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Festival OFF Moves On, Montreux 2000
The largest of the three Festival OFF sites has "moved on" for the 2000 season, migrating around the corner from Terrasse Stravinski to a more commodious location at the adjoining Parc Vernex.
"We call it the 'grassy knoll'," says Mark Johnson of Meyer Sound, "and it's a wonderful place to relax and listen to music. The stage is set up overlooking the lakeshore, surrounded by trees and walkways, and with a number of small bars nearby for those who want to sip beer or wine while enjoying the bands."
The Meyer System
The setting may be most congenial, but the design of the site's sound system raised some challenges. The desired coverage area is quite expansive, with room for sizeable crowds of 3,000 or more. Yet Montreux has rather strict noise ordinances, and with several hotels and residences nearby, the sound had to be confined as much as possible to the immediate area.
To both please the audience and placate possibly stodgy residents, Meyer Sound provided a powerful but high-Q system. Four MSL-4 cabinets mated with four DS-4P cabinets carry mid-bass through high frequencies with tight directional control. The four 650-P subwoofers produce a taut, punchy bass that fills out the bottom without excess boominess that can annoy ears near and far. Finally, two UPA-2P fills extend coverage out to the side but drop off well before reaching beyond the defined audience area. This year, for the first time at a Festival OFF site, the Meyer speakers were flown using the new QuickFly rigging system.
Though the Festival OFF artists may not be well known, they are certainly well liked by festival attendees, as evidenced by increasing crowds year by year. This year, the Parc Vernex stage will host a potpourri of styles ranging from R&B and traditional blues to big band jazz, world music sounds from Africa and Brazil, and a steel drum band from Trinidad.