Glastonbury’s Acoustic Stage powered by EM Acoustics

British loudspeaker manufacturer returns to Worthy Farm for second year

Glastonbury Festival made its hotly anticipated return this year with a stellar line-up and an unforgettable weekend at Worthy Farm. Showcasing iconic acts such as Guns & Roses and Elton John, Glastonbury once again delivered an extraordinary three days of music and hedonism. British loudspeaker manufacturer EM Acoustics returned to the festival’s renowned Acoustic Stage, following the resounding success of last year’s outing.

Housed inside an enormous bright red tent, the Acoustic Stage is said to be a ‘festival within a festival’. Blues, folk, contemporary and country music are the order of the day, every day, on this stage, and this year’s line-up included the Magic Numbers, Seth Lakeman, Badly Drawn Boy, Richard Thompson, Newton Faulkner, Paul Carrack, Steve Earle, and Rumer, amongst other names. In conjunction with De Brabant Audio, EM supplied the full PA package for the Acoustic Stage.

“We are thrilled to have returned to the Acoustic Stage for the 2023 festival,” confirms Mike Wheeler, Operations Director at EM Acoustics. “Returning to Glastonbury for a second year confirms our belief in the capabilities of the HALO-A system. The feedback we’ve received has yet again been universally positive. The variety of acts and genres that play on this eclectic stage truly showcase the abilities of this system. We are thrilled with the outcome of the weekend and honoured to have our products powering a part of this prestigious and beloved festival.”

In total, eight HALO-A were used per side, accompanied with 24 Quake subwoofers deployed as a steered array to ensure even low frequency across the very wide audience area. Six R10s provided front fill, whilst two R12s acted as L/R outfill. EM Acoustics also delivered a full monitor package consisting of eight individual mixes of M-C15 coaxial passive stage monitors, an R12 and ST-218 per side as side fill, and M-C15/ST-215 drum fills to deliver focused audio specifically for the drum position. The entire system was driven by EM Acoustics’ own DQ20D advanced system amplifiers in their bespoke touring racks, running on AES and fed by an XTA MX36 console switcher to handle guest consoles.

One of the standout performances on Friday night was that of English singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman. Med Rann, FOH engineer for Lakeman, was delighted with the system, saying it was “Clean and punchy, and super easy to work with. Seth has a lot of what I generally refer to as ‘geometry’ in his vocal, which can be a challenge to deliver clearly on some systems. On tour, I usually turn to a lot of multiband dynamics to make sure he’s super clear. But even busking this on the house console, I was impressed how easily his vocal sat in the PA. I give it five stars and would absolutely use it again.”

“Working with the EM Acoustics team this year was a pleasure as usual,” recalls Fox Valentine, Production Manager for the stage. “The Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival is a very challenging venue. As a tensile fabric big top, there are complex reflections to deal with. We also have the challenge of adhering to very stringent noise control restrictions. Despite this, EM Acoustics managed to achieve full spectrum coverage throughout the whole auditorium. The sound was refined, and yet very full-bodied. The Quake subwoofers provided enough power to blow your socks off but were set up by EM’s engineers in a manner totally sympathetic to the genre of music on the Acoustic Stage. Overall, the best sound in the 34 years I have worked at this venue.”