The Occombe Festival is an annual celebration of all that Devon has to offer in food, drink, and live music. Set against the idyllic pastoral scene of Occombe Farm on the outskirts of Paignton on the English Riviera, the popular festival ran for two days in June and again attracted large crowds enjoying the live bands, as well as the more than 40 varieties of local ales, beers and ciders, wines, prosecco and Pimm's, plus a feast of delicious local food.
As in previous years, ESW Solutions were contracted to supply sound and lighting systems for the main stage, which was positioned in the large yard, flanked by two open barns where visitors were able to chill and sample the huge range of local beverages. Totnes-based ESW Solutions has provided a wide variety of creative event services worldwide for more than 20 years, corporate and conferences, to medical, rock and roll, and festivals. For the Occombe Festival ESW production manager Martin Vowles fielded an Axiom PA system of AX2065 compact line arrays with SW215 subwoofers from the Italian professional loudspeaker manufacturer.
"The Occombe Festival is becoming increasingly popular year by year," explains ESW's production manager Martin Vowles, "with some great local talent including the Riviera Dogs, Sound of The Sirens, Firekind, Simmertones, Mammoth, The Wondersmiths, and Flight Brigade. "We decided to set up the PA in a traditional left/right configuration, with six AX2065 line array elements ground stacked over two SW215 subs each side. We actually have two versions of the AX2065 – both powered and passive – and the powered version can power an additional passive cabinet from the integrated Class D amplifier, making efficient use of available amplifier power."
With no opportunity to mix from a central audience position, Vowles and visiting sound engineers mixed from side of stage on a Behringer X32, using the iPad remote to check and adjust levels all around the audience area. "The PA performed well in difficult conditions," says Vowles. "We brought in some extra subs which were positioned in the centre to beef up the low end and to manage the larger than anticipated crowd size, and we also had a gusty wind to deal with. Coverage was good, intelligibility was clear, and overall the client was very pleased.
"Being essentially a modular system, the Axiom line array appealed to us from a logistics point of view – there's lots of different ways we can use it. We can break it down into smaller systems if need be, or put it all together for a festival like this one. For a PA of this compact size and weight, and at this price point, Axiom is hard to beat."