The world’s largest food festival, Taste of Chicago is held for five days in Grant Park. In addition to classic local dishes, specialty cuisines from ethnic neighborhood restaurants and unique chef creations, the festival offers live music on multiple stages including the Petrillo Music Shell, street art in Graffiti Alley, local dance performances at The Stomping Grounds and the daily March of the Puppets.
Audio was provided for this year’s two-day concert at the Petrillo Music Shell by Technotrix, Inc. who supplied a Martin Audio MLA system for the varied lineup of artists that included Alessia Cara, Cafë Tacvba, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Passion Pit and The O’Jays, to name a few.
Describing the setup, Technotrix Audio Department Manager Brent Bernhardt points out, “we only had eight flown MLA cabinets a side and six MLX subs a side ground-stacked in front of the stage.
“The challenge at the Shell is rigging capability that’s limited in terms of weight, so you can’t run as big a box count as you normally would for a festival this size,” Brent continues. “So, we had to cover about 250 ft. to the delay ring with eight boxes a side, which is pushing it even for a conventional line array with 16 boxes a side. The fact that we made something more than acceptable happen with that many cabinets is remarkable and speaks to the capabilities of MLA.
“It’s truly an amazing system because you can get the range of volume without blowing people out of their seats in the front rows, but also throw enough SPL out far enough to cover the crowd––which is crazy!”
Asked about reactions to the system, Brent replies,” FOH engineers for the bands were somewhat concerned when they saw just eight boxes but we’d ask them to listen to the system first before passing judgment. It was no surprise that not one of them had a complaint after hearing MLA.”