Set 20 miles south of Manchester city centre, in the grand surroundings of Capesthorne Hall, Hide & Seek Festival made its debut on the last day of August, with a music programme of underground house, techno, and disco. The festival featured Funktion-One sound on all four stages, including the latest outing for Vero VX. The sound was supplied by Leeds-based Audioserv, with support from the loudspeaker manufacturer.
Described as a boutique electronic music and arts festival, Hide & Seek took place in the magical ‘Mill Wood’ area of the historic estate, amongst three lakes and stunning gardens. Manchester’s You&Me organised the festival and curated the line-up, with MODU:LAR, Set One Twenty, Animal Crossing, Pooku, Augmented, iQ, Tranquil and Mango Club all involved. There were DJ and live performances from a range of acts, including Dan Shake, Francesco del Garda, Ingi Visions, Jamie 3:26 and Jeremy Underground, Josh Baker, Margaret Dygas, Mathew Jonson, Nicolas Lutz, Praslea, and Spokenn + Voigtmann.
Festival co-organiser, You&Me’s Kurt Hurst, explained: “Hide & Seek’s ethos is the feeling of being hidden away in a secluded setting in nature whilst seeking visual and musical experiences which you have never witnessed before.”
Audioserv directors, husband and wife team Pete Rollinson and Marianne Springham, headed up the sound crew, which featured eight members for build days, scaling to four tech crew for the event day. Funktion-One’s Tony and Ann Andrews were also onsite for build-up, lending a hand generally, while taking a particular interest in the deployment of Vero VX.
Springham said: “Pete has met Tony and Ann a few times and spoken with them previously, but we have never worked with them onsite before. They were both charming and friendly and were very much part of our team.
“Tony got stuck in, making up speaker cables and took a lead with the setup of Vero VX, working closely with our crew. It was great to have him involved. It was also great to have Ann there. They are such a good team and have similar professional relationship as Pete and I, so it was really useful to get insight into how that works.”
Vero VX’s deployment on the Contour Stage comprised left and right stacks of four VX90s, which took only 30 minutes to set up, together with four F124 24in bass enclosures. Power was supplied by Funktion-One D-Series amps and a Midas Venice 320 was used at FOH.
Rollinson commented: “To have the new Vero VX showcased at Hide & Seek was brilliant. It was absolutely outstanding. In sound checks, we had issues with high frequencies bouncing off the trees at the back of the field. By making a couple of minimal adjustments to the vertical array angle, with its accurate coverage pattern, the issue totally disappeared, leaving even coverage across the audience areas.
“We have been running the F124 subs this season and they just keep on giving. Immense low end and fast tight bass that you wouldn’t expect from such a huge driver. Just four subs for an area that could hold at least 2,000 people is incredible.”
Tony Andrews added: “We’ve had Vero VX on a number of festivals and shows over the summer, so we’re discovering exactly what it’s capable of. One of the most surprising things is how effective it is with only four cabinets per side. We’ve been doing up to 5,000 people with that setup, with power coming from only two amps.
“We’re running it flat with no EQ. It behaves completely naturally and delivers a very engaging audio presentation, which is testament to our R&D process.”
Stretch Disco Tent was home to four Resolution 5Ts and four F221s and a Yamaha LS9 console, while the Dome Tent system had four Resolution 4Es and four F121s. Ten Trees Stage featured four Evo 7Ts with four F124s but lost its desk due to the torrential weather conditions – the engineer had to make all control adjustments from the main system processor (XTA X04). All three systems were powered by MC2 E Series amps.
Rollinson said: “The Evo 7 tops really do exactly what they are given and because of the area where we used them, their dispersion pattern meant that the crowd was covered, with absolutely no spill from them to other areas.”
DJ kit included an Allen & Heath Xone:92 mixer on each stage, with an E&S DJR400,
Play Differently Model One, and Rane MP 2016 with XP2016 also on hand to meet specific tech rider requirements.
Discussing the sound across the site, Kurt Hurst said: “The systems on every stage could not have been better. We have had so many people commenting on the audio – it’s probably the biggest positive we’ve heard in terms of feedback from the festival. It was fantastic to have the new Vero VX on The Contour stage – that system is just something else.”
Following a successful collaboration at Hide & Seek, Audioserv is looking forward to future projects and developing its partnership with Funktion-One. Springham said: “Most of our touring systems are Funktion-One, we completely believe in this brand and they have been really supportive of our company over the years. We can guarantee stunning audio from these systems every time whatever the event is.
“Next year, we’ll have Vero VX in our hire stock. We know this is amazing for live bands and can’t wait to do some live festival shows with it.”