For the fourth year running The Pride Pleasure Gardens on Brighton’s Old Steine recreated its own unique experience during Brighton & Hove Pride Festival Weekend. The Old Steine Gardens were transformed around two 1,000-capacity big tops for three days, with entertainment ranging from camp bingo and cheesy pop to stunning cabaret, vibrant live performances, cool DJs and hot clubbing.
Working for Ian Baird’s production company, Whiskey Bravo Productions, were Brighton based sound and light company Penguin Media Hire, enjoying their first year at the festival. Headed by technical project manager Dylan Thompson, the company was tasked with creating a technical infrastructure, including sound (in the shape of Martin Audio PAs), lighting and temporary power for the site; and although this provided a real challenge, it was one they came through with flying colours.
“We narrowly missed out on this event last year, but when we visited we saw elements that we knew we could improve on,” stated Thompson. “So having worked previously with Whiskey Bravo, we successfully quoted on the Pride Pleasure Gardens this year. It was a great location as we were in our own little bubble.”
Assisting them on main stage was the next generation, scalable resolution of three ground-stacked Martin Audio Wavefront Precision Compact (WPC) enclosures, boosted by a pair of SX218 subwoofers on each side and a further pair of Blackline X8 as front fills. “The BlacklineX boxes did really well,” said Thompson, “they are a brilliant little speaker.”
Penguin ran the WPC in three-box resolution, but aware of the proximity of nearby residences, Dylan Thompson was able to programme the Martin Audio DISPLAY software to optimise the sound within the boundaries, without offsite leakage. “Because the PA was facing straight down the 20-metre deep tent which was open at the end, I programmed it to slope off immediately at the back. The sound dropped off like a stone and not one person complained about the noise over the duration of the event.”
Inside the tent it delivered great results for the main act, Spice Girl Mel C, collaborating with Sink The Pink on the Saturday night.
Penguin Media Hire also equipped the second, DJ / big bar tent with four Martin Audio XD12 and four WS18X subs, with all loudspeakers powered by Martin Audio iKON iK42 amplifiers. The sound source could be piped between tents or run from independent sources.
From Penguin Media Hire, assisting Dylan Thompson was Patrick Andrews, while Sonny Evans was on duty at FOH all weekend.
In conclusion Thompson said he was extremely happy with the result, particularly the fact that they managed to avoid any environmental noise issues. “Having worked with WPC in similar sized set-ups we knew that it would work, and being able to provide full coverage with so few boxes also helped with the budget.”
Ian Baird went further in expressing his satisfaction.“Whiskey Bravo Productions have been delivering the Pleasure Gardens for Brighton & Hove Pride CIC for the last four years at the Old Steine in Brighton. This is a city centre location surrounded on all sides with both residential and commercial properties making it particularly sensitive to noise bleed both during office hours and at evenings and weekends. The system deployed this year by Penguin Media Hire really opened up the options available to us in terms of delivering multiple sound sources in a tight location.
“The dynamic properties of the Martin Audio system allowed us to produce a far richer sound within our stages without serious issues with sound bleed, both between stages and out of the wider site.”