick, St Albans and Reigate. In Marlow, they populated the stage with hangs of 10 WPL enclosures a side, with four of the smaller Wavefront Precision WPS arrays providing fills across the front of the stage and the classic sound of 12 of Martin Audio’s older WS218X subs in a broadside array. This was all powered by Martin Audio’s iKON iK42 process controlled amplifiers in 2-box resolution. “It was the first time I’d used these subs in conjunction with WPL, and they sounded extremely good,” stated Head of Audio, Simon Purse. Additional SX218s were used as drum fills onstage, along with Martin Audio LE12Js for artists’ monitoring.

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Although the site itself was reassuringly flat, and situated far from local housing where residents might be inconvenienced, the SWG Events team - under production manager Joe Bailey - worked closely with consultants, F1 Acoustics. “We did propagation tests,” confirmed Purse, aware that WPL would comfortably throw the 60m-70m distance from stage to site perimeter. “F1 gave us our offsite noise limits which we were comfortably able to stick to, while still achieving good level.”

Nevertheless, system tech Sam Jones programmed a ‘Hard Avoid’ setting at the rear of the audience area as a further precaution while SWG Events set the PA as high as they were able, in order to achieve a good down angle, according to Simon Purse. In addition SWG Events’ crew also featured patch engineers James Marsh and Ieuan Fishburn, as well as monitor tech, Fraser Wilks.

Of the food and beverage, with Kerridge firmly at the helm there were demonstrations from Mary Berry and Simon Rimmer as well as cook-offs. Vendors included pop-up pubs from Rick Stein, the Bull & Last in Highgate, Oarsman in Marlow, the Hand & Flower in Marlow and Greene King. Various ancillary stages hosted chef presenters and celebrity interviews. “All in all we took a very common-sense design approach, to this event, which really paid off,” said Simon Purse, in conclusion.