A three-day festival with a Woodstock-like vibe. The 5th Ziegelei Open Air festival attracted thousands of visitors to revel in the glorious sunshine on the site of a former brickworks in the Taunus near Frankfurt. Some also came with campervans and tents and enjoyed a succession of live performances by top-class musicians. Pro audio equipment from the Adam Hall Group provided excellent sound on the main stage.
The event is organised each year with great passion by Achim “Achmed” Schmidt and his team from the nearby scene bar “Die Scheuer”, and has become an insider’s tip. The Adam Hall Group is (and you can say traditionally) a regular supporter of the event.
Markus Jahnel, COO and Managing Director at the Adam Hall Group: “We are virtually neighbours and of course we were delighted to support the festival with our equipment once again. Achim Schmidt always goes to great lengths to bring well-known groups and artists to our region and they deserve an appropriate sound system. So as usual, we provided a whole host of professional equipment from the brands LD Systems and RAM audio for the open air event.
Over a dozen live acts performed on the two alternating stages. The line-up included well-known greats such as the Julian SAS Band, whose sound is characterised by blues, blues-rock and boogie. Later headliners included Hole Full of Love with their AC/DC tribute show and the band Still Collins, who took their listeners on a musical journey back to the 1980s with Phil Collins’ greatest hits. Folk, hard rock, Balkan rock in Bavarian dialect – the crowd had the opportunity to enjoy these and many other musical styles. Even technofreaks were catered for. In short, there was something for everyone.
The festival market had all kinds of colourful offerings: food and drink stalls, activities for the kids and the Hochtaunus games with some unusual disciplines were other successful attractions at the three-day festival. In addition to the music, these were also greatly appreciated by the cross-generational audience.
LD Systems line arrays and powerful subwoofers
The technical organisation and management lay in the capable hands of Elliott John Schweigert. This year, the sound technician had the subwoofers arranged in a special layout to reduce the interference on the stage. A total of ten LD Systems V218 SUBs were used. The passive 2 x 18-inch bass reflex subwoofers (each with 1600 W RMS and max. 132 dB SPL and arranged in a special spaced layout of 4) provided a powerful punch and were flanked on each side by a closely packed cluster of 3 of these powerful subs. According to Schweigert, the combination of this special layout and the beneficial effect of the attenuation of low frequencies in the rear area and on the stage created a so-called bass lobe in front of the stage. The new arrangement also provided an elegant solution to the potential resonance problem created by the roof construction above the main stage.
The main suspended systems on the left and right were flying VA8s from LD Systems. These dual 8-inch premium line array speakers work extremely well with the V218 SUBs. Each individual VA8 element covers the frequency range from 70 Hz to 19 kHz with a dispersion of 120° x 10° and delivers a continuous output of 500 watts RMS. Six LD Systems VA4s were placed in two groups as near-fills at the edge of the stage to ensure that any fans in this area also received excellent sound. The lightweight and ultra-compact 2 x 4-inch line array loudspeakers served as indispensable components of the sophisticated PA concept.
In the side-racks backstage, various RAM audio power amplifiers from the F9000 and F6000 series provided the power for the PA, supported by a four-channel LD Systems DSP 44K power amplifier. With 1200 watts per channel and 2 x 2400 watts bridged, the DSP 44K ensures excellent performance and uncompromising sound quality. The DPA 260 six-channel controller from LD Systems served as signal processor for the VA4 and VA8 line arrays.
Redundancy for security
Altar-like at FOH was a mighty Soundcraft Vi4 console, which was operated by Schweigert himself or by the band’s sound technician. During set up, Schweigert likes to run the desk “hot”. That is to say, he uses a lot of gain, +6 dB to +12 dB, which is certainly unusual for many technicians. From the mixer, four fibre-optic cables went to the stage box, and from there to the amps everything was traditional analogue. Redundancy is very important to the sound technician, because the tight schedule means absolutely nothing should go wrong. Schweigert makes it clear that in principle, they are responsible for ensuring that everything flows smoothly without any problems for the bands and for the crowd.
“Achmed” Schmidt, landlord of “die Scheuer”, owner of the festival grounds and chief organiser was delighted with the number of visitors this year. “The success or failure of event like this
depends on the weather.” Schmidt has certainly experienced this in the last few years. This time was certainly “all systems go”.