Healthy E numbers from d&b at Camden's Green Fair.
Once we all feared communism, next was terrorism lurking in every knapsack; now it seems our biggest fear is ourselves. While we all struggle to come to terms with our ecological impact the fact is we no longer look to government to protect us from these ills as we did with past evils. The onus is on us to find ways to lessen our demands upon the world. Fortunately there is still help out there, no longer governmental, it comes from a host of well meaning people and organisations who take it upon themselves to affect and inform. In many ways Camden Green Fair (CGF) is one of those; it may sound rather quaint and charming, but the lessons are profound.
Take just one example: CGF is a typical local community, metropolitan festival; main stage with bands; large marquee with tea dance; and perhaps a little unusually a Forum area for discussion and debate. As a daytime event the biggest power user by far is audio; yet Headtec who supplied audio systems to all three areas surprised everyone with just how little power they needed, as Headtec's founder Mark Hornsby explained. "We were invited to service this event by Production Manager Charlie Dorman. He explained from the outset that all our power needs would come from just two sources, Solar Energy and Hydrogen Cells. To give you some idea, there were two Hydrogen systems, one delivering a maximum 28 amps, the other 16 amps; even so we were expected to provide PA systems that would fulfil all the normal expectations of such an event."
Hornsby knows his equipment well, "we put up a d&b audiotechnik Q-Series system for the main stage, four a side flown from masts, with a pair each of B2 and J subwoofers driven off just five d&b D12 amplifiers. We put E3s into the Forum area, simple, effective, intelligible; but the Tea Dance tent proved a little tricky. There was to be a world record attempt in the tent; at the eleventh hour Guinness Book of Records informed that the attempt had to be made with a live band rather than playback. We'd already installed d&b's new E8s up on the king poles. Powerful yet lightweight, they were an ideal playback system to cover the whole dance area. The addition of a six piece live band needed just a little support in the low end and something to bring the sound image down to the stage, so we added a couple of E12s. The amazing thing was I could have put in more; the guys who ran the power systems were a little sceptical at first, especially the five D12s for the main stage. But at the end of the event they came up to me and said they were surprised at just how little our system drew. The fact that d&b develop a complete system approach to PA's, matched amplifiers and loudspeakers, had always impressed me and I knew they were electro-mechanically efficient and gave great quality coverage right across the audible spectrum. But it was nice to have that energy efficiency confirmed, and what better way to find out you've got the greenest system in Camden?"