Línea Estrategica provides vast L-Acoustics systems for Papal visits to South America
When Pope Francis visited South America this September, full service Colombian rental company, Línea Estrategica, provided the audio system for his visit to Colombia, where over a million faithful braved rain and fog for the pontiff’s outdoor mass, held on the Olaya Herrera Airport in the city of Medellin, the third stop on his five-day visit to the country. Ensuring even coverage across the site, which stretched to one kilometre in length and 200 metres in width, required meticulous planning and a vast L-Acoustics system that totalled over 300 cabinets.
Linea Estrategica used L-Acoustics proprietary 3D sound system design programme, Soundvision, to devise a system of 24 distributed arrays along the runway, each comprising 12 K2 topped with a K1-SB sub, plus five arrays of 10 Kara.
This relatively simple set up required throws of no more than 80-90m which, says L‑Acoustics’ Alex Soto who helped design the system, was no challenge for K2. However, heavy rain and electrical storms posed their own challenges for the crew, the audience and even the Pope, who was delayed by 30 minutes due to the weather conditions, but with K2’s IP55 weatherproof rating, this was not a problem for the system itself.
The Linea Estategica team are no strangers to such challenging events. In 2015 in Quito, Ecuador, over a million and a half people attended Pope Francis’ open-air mass in the city’s Bicentennial Park. This was the first visit to the country by a pontiff in 30 years and thousands had camped overnight to hear him, having made the journey from all over Ecuador and its neighbouring countries. Here, Línea Estrategica had been contracted by the Government of Ecuador and managed both audio and video requirements for the event.
“We had to cover an area that was a kilometre long by 800 metres wide and held around 1.7 million people,” says Conrado Santamaría Polo, manager at Línea Estrategica. “We decided to use L-Acoustics because it is the most complete and best defined system for such large events, choosing a combination of K2, K1 Subs, V-DOSC and Kara cabinets.”
With the assistance of L-Acoustics’ Alex Soto and Marco Pineda and again using Soundvision, Conrado and the Línea Estrategica team devised a distributed PA that would cover the vast site, with a hang of 12 K2s topped with a K1-SB sub either side of the stage, plus 10 hangs of 10 K2 with two K1-SB subs, five hangs of 10 V-DOSC and 10 towers of 10 Kara cabinets positioned across the front of the stage at 50 metre intervals.
“The L-Acoustics systems were impeccable and exactly what we needed for the challenges we faced with both events and, having tested it to the full in Ecuador, we had absolute confidence that it was the right solution for this year’s event,” says Conrado. “The organisers for the Medellin event were impressed with the performance of the K2 system, as well as the service provided by Linea Estratégica, and the audience enjoyed being able to hear every word the pontiff delivered on this visit to South America.”