EAW relays rugby World Cup semi-final to Cardiff Millennium Stadium

EAW KF740 line arrays recently relayed sound to over 61,000 people at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium for the free live streaming of Wales v France in the rugby World Cup 2011 semi-final.

Welsh sound rental company ABacoustics accepted the challenge from local production company Orchard Media & Events Group to rig their EAW PA and deliver the same performance from the KF740 system as they had achieved when the two companies last collaborated on ‘Ponty’s Big Weekend’ in Pontypridd.

With this project being the largest production in the company’s history, it was given only four days notice. However, ABacoustics’ Rob Ashton had worked out the configurations for the KF740 to optimise coverage.

“The thing that really impressed me was that despite the compromises, Rob managed to hang the system, play one track, carry out a few ‘one-twos’ and we were sound-checking,” said ABacoustics’ Huw ‘Buz’ Evans.

Initially a crowd of only 25,000 had been expected, but as interest grew, ABacoustics had to adapt to the challenge. “I had my doubts about whether the KF740 system would carry — but it just sounded fantastic,” said Evans. “It had both the throw and the coverage and we didn’t need to use the house system at all.”

As well as relaying the match commentary, ABacoustics provided sound reinforcement for the singing of the Welsh National Anthem and for local rock band 4th Street Traffic.

The PA itself comprised two main hangs of 12 x KF740’s per side, suspended from 15m ‘V’ Towers, supplied by Star Hire. The outfills, ground stacked on risers, consisted of six of the smaller EAW KF730 enclosures plus two SB730 subs each side.

Performing front fill duties at the edge of stage, were a pair of KF695 while the main subs were arranged in two ground stacks of eight EAW 2 x 18” SB1000’s per side.

The rig was powered by Lab.Gruppen and optimised using EAW’s dedicated UX8800 4-in/8-out digital system processor, which Evans described as a “fantastic asset.”

ABacoustics later fielded a second system at the same venue for the third position playoffs on October 21st, providing a mix system for the commentary of the game against Australia, which Wales again lost. This time the rig comprised nine KF740 and three KF730 per side, along with 16 SB1000’s for the match commentary, which was relayed to a crowd of around 15,000.