Charlie Watkins picks up API Lifetime Achievement Award

Industry veteran and audio pioneer Charlie Watkins received the API Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s PLASA event.

The British engineer became known as the ‘Godfather of modern PA’ for his groundbreaking approach to loudspeakers and PA for outdoor rock events.

Having established his own company, Watkins Electric Music, in 1949, he found fame in the 60s and 70s when ‘WEM’ PA systems in the kilowatt range became standard for British festivals, such as the Isle of Wight Festival and Glastonbury.

On receiving his award, Watkins commented: “I was surprised and delighted to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, especially as I have thoroughly enjoyed and still enjoy working with such lovely groups of musicians, engineers and road managers, over the past 70 years. I hope to continue my life inventing and working with such people for many years to come.”