Les Dunes Electroniques

Familiar as Luke Skywalker’s hometown of Mos Espa in the original Star Wars trilogy, Ong Jmal in Nefta, Tunisia, is also an annual festival location – for the last three years, the area’s sand dunes and domed houses provide the backdrop to a 30-hour rave.

Les Dunes Electroniques, is organised by the team behind Plages Electroniques in the French Riviera, and has been touted as ‘the event to put Tunisia on the global festival map’ – this year featuring 30 artists including headliners Luciano and Apollonia, and others such as Astrid, Ben & Lola, Mehmet Aslan and Fantastic Twins.

Les Dunes ElectroniquesAfter running into a handful of audio-related issues in their first two outings, this year the production team brought in PAL Pro Audio Light as the festival’s technical partner/provider. As with any such high-profile, high-endurance festival, their only choice was Powersoft amplifier platforms.

‘According to the technical team, we were the only Tunisian company that was capable of doing this job,’ says PAL’s Najjar Nizar. ‘We provided everything for the two stages, from power distribution and generators to lighting, trussing and audio, as well as FOH equipment and monitors.’

The main and auxiliary stages at Les Dunes Electroniques were essentially the same configuration – the main line array for each was a Seeburg Galeo XT (customised by PAL) with Galeo XT subwoofers and TW Audio T24s and S30s and Clair 1.5 AMs as monitors. PAL used Powersoft’s ArmoníaPlus software during the pre-installation period to create a virtual project, meaning that the time calibrating both of the systems was kept to a minimum.

Les Dunes Electroniques‘We have been using Powersoft amplifier platforms for two years now without any issues whatsoever,’ Najjar Nizar reports.

‘For the main line array we chose X8s and X4s, while the subwoofers were driven by X4Ls and K10s. For monitors, we were able to make use of Powersoft’s new T604s, as well as the tried-and-tested X4s.’

As the festival grounds are located in the desert, 20km from the nearest town, there were a number of logistical challenges for the PAL crew. ‘The location was the biggest challenge for sure,’ Nizar says. ‘We had to be autonomous out there for long days at a time, and our team and the festival team were on site for a month to prepare for the installation.

Les Dunes Electroniques‘The environmental conditions were the biggest factor. We were exposed to the desert sun, high winds and dust all day, as well as having to protect the equipment from the very cold weather that fell overnight. To make the entire system run flawlessly in these conditions for 30 hours non-stop, was a massive achievement for the crew.’

Despite these challenges and the endurance required to host such an event, the crew from PAL were totally satisfied with the Powersoft products that they chose to get the job done. ‘Powersoft has supported us from the beginning with software updates and video tutorials,’ Nizar concludes.

‘The hardware’s quality construction and software’s ease-of-use are a powerful combination. This festival certainly was a challenge for us as technical partner – particularly when the audio system has to run for 30 hours straight in extreme conditions – but Powersoft amplifier platforms were the perfect choice to make life as easy as possible.’

More: www.powersoft.com

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