Carols by Candlelight at TREC
In 2004, the annual Tamworth Carols by Candlelight, a fundraiser for the Children's Medical Research Institute, was relocated to the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre (TREC) due to continuing bad weather. Entertainment included Prime TV's "Prime Possum" and the obligatory appearance by Santa Claus, music by the Tamworth Highland Society Pipe Band and carols led by various local artists, ably backed by the Tamworth Conservatorium Concert Band and Choral Society Choir. Feature artist was the Wolverines.
This was the first time we had had the opportunity provide a large production in this venue, and looked forward to the challenge.
Built in 1998, of prefabricated concrete tilt-slab and steel roof, and officially opened in 1999, the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre boasts a clear floor space of around 4700 square metres and audience capacity around 5000 people. This impressive structure is home to the Golden Guitar Country Music Awards, and hosts a number of exhibitions, trade shows, conferences and concerts. Although the initial acoustics were somewhat less than ideal, subsequent major acoustic treatment has turned this into a nice sounding venue.
This composite view from stage before showtime shows the scale of the venue.
The stage and tiered seating are not permanent, and are set up as neccessary depending on the event.
Due to our success in covering this event's normal venue, Bicentennial Park, we applied some of the techniques here. Although it is common to fly speakers from roof supports in these types of venues, budgetry constraints did not allow that option in this case. Similarly to the Park, we placed the main PA speaker stacks either side of the stage, and splayed them to cover the wide angle from audience centre to the front seating tiers. Delay speakers were placed on the floor at either side just behind the mix position, and precisely time aligned to give the impression that the sound was comming from the main stack. Even though these speakers were producing most of the volume for the rear audience, they were hardly noticable when walking past them due to this alignment.
Due to not utilising flying techniques, as well as the height of the stage, lighting was supported by trussing and winch supports located on stage, and supplemented by a spotlight from the mix position in the audience.
The venue has an array of underfoor pipes and access covers for cabling, and this allowed us to keep all cables off the floor within the audience area (although the pipes could have been a tad larger).
We were quite happy with the sound and coverage, and look forward to more events in this venue.
View of the stage before show time. The location of the main speaker stacks and lighting supports can be seen here.
One of the main PA stacks - note the wide coverage angle and the top box giving extra forward throw.
One of the delay speaker stacks. Unconventional stacking ensured coverage to the rear audience. Even though they looked a little imposing, they were acoustically discreet. Cabling came up from a floor access hatch behind them.
Looking down at the Foldback mix position side of stage behind the left speaker stack.
Headline act The Wolverines. Always entertaining and getting into the Christmas spirit.