WOMAD welcomes back d&b Soundscape stage

Photo credit: York Tillyer

UK: WOMAD welcomed back the d&b Soundscape stage to this year’s edition, providing a platform to artists like Saving Grace, LTJ Bukem, Muthoni Drummer Queen, Jungle by Night, and Roosevelt Collier.

Prominently positioned within the main arena site in Charlton Park, Wiltshire, the Soundscape stage held capacity audiences of over 4,000 people.

Gabriel founded WOMAD in 1980 to celebrate global music, arts and dance. He wanted the festival to be ‘embracing but non-definitive, inspiring and outward looking, and enthusiastic about a world that has no boundaries in its ability to communicate through music and movement’.

The stage is the result of the relationship between Gabriel’s Real World Records and the d&b team, and was born from a mutual ambition to enhance the sound experience at WOMAD for both artist and audience, using the d&b Soundscape technology.

“This stage was special, because of the incredible  sound experience that was created,” said Chris Smith, Festival Director at WOMAD. “WOMAD is a festival for music lovers, but it is also about innovation in music and technology  and now we have one of the finest sound systems in the world.”

At the heart of the d&b Soundscape stage arena setup were d&b V10P loudspeakers for the main system, and Y10P loudspeakers hung at regular intervals around the tent, which measured more than 60 metres across. d&b E8 loudspeakers were used as front fills with a sub array mixture of V-SUBs and SL-SUBs. The entire system was driven by eighteen d&b D80 amplifiers.

Dickie Chappell, Stage Manager at WOMAD, said: “Creating a comprehensive, flexible Soundscape system in a field takes some planning – much more than a simple left-right set up – but it really paid off and was totally worth it.

“We found that the artists were enthusiastic about working with the Soundscape matrix system, and passionate about what it could achieve for both their sound and for their audiences. The loudspeakers are very musical, forming amazing imagery when you close your eyes and listen, drawing you into a truly 360-degree, immersive experience.

“I’m really passionate about music, it’s my first love, and working at WOMAD with this system is a dream come true.”

The stage also featured in-depth conversation with artists such as Mumbai-based Sandunes, who takes inspiration from field recordings of her home city and transforms them into a live set of layered sounds. At WOMAD, she utilised the power of d&b Soundscape to move sound objects and effects around the space.