Gabisom Delivers World-Class Sound at Rock in Rio 2011

Gabisom Audio Equipment provided a JBL VERTEC line array system for Rock in Rio 2011 in Brazil

The Rock In Rio festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in spectacular fashion: it was the world’s biggest music festival of the year, with almost 700,000 fans attending the week-long event. Rock In Rio 2011 took place in the City of Rock, a specially built venue on the site of where Olympic Village will be located for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Dozens of rock’s biggest names performed at Rock in Rio, including Guns N’ Roses, Shakira, Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Ke$ha, Metallica, Rihanna, Coldplay, Elton John, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and many other top artists.

The massive event required a sound system to match, which Gabisom Audio Equipment provided with a monumental assortment of HARMAN’s JBL VerTec® line arrays. The main stage PA system included no less than 120 VerTec VT4889 line array elements and 84 VT4880A fullsize arrayable subwoofers deployed in the main suspended arrays.

“In a festival as large as this, the system simply had to deliver, and there was no room for uncertainty or underperformance,” noted Peter Racy, Chief Engineer of Brazil-based Gabisom Audio Equipment. “We had used the VT4889 and VT4880A line arrays at previous Rock In Rio shows and they can provide the expansive high-volume sound we need over this extremely large coverage area.”


“We wanted to make sure that the people at the front of the stage weren’t blown away by excessive volume, but that the people all the way in the back could still hear everything clearly,” said Racy. “The configuration we used enabled us to achieve this.”

Installing and operating this Goliath-sized rig was only part of Gabisom’s challenge. “The festival had very little time between acts, and Gabisom had to constantly change each artist’s complete stage setup including backline, stage props and monitor wedges,” stated Jaime Albors, Senior Director, Sales – Intercontinental for HARMAN Professional. “When Katy Perry finished on opening night, Elton John went on just 20 minutes later, with a completely different stage setup, and Gabisom pulled it off without a hitch.”

“I was extremely impressed by the SPL capability of the system,” Albors continued. “When you have 100,000 people clapping and screaming, they can literally be louder than the level of the PA, but this was not the case for this event. With 120 VT4889’s and 84 VT4880A’s, the system had enough power to be heard well above the crowd.”


“The most impressive attributes of the JBL VerTec line arrays are their effortless power and clarity,” said Racy. “This is because of their ability to deliver high output while maintaining smooth frequency response and high resolution without distortion. In addition, their predictable coverage pattern lets us optimize their placement in any outdoor – or indoor – concert sound installation.”