Laycock Theatre maximizes the value of their investment dollars.
In the city district of Gosford, north of Sydney, is the vibrant Laycock Street Theatre. Accommodating audiences of up to three hundred and ninety, it’s the only professional proscenium arch venue in the Central Coast area of New South Wales.
“Laycock Theatre is very much the hub of the area’s performance culture,” explains Chris King, Arts and Culture Coordinator for Gosford City Council. “As such, it hosts a very wide variety of performance genres from musicals, rock concerts, pure drama, comedy acts, corporate events, film presentations and various community groups, like dance schools. The goal of any new loudspeaker system was to ensure all styles were suitably covered.
“We were fortunate to receive funding through the Arts NSW, State Government Regional Capital Program which was matched by Gosford City Council,” adds King. “This allowed us to choose a system that not only met, but exceeded, all of our selection criteria, as well as acquire equipment that would provide numerous benefits to us in the longer term. Guiding our decision were the many positive recommendations from other venues who had recently installed d&b systems. d&b also had the most flexible system with the best quality of sound and coverage for our venue. Another important factor in our decision was that d&b is also one of the few manufacturers specified at the top of most technical riders we receive for touring shows. A d&b installation meant we had a system that would meet all expectations and requirements.”
Australian Distributor for d&b, National Audio Systems, handled the project, with their rental partner Cuepoint engaged to install the system. “A big element leading to our selection of the d&b system over other proposals was the high level of attention to detail and customer service provided by both NAS and Cuepoint,” says King. One of the main challenges faced by Cuepoint was locating a suitable rigging point for the main arrays. After consultation with Gosford City Council engineers, a wall mounted rigging frame was custom designed and manufactured by Cuepoint to be bolted onto the double brick wall either side of the proscenium arch. “Great thinking outside the square!” remarks King. “Cuepoint went above and beyond to make sure we had a safe and secure rigging solution for the arrays. They had the system installed and NAS had it commissioned well ahead of schedule and under budget.
“The main aim of this project was to improve our services to artists, performers and audiences,” King concludes. “Previous to this installation, most touring productions needed to sub hire extra audio equipment which added extra cost and subsequent accessibility issues for budget conscious productions.” A dramatic production of Orwell’s 1984 and a Led Zepplin celebration concert put the installation to test: “The system passed with flying colours on both occasions, with many compliments received from touring technicians and engineers. Since then we have received many comments about the improvement in sound quality and enjoyment in the venue from both audiences and performers. There is a definite sense of ease displayed by performers when they walk on stage and see a d&b audiotechnik monitor in front of them.”