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Event

Padua Celebrates the New Year with RCF

Padua’s Prato della Valle is a one-of-a-kind location for hosting large events. Approximately 80,000 people celebrated in the colossal square for New Year’s Eve 2019/2020. The event, which was sponsored by the City of Padua and organized by Radio Company and Future Vintage Festival, featured performances by numerous artists and DJs. Shortly after midnight, rapper Fabri Fibra took to the stage as the headlining act. With an area of 88,000 square meters, Prato della Valle is one of the largest town squares in Italy. Mazzon Service’s technicians, who are very familiar with the location, expected more than 50,000 attendees. For the main PA, they chose the HDL 50-A, the most powerful line array module of the RCF HDL series. Following the flawless organization and the huge success of the festivities, the city of Padua plans to repeat the event.

“The results were excellent right from the start, acoustically, as well as visually, and it took much less time than we had anticipated.”

“One important aspect we needed to consider were the restrictions for the protection of the Basilica Sant’Antonio. The client wanted adequate coverage and performance capabilities to ensure a good sound across the entire square”, explains Marco Mazzon, owner of Mazzon Service. The main PA consisted of two arrays with ten HDL 50-A modules each. Underhangs of two HDL 30- A modules each were installed as downfills. Six additional HDL 30-A modules were placed near the stage as frontfills.

Bass coverage was provided by twenty SUB 9006-AS, whose curved end-fire placement ensured optimal rear rejection and maximum frontal projection. “Our goal was to cover the entire square while taking into account the width at the front”, says Mazzon. “That’s why we placed two delay towers with eight HDL 30-A modules each at about 80 meters from the stage.” On stage, four TTL 6-A were used as sidefills and ten NX 15-SMA served as floor monitors for the bands and artists. The DJ booth was equipped with two SUB 9004-AS and two NX 12-SMA for monitoring.

Events of this magnitude require the observance of many regulations, especially those concerning the safety of the employees and visitors. This was ensured by deploying a single team and using highly efficient organizational procedures. Cooperation within the team was of utmost importance. In addition to production manager Michele Ruffato, Alessandro Piccinini from Monica Drago’s event office at Radio Company ensured a smooth operation.

“We didn’t encounter any particular difficulties while deploying the PA system. Sound and system engineer Alberto Morsanuto had planned the system ahead of time using EASE Focus 3.” After analyzing the acoustics and mounting and configuring the speakers, cabling and speaker management were an easy task thanks to the RCF PR-63 power rack and CR 16-ND control rack. “The results were excellent right from the start, acoustically, as well as visually, and it took much less time than we had anticipated.”

The main PA arrays with ten RCF HDL 50-A and two RCF HDL 30-A modules each were flown using a single CM motor with a load capacity of one ton. The dolly system with four HDL 50-A or HDL 30- A modules allowed for quick and easy installation by only two riggers. The twenty SUB 9006-AS were installed at the front of the stage in two rows of ten subwoofers each. Their curved end-fire placement ensured perfect coverage and plenty of punch, while reducing the bass radiation in the direction of the stage. The two delay towers were placed 80 meters from the main PA. Each one consisted of a cluster of 8 HDL 30-A modules, which were flown on a single 500 kg chain hoist from CM. They were controlled wirelessly via the Neutrik Xirium Pro wireless system, with a transmitting antenna at the FOH desk and two receiving antennae on the delay towers, which were located 60 meters from the desk.

“The system was controlled via RDNET through the matrix and the Control 8 interface, which were mounted in the RCF CR 16-ND control rack. The entire project was configured offline in the RDNET 3.1 control software in advance. This enabled us to check that each module was functioning correctly right after powering up the system, and optimize the settings even before the first listening test.

The lighting system also met the requirements of this large-scale event. Fabio Roder was responsible for lighting and developed a system which took the special format of the event into account. 5 DMX Universes were spread out across 120 devices, including moving heads, an LED wall and many effects. The LED wall measured about 40 m 2 and was operated by Marco Marchesan using Resolume Arena. Luca De Gironimo handled the stage mix, assisted by backliner Francesco Tronchin (Tronka). Massimo Auritano was in charge of logistics.

Thanks to the HDL 50-A modules acquired for this event, Mazzon can now implement much larger projects and scale their systems more flexibly – from small events to large-scale events like the New Year’s party in Padua. Marco Mazzon comments: “We chose the HDL 50-A because we’re expanding and modernizing our range and would like to position ourselves to accommodate larger-scale events. We’ve acquired a considerable amount of knowledge over the past few years and have continuously expanded our inventory with RCF equipment. In a way, the decision was the next logical step. Again, we were able to depend on RCF. The products have proven themselves once again, and RCF has supported us whenever we had any questions.

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