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JBL VerTec Fills World Cup With Sound

Published: Wed June 21, 2006  News Feed

Few sporting events involve the entire world, but when they do, they always seem to have an extravagant, exuberant opening ceremony. The FIFA World Cup is no different in that regard, and when it recently got underway at the 66,000-seat Allianz Arena Stadium in Munich, it was with a 37-minute multimedia theatrical production contrasting contemporary rhythms with contemplative segments.

Germany, the host nation, chose to portray both traditional and modern aspects of its character, as Bavarian folk musicians, hip-hop dancers and rap artists shared the stage with 120 world-beat drummers and percussionists. Sound reinforcement services for the global event were provided by Sirius Showequipment a.g. of Frankfurt--an effort that included mobile carts equipped with JBL VerTec line array elements.

The FIFA World Cup was first established in 1924 and has grown into the world's most popular sports event. Global television broadcasts brought the opening ceremony to more than 200 nations, with a worldwide viewing audience of 1.5 billion.

A ceremonial highlight for this production featured supermodel Claudia Schiffer and Brazilian soccer legend Pele, who brought the FIFA World Cup Trophy into the stadium to a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. One hundred seventy former FIFA World Cup winners then entered the Arena, with large-screen video support playing memorable scenes from previous matches. German Federal President Horst Köhler officially declared the 2006 FIFA World Cup open, prior to the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica.

"A world-class production like this leaves no room for error," said Wolfgang "Schabbach" Neumann, audio crew chief for the event, which included 12 technicians plus supporting stagehands. "Pre-planning, reliable equipment and well-trained crews are critical to success on stadium events like this."

Sirius Showequipment, with supporting equipment and crew from regional VerTec system owner Crystal Sound, was required to pre-stage the entire portable sound system, and craft a logistics and technical plan that would move the entire sound reinforcement system onto and away from the arena field while preserving critical competition playing greens.

"We relied on a total of 13 mobile carts, each fitted with four VT4889 line array elements," noted Neumann. "A compact rack with Crown MA-5002VZ amplifiers was coupled to each cart-based array. We've been extremely satisfied with the Crown/JBL combination, having used it now for a broad variety of concerts, special events and multi-media productions throughout Europe and North Africa."

With minimal time to remove the system prior to the start of the first soccer match, the audio team rehearsed the system setup and takeout on custom carts with the same precision required of performing artists in the complex, choreographed ceremony. System engineers for the World Cup Opening Ceremony were Klaus "Bob" Bolender and Christian Kimmig; Holger Munz handled the foldback monitor systems, with Patrick Eckerlin responsible for front-of-house mixing duties.

Sirius Showequipment a.g.

JBL Professional

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