To provide this year’s commencement celebration at Vanderbilt University with reliable and versatile audio even in the face of inclement weather, CTS AVL, a Nashville-based live production and AVL integration company, deployed several rigs featuring JBL Professional VTX Series solutions.
Held in Spring 2023, Vanderbilt University celebrated the Class of 2023 with a wide array of events and smaller gatherings ahead of the main Commencement Ceremony. While the Undergraduate Commencement was scheduled to take place on the campus’ Alumni Lawn, poor weather conditions forced the ceremony to be moved to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena less than 24 hours before the event.
This change meant that the CTS team had to install an indoor audio rig on short notice after already assembling rigs for the Alumni and Commons Lawns. The JBL VTX Series speakers provided the team with the versatility, power and ease-of-use needed to smoothly transition the ceremony to its new venue.
“This was our third year in a row that we've done the graduation ceremonies for Vanderbilt,” said Mike Taylor, vice president at CTS AVL.
“We have typically done this in their football stadium and in their basketball gym, but both of those venues were not available this year because they're both under construction. So the university planned to host the ceremonies in Alumni Lawn and the Commons Lawn. And, well, weather happens – when the weather was coming down the pike as a potential problem for the day of the Undergrad Commencement, we started to functionally work on a plan a few days out, but the university did not want to make the call to move locations until the morning before.
“Sure enough, they made the call the day before at 10:00 AM. The graduation started at 8:00 AM the following day, so we had to basically put together a third system at Bridgestone Arena in 22 hours.”
For the main Commencement ceremony, both the audio rig for Bridgestone Arena and original rig at the Alumni Lawn primarily utilised JBL VTX V20 line array elements as the main PA, wing and delay speakers.
Built as a compact version of the industry standard V25, the VTX V20 features a high power density three-way system and horizontal coverage up to 105 degrees in a compact and lightweight enclosure. Additionally, like the rest of the VTX Series, the V20 utilises a specially designed suspension and rigging system for easy assembly and take-down—a particularly useful feature for the CTS team to meet the ceremony’s tight turnaround.