Following Manchester City Football Club’s triumph in the 2011 FA Cup, dbnAudile was contracted by event management agency and regular collaborator Ear to the Ground - at very short notice - to supply sound for The Blues’ homecoming to Etihad Stadium. The brief for the event was to provide sound for a full house of 48,000 fans, but with some major constraints that demanded a creative approach to the job in hand.

The primary constraint was time – production could only be loaded in on the morning of the event, only hours before the turnstiles would open. The other major constraint was sightlines – the focus of the event would be a low-level circular stage built over the centre spot, with every seat in the stadium requiring an open view of this.

With the use of PA masts being precluded by both the time and sightline constraints, dbnAudile came up with a ground-stacked d&b J-series system design comprising ten stacks of six J8 speakers arrayed around the pitch, with a further stack of three J-SUBs located behind each mid/hi stack. Behind these in turn, amplifier racks for each stack were located in hides constructed from Litedeck staging decks.

With commentary and interviews alongside performances by Blues fans Badly Drawn Boy and Kid British, and a fireworks finale accompanied by a suitably rousing soundtrack, the system design proved extremely effective in delivering highly intelligible sound to even the furthest seats, whilst causing no visual obstruction.