Space Events

Santana, Doobies, and Russell Morris rock Botanic Park with Novatech. 

On April 9, 7,500 eager fans braved cold and rain to pack out Adelaide’s Botanic Park and witness the guitar guru Carlos Santana wield his mystic axe. Santana was supported by Californian legends The Doobie Brothers and ARIA Hall-of-Famer Russell Morris, with sound and lights ably supplied by local heroes Novatech Creative Event Technology.

Through their experience working on WOMADelaide, Novatech are no stranger to producing events in Botanic Park. “It can be difficult, because everything you’re setting up is between heritage-listed trees,” said Novatech’s Production Manager James Sacca. “If you break a branch, you are charged that percentage of the tree’s value, which is a very large number indeed. Everything that moves needs to be spotted and monitored. On top of that, during our setup and pack down, it was bucketing with rain and blowing a gale, which miraculously held off for the show. Our sound and lights went in in six hours and out in three, with a crew of 24.”

And what a rig it was. The lighting package included more than 120 moving lights, with huge numbers of Martin Mac Vipers and Martin Quantum Washes. Joining them were Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlaze 72 LED bars, Martin Atomic 3000 strobes, ProLights STUDIOCOBFC LED pars, ProLights SOLAR wash lights, and four Robert Juliat Aramis follow-spots. Control was via a High End Systems flagship Hog 4 console. There were so many fixtures, Novatech used a unique layered truss design just to fit them all in the space available.

Front-of-house PA was a rocking 14 elements per side of L-Acoustic’s K2 line array, supplemented by side-hangs of nine elements each of L-Acoustics Kudo and a whopping 24 L-Acoustics SB28 subwoofers. Two delay feeds were handled by nine elements each of L-Acoustics KARA. Power and processing for the whole PA was provided by 8 L-Acoustics LA-RAKs.

While Santana and The Doobie Brothers provided their own mixing desks and foldback, Novatech bought in two Avid SC48 mixers and 12 L-Acoustics X15 HiQ wedges for Russell Morris. Novatech bought the whole audio system together with a fibre optic distribution system from Optocore.

While the weather held, the crowd went wild for classics like Russell Morris’s The Real Thing, The Doobie Brother’s Listen to the Music and Santana’s Black Magic Woman. Novatech were thrilled to work with such legendary musicians, and their equally legendary crew; “They were a fantastic crew to work with, they were really warm and appreciative,” reported Denis Ardalic, Novatech’s Audio Project Manager. “Even with the wind and rain they were amazing – they even helped us drop the PA’s side hangs!”