Across Canada fans tuned in to witness the end of an era as music legends ‘the Tragically Hip’ played their last show. Their last concert to a sell out crowd in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario was broadcast nation wide and Calgary was tuned in to pay homage to the Canadian icons. ‘The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration’ was streamed throughout the city at varying venues and locales, including outside on Calgary’s iconic Stephen Avenue walk.
The Downtown Calgary Association deployed a projector system with a large screen, a PK Sound system and a viewing area that included seating and a large faux grass strip for those wanting the full experience of lying in the grass at an outdoor concert. Over 1000 ‘Hip’ fans gathered to enjoy the final performance, exceeding attendance expectations. The standing room only crowd packed Stephen Ave to experience the final show with mixed emotions as lead singer Gord Downie belted out his last heartfelt concert with the Tragically Hip.
Sound engineer Kevin "The Wizard" Charlton explains: “You could almost feel the emotion in the air when Gord would start to break down a bit and then many in the crowd would start to cry and feel it as well. It was a very cathartic experience with many people dancing happily one moment then swaying in tears the next.”
PK Sound implemented a system that included a main PA consisting of 2 CX800 dual 18” subwoofers per side with 2 CX215 multipurpose loudspeakers per side. A stereo delay system consisting of 6 Klarity 12 loudspeakers in pairs was deployed along the length of the narrow street allowing for even coverage.
“Setting up delays was extremely important since it was a long and narrow crowd—due to the family nature of the event I didn't want to have the main PA as loud as it would need to be to carry all the way to the end of the street. Using Klarity 12s for delays allowed me to have an even overall volume while maintaining my stereo presence from the main PA.” says Kevin.
The show brought people together from all walks of life under a common love for music and to pay tribute to the Hip. Recalling the vibe of the crowd, Kevin said “Seeing the less fortunate from downtown Calgary enjoying themselves alongside families, couples and people stopping by while just walking around spoke to me as something truly Canadian in spirit. People of all ages, races and situation united by music.”