The first action sports event ever to be held inside the famous Grand Palais in Paris was staged to mark Quiksilver’s 40th birthday celebrations. Two separate NEXO GEO T line array systems were set up by rental company Melpomen for two days of skateboarding, live music, art and fashion, culminating in a Saturday night main-stage finale featuring The Quiksilver Tony Hawk Show, followed by a concert with Dead By Sunrise (Chester Bennington of Linkin Park with his newest band).
With Tony Hawk and his guests, the Quiksilver event brought the biggest names in international skateboarding to perform in one of Paris’ most historic buildings. The largest vert ramp ever built in Europe was erected in the centre of the hall, and an immense street course enabled skaters of all ages and skill levels to compete for a prize purse of 20,000 euros.
Long-time NEXO rental providers Melpomen were asked to provide three separate systems for the Quiksilver event – line array for the main stage and the skate park, and a smaller pole-mounted PS Series system for the ‘Rock Food Café’. Coordinating the event for Melpomen, Philippe Groux-Cibial describes the challenge of the venue. “In a perfect world, there would be a Grand Palais preset in all Lexicon and TC reverb units! We measured 6.5S from 400Hz to 4k…..”
The main stage was set up 50 metres below the great glass and steel dome. Thierry Trenchant, the CEO of Melpomen, used NEXO’s GEOSoft and EASE software to design a system comprising 12+2 GEO T tangent arrays left and right of the stage, together with 4x flown GEOSubs on either side and ground-stacked CD18s subs, 12 in all. This served a crowd of 5,000 on each night, with DJs and a live rock concert, and was equally appropriate for the skate board exhibition with Tony Hawk himself performing a 900!
“The GEO technology is the best solution for the Grand Palais venue”, says Groux-Cibial. “…it is cardioid, which is great in this very difficult environment, and the directivity is precise enough to cover the exact area where we needed the sound.” All components of the PA system were controlled within an EtherSound network infrastructure, with engineer Didier Meignen using a Yamaha PM5D-RH48 to mix front-of-house for the main stage and monitor engineer Samuel Birais on a M7CL.
In the separate Skate Parc, a second GEO T array system was in place – again using 14x GEO T modules in each hang, with CD18s for subbass, and NEXO’s GEO S12s for additional fill and delays. GEO S12s and PS15s made up the monitor systems for both the main stage and in the skate park, powered by CAMCO Vortex amplifiers and NEXO’s own NXAMPs.
NEXO’s new PS10-R2 high-SPL compact cabinets were teamed with RS15 subs for the Rock Food Bar, processed by NX242 TDControllers and powered by NXAMPs. In all, Melpomen fielded 11 sound engineers for the Grand Palais event, coordinated by David Prévost and Philippe Groux-Cibial.