SOHO Beach Club opened its doors on 23 February in conjunction with the renowned Barcelona and more recently, Ibiza brand ‘elrow’ to a sold-out Dubai crowd. Featuring top world-class DJ ‘Luciano’ performing a special birthday set, the scene was set to be an absolute banger of a night.

Protec were happy to provide a full audio and lighting install as well as an SMD ground support for the opening event. Renowned for their colourful, over the top décor and special effects, as expected they had confetti canons working overtime, firing 6 times over the course of the night leaving the 5,000 revellers wading through heavy showers of colourful confetti and streamers along with a sea of whacky inflatables.

The new Meydan super-club boasts a club area 50m deep and 30m wide, with a large dance floor surrounded by raised VIP Decks as well as a pool area.

Dan Dignan, Protec’s senior audio engineer, described how he maximised the potential of the space.

“This was handled by 16 L-Acoustic’s K2 Loudspeakers, flown left and right in hangs of eight on Protec’s Ground Support in an asymmetric 90 degree throw to contain the sound within the venue. It covered the entire area with a smooth and consistent coverage front to back and was supported by a pair of Arc Wide to fill the front of the dance floor, hung high in the centre of the ground support. Eight SB28 Subwoofers took care of the low end delivering a strong Sub to the house and techno style music that Elrow is famous for.

“A large raised bridge overlooking the dance floor was covered effectively by 8 L-Acoustic 5xt loudspeakers. Although small and discreet, they did a great job of filling the top end clarity to the deck. The front of house system took care of the rest, but was trimmed to shoot below to not affect the other venues in close proximity.”

SOHO Beach Club’s brand new pool area to the rear of the venue opened in the afternoon to entertain sun-seeking early arrivals. Protec’s L-Acoustics Syva system was placed to the left and right of the area and was supported by a pair of L-Acoustic X8’s hung from the bridge to fill in the front of the pool. The slick appearance of the Syva, fitted in well with the high end Dubai vibe of the venue.

When asked about any challenges that were overcome Dan explained: “The two large VIP Decks left and right of the pool were a challenge. They both linked to the adjacent clubs “Soho Garden” and “Drai’s”. We were asked to effectively cover the area but minimize spill into the other venues. For this Protec hung its L-Acoustics Kara Loudspeakers on 9m towers and trimmed them in such a way as to reduce sound at a chosen crossover point between the other venues. This proved to be effective as all three clubs operated simultaneously with minimum disturbance between them.”

The system was controlled by a Digico SD11, with a D-rack at the stage end to distribute signal effectively over the venue. An Avalon SP747 tube compressor was inserted over the master to control the sound whilst adding the famous character the unit is renowned for. A total of 15 L-Acoustics LA8’s and 3 L-Acoustics LA4X amplified controllers were used to power the speakers, all talking to an L-Acoustics network manager to control the EQ and time alignment. Communications were taken care of by Protec’s Freespeak ii, allowing the 10 crew on comms to wirelessly communicate effectively over the entire venue. Production requested 42 radios and Protec supplied their extensive range of DP2400’s to cater for this.

“In all, the venue sounded great, all sound seemed to resonate from the stage and propagate throughout the venue seamlessly. A large amount of time was spent liaising with the venue and working on Soundvision, to develop an effective system for the new super club. I was extremely happy with the results and look forward to working with the venue again in the future,” Dan Dignan, senior sound engineer at Protec.

Elrow’s travelling roadshow has the reputation of being sensory and visual and Protec’s lighting department produced a colourful, immersive experience to compliment the costumed dancers, confetti and CO2 canons.

Designed by chief lighting designer at Protec, Aaron Russ, and operated by Daniel Ivanovski the show got rave reviews from the client, DJs and guests.

It was a one and a half day set up for all rigged fixtures and atmospheric effects.

Equipment used included 36 x Robe Pointe, 20 x Robe Spikie, 6 x Clay Paky mythos, 6 x Clay Paky k10 b-eye, 12 x Clay Paky show batten 100, 8 x SGM Q7, 2 x SGM p2, 2 GrandMA 2 full size, 2 x Luminex network switch, 2 x GrandMA 2 8 port node, 1 x Wysiwyg rack, 2 x FQ100 smoke machine, 2 x ATMe haze generator and 8 x American DJ UV Cob canons. In the DJ booth Protec supplied 4 x source 4 mini and 6 x SGM p5

According Ivanovski, “The design worked rather well and the robe pointes being the work horse of the show had more than enough punch to produce a very visible and powerful beam with good colours in a venue this size.”

Luckily, at this time of year the weather isn’t too hot, but protecting the lighting control gear from an ever moving sun was nonetheless a minor challenge for the lighting team particularly whilst trying to program the show. A standard challenge with outdoor events in Dubai, this was nothing new for Protec’s experienced crew.

Project manager Robert Handley recalled comments such as ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’, ‘insane’ and ‘stunning’ from the audience and both the promoter ‘elrow’ and the client, SOHO Beach Club were delighted with the energy, the fun, the music and the whole atmosphere of this epic party.

Overall, the show went super smoothly and there were lots of fist bumps and smiling faces from the production team as guests wandered out laden down with inflatables and props in very high spirits. “It was an incredibly fun show to do and everybody is already looking forward to the next instalment in Dubai and of course, working with the promoter ‘elrow’ and the client SOHO Beach Club again,” Handley concluded.

Photo Credit: Dubai Night