GrandWest lets the music play with L-Acoustics

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The Grand Arena main system comprises L-Acoustics K2, Kara II out-fill and K1-SB subs with Kiva II for front-fill. Ground-stacked KS28 subs deliver low end, with X12 for stage monitoring.


DWR Distribution supplies K Series sound system to the largest entertainment destination of its kind in Cape Town


Cape Town, South Africa – January 2022 – Just a short drive from Cape Town’s vibrant business and commercial centre, GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World is a complex like no other. Featuring the only casino in South Africa’s second most populous city, GrandWest is home to various dining establishments, an ice rink and the renowned Grand Arena – a 5,000 capacity multi-purpose venue that has played host to world famous acts such as Bryan Adams, Sting, James Blunt, Rammstein and Kylie Minogue. In 2020, the venue underwent a complete refit of its PA system, with L-Acoustics K Series chosen for its ability to fulfill international touring riders and deliver the highest quality audio for many years to come.


“Our previous PA system was installed when the venue was built in 2007 and had served us well for almost 14 years. It had allowed us to establish the Grand Arena as the go to destination for well-known local and international artists and bands, corporate events, launches, conferences and spectacular banquets,” says Dave Lombard, Events and Entertainment Manager at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World. “As the previous system was coming to the end of its lifespan, we started planning for a new PA, a process that took about three years before we were able to push the button.”

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In 2017, Johannesburg-based DWR Distribution launched a countrywide roadshow which created a great deal of excitement and was instrumental in kick-starting the process of upgrading the Grand Arena. The following year, DWR became L-Acoustics’ Certified Provider Distributor for South Africa and, with the loudspeaker brand already on the list of preferred upgrade options, conversations with the Grand Arena team amplified, moving the project further along.


“The brief from the client was very specific; the system had to be of the highest quality, extremely rider-friendly and have a lifespan of at least 10 to 15 years,” says Duncan Riley, Director at DWR. “But the specifics of the design were left to us, so our Brand Manager, Richard Smith, started work on a system design with the help of Julien Laval, Application Project Manager and Consultant Liaison at L-Acoustics. From start to finish, the whole project was a great team effort.”

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System processing is via two L-Acoustics P1 processors.


The layout of the Grand Arena and the type of shows it hosts dictated the general direction of the system design. “For the most part, it will be used in a concert configuration as a typical stereo system with complimentary side fills, front fills and subs,” explains Riley. “But an important additional criterion was that the system could be broken up and flown in the round for certain sporting events, like Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and boxing.”


The initial brief evolved over the years, with the Arena benefitting from new products, such as Kara II, which were released close to the time of closing the deal. The final configuration comprises left right hangs of 12 K2 and two Kara II, plus two K1-SB subs. Six Kara II per side are deployed as out-fill, with a further centre hang of four Kara II. Front-fill is delivered by eight Kiva II. Solid low-end reinforcement is achieved with six ground-stacked KS28 subs per side and 12 X12 are included for stage monitoring. System processing is via two P1 processors, with four LS10 switches providing the highest quality Milan-AVB signal distribution to the LA12X and LA4X amplified controllers powering the system. Two DiGiCo Quantum 338 consoles with two SD-Racks fitted with 32-Bit cards handle mixing duties.

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Close up of the L-Acoustics K2 and Kara II main hang.


The installation took just five days to complete, including basic operational training for

Grand Arena’s in-house team, with Johnny Scholtz acting as DWR’s overall project manager and client liaison for the project; Kyle Robson handling console installation; Chris Pugh taking care of the L-Acoustics system preparation, installation, and tuning; and Andrew Pettit assisting with installation and acting as DWR Cape Town contact for technical assistance. Venue staff were also on hand to help where necessary.


“From a technical point of view, it all went very smoothly,” says Riley. “Covid-19 proved a big challenge in terms of timelines and logistics, but we still managed to get everything in place and set up in under a week.”


Lombard echoes Riley’s thoughts. “We were very happy with the installation and how DWR handled the entire process,” he says. “They are a fantastic team, are extremely knowledgeable in their fields, and they spare no effort to ensure the project’s success.”

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Close up of the L-Acoustics Kiva II front-fill.


The Grand Arena’s first show with its new system, and in fact its first show since the halt on large-scale events just over 18 months ago, was the Miss South Africa Pageant on 16th October 2021, which played to a limited capacity audience.


“I can’t believe that an entire year has passed since we last hosted a show. It was slightly surreal, but fantastic to be back to doing what we love,” concludes Lombard. “We have always been known to offer only the best when it comes to music venues, and our new L-Acoustics system means we’re now even better. After more than 18 months of ‘no shows’ we are beyond excited to open our newly upgraded Grand Arena and let the music play again!”

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GrandWest’s Grand Arena features an L-Acoustics K Series system to fulfill international touring riders and deliver the highest quality audio.


About L-Acoustics

L-Acoustics is renowned for developing innovative sound systems and technologies that elevate the listening experience. Founded in France in 1984, L-Acoustics currently employs 500 team members worldwide, with headquarters in Paris, London, Los Angeles, and Singapore. Recognized for pioneering the line source array, L-Acoustics continues to shape the future of sound with solutions such as L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology offering multi-dimensional audio. In recognition of introducing ground-breaking creative technologies, L-Acoustics was named one of Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies of 2020.


L-Acoustics sound systems can be heard around the globe in venues like the Hollywood Bowl and the Philharmonie de Paris, at the world’s top-grossing festivals such as Coachella and Tomorrowland, and on tour with world-class artists such as Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, and Jacky Cheung.