The Eastern States Exposition, known as “The Big E,” set another attendance record this year with over 1.5-million visitors. It’s the only event in the country with a state fair-like structure in the nation where more than one state participates (six New England states partake). The 17 day event features daily Mardi Gras parades, a big top circus spectacular, 4-H and agriculture exposition, giant midway, car shows and daily entertainment on five stages.
All-in-all, the Big E schedule included over 200 shows on those stages. Massachusetts-based SCL Sound Systems has been providing production at The Big E for almost two decades. This year, owner and Production Manager Scott LaRochelle made the decision to use RCF powered speakers across all the fair’s five major stages. To accomplish this task, LaRochelle reached out to AudionX, a Vermont-based company and RCF partner who maintains a large inventory of cabinets.
“There is a variety of music on the stages,” said LaRochelle. “We can go from a classic rock act to hip-hop to pop in a matter of hours. I wanted to deploy rigs that sounded good and would handle the demands of the acts. I also wanted to get some time with the large format HDL50 rig,” and upon doing so, “All I can say is it was impressive. This was a good choice and certainly something the touring engineers were happy with.”
“Anytime you have a large event and a seasoned company like SCL trying something new, you always want to do everything you can to make sure things go right,” said AudionX owner Chris LaRocque. “RCF has always been a great partner and as usual their support team was available to us. They even brought in their worldwide support specialist Oscar Mora to assist us.”
The Xfinity Arena serves as the event’s flagship stage with headline acts ranging from the Beach Boys, Marshall Tucker and B.B. King’s Blues Band to the Casting Crowns, Old Dominion and Ice-T.
“On this stage we deployed a system that had both a powerful and pristine sound with uniform coverage throughout the venue,” said LaRochelle. The arena’s main stage PA was comprised of RCF’s HDL50-A large format line array complemented by TTS36-A dual 18” subwoofers, with an additional array of HDL30-A cabinets for front fills and out-fills. Wedges and side-fills, when needed, were done with TT25-CXA coax monitors and TTL6-A line source cabinets. The entire system was processed using RCF’s RDNet, allowing complete control and a real-time status of each box down to the individual driver.
The Court of Honor stage and other stages utilized the RCF HDL30-A and HDL6-A line arrays, TTL6-A line source cabinets, SUB8004-A subwoofers and a variety of other RCF speakers. Those stages saw a lineup that included the likes of Blessid Union of Souls, NRBQ, War, Hanson, Tony Orlando, Grandmaster Flash, Jefferson Starship and others.
SCL also provided lighting and staging as well as the technicians through the duration of The Big E.
For more information: SCL Sound Systems – www.sclsound.com
AudionX – www.audionx.com
RCF – www.rcf.it