From Fervour to Ferocity, L-Acoustics Brings Supercharged FANGIRLS to New Audio Heights


FANGIRLS played to full capacity audiences at Adelaide Events and Exhibition Centre’s Ridley Pavilion as part of the Adelaide Festival, with L-Acoustics ARCS and X Series delivering both sonic punch and clarity. Photo credit: Brett Boardman


A and X Series deliver punch and clarity for award-winning Australian musical

Adelaide, Australia – May 2021 – Written by Australian playwright, screenwriter, and composer Yve Blake, FANGIRLS is a co-production with Belvoir, Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival, in association with Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). It is the joyous chronicle of 14-year-old Edna, a diehard fan of the world’s biggest boy band, True Direction. It examines the way that the world talks about fan girls, the way it looks at young female enthusiasm and in turn, how that shapes the way girls look at themselves. Currently touring Australia, the multi award-winning musical recently played to full capacity audiences at Adelaide Events and Exhibition Centre’s Ridley Pavilion, as part of the Adelaide Festival. To deliver all the punch and clarity music producer and sound designer David Muratore and sound designer Michael Waters had envisioned, Novatech supplied an L-Acoustics system for the festival dates.

Whilst FANGIRLS’ creators Blake and Muratore, had spent five years developing the production with musical director and vocal arranger Alice Chance and dramaturg Jonathan Ware, the team had never staged a show before. Needing someone who had a theatre design background to guide them through the process, they turned to Waters for his expertise in theatre sound design.

The show’s cast is small, with between seven and nine actors, depending on the version being staged, and almost all the music is pre-recorded except for a MIDI keyboard played in the middle of the show as the only live component. Waters was charged with bringing the pre-recorded music to life. He suggested to Muratore that a substantial proportion of the show should be in surround sound to break up the musical components and give it some 3D texture. “Having done smaller shows before, I know there’s always some disparity between the vocal and the backing track,” says Waters. “What you really want is for the audience to believe there’s a band there, so part of what I wanted to bring was cohesion between cast and music.”


Photo credit: Brett Boardman


Novatech is a long-standing partner of the Adelaide Festival, supporting its premier events every year. The Novatech team understands the challenges presented by Ridley Pavilion, which require a unique rigging design that will work within limited weight capacities. Novatech’s James Sacca, who worked alongside project manager Nell Kirsten on the project, suggested a combination of L-Acoustics ARCS and X Series to provide the coverage and sonic quality required within the restrictions of the weight limits of the venue. “Alongside my freelance work, I have a full-time job with JPJ Audio which has a large inventory of L-Acoustics. I’m a huge fan of L-Acoustics and of ARCS in particular, which delivers full range sound and a good healthy bottom end. Its coplanar horn just throws and is so brilliantly voiced,” says Waters. “We’d been using in-house systems earlier in the tour, and when the show spent a month at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney I augmented the system there with some L-Acoustics 112P to get the results I wanted. Later, when Novatech suggested we change to an all L-Acoustics system for the Adelaide shows, I was delighted.”

Waters’ final design comprised 12 L-Acoustics ARCS Wide as main left and right system, with four cabinets per side and an additional two for the seating banks and four SB28 subs, two under each seating bank, supplied low end. A further two ARCS Wide provided fill, whilst 14 X8 were used for surround with six X4i for frontfill and a further six for foldback. Four 112P were used as over stage FX speakers. The entire system was driven with LA8 amplified controller.


Photo credit: Brett Boardman


“One of the big advantages I find with the system is that I know where the dispersion cut offs are going to be for the cabinets. That’s hugely important and meant that once I’d produced the design in Soundvision, all I needed to do was email my Soundvision file to Novatech and I was confident the result would be perfect before I even arrived at the venue,” explains Waters.

“We’re really happy with the final results,” concludes Sacca. “The sound design was something truly special and brought the story about the power of young women to life. The client and patrons alike were incredibly impressed with the final presentation of this uproarious show, which received rave reviews.”

The Guardian’s recent review, one of many glowing write-ups, backs up Sacca’s assertion: “When you’re in the FANGIRLS experience, everything comes together to giddy winks and electric feelings. After months of darkened stages, after the loss of casual crush-laced conversations, stadium concerts, and the opportunity to raise your phones with torches on and sing along to a song, FANGIRLS recreates these moments and reminds us why they matter.”

The FANGIRLS tour wraps on May 9th 2021.


L-Acoustics ARCS and X Series provided the coverage and sonic quality required within the restrictions of the weight limits of the venue. Photo credit: NCET



L-Acoustics X4i were used for both frontfill and foldback. Photo credit: NCET


About L-Acoustics

Founded in 1984 near Paris, France, L-Acoustics is the market leader in professional sound reinforcement technologies. With over 550 team members worldwide and offices in Paris, London, Singapore, Los Angeles, and New York, L-Acoustics is present in over 80 countries via our network of Certified Providers. Focused on solutions that elevate the audience experience, more than 20% of L-Acoustics’ talent is devoted to R&D in the areas of acoustics, applications, mechanics, electronics, signal processing, and software development. In recognition of creating innovative professional sound technology, L-Acoustics was named as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2020.

Recognized for pioneering the line source array, L-Acoustics continues to shape the future of the professional audio industry with L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology, a multidimensional, object-based approach to designing, mixing, and processing sound that results in extremely natural and intelligible audio, and a more vibrant, authentic connection between artists and their fans. Now also available for exceptional private sound spaces with L-Acoustics Creations designs.

L-Acoustics technologies can be heard in places like the Hollywood Bowl, Dickies Arena, Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich, or the Philharmonie de Paris, as well as the world’s top-grossing festivals, and on tour with world-class artists such as Mark Knopfler, Aerosmith, and P!NK.