The City of Sturgis, South Dakota is preparing to deliver big sound for the 72nd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with extensions to its downtown PA system.
The expanded system, featuring nearly 50 Technomad audio loudspeakers, will deliver entertainment and public safety information to the expected crowd of nearly 700,000—and at a greater capacity than in previous years. Sturgis is one of the largest annual motorcycle rallies in the world, with the downtown streets swelling to more than 100 times the year-round local population each August. This year’s Rally will take place from August 6-12 and feature live performances from major touring acts including Zac Brown Band, Slash and Buckcherry.
The Technomad loudspeakers, which previously covered a four-block radius, now blanket the entire downtown area with intelligible voice and high-quality musical reproduction. Pete Torino, who specifies and installs PA systems, said he uses Technomad loudspeakers because of their weatherproof, MilSpec design and ability to project high-quality audio with broad dispersion over long distances.
Torino uses high-power Technomad Berlin and Noho models on downtown building rooftops, with 12 audio headends incorporating up to six loudspeakers apiece. Torino, who also operates local radio station KNKL-AM The Knuckle, will simulcast KNKL programming over the Technomads throughout the Rally, and use their output to broadcast important information to the large crowds.
“I’ve been the voice of the Rally for the past 12 years,” said Torino. “We work closely with the City Emergency Management team to communicate public safety information for weather and other events. They give me about five minutes’ notice to make an announcement over the Technomads before they blow the downtown sirens. This keeps the crowds calm since they understand the situation when the emergency team flips the switch.”
The downtown PA system has influenced Torino to install Technomad loudspeakers at other area businesses and locations. This includes two Berlins and four Nohos for the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club, which offers a flat track, half-mile motocross track and challenging hill climbs on 40 acres of ground.
Torino has also recently installed approximately two dozen Technomad Vernal loudspeakers in local convenience stores and restaurants, including the Elk Creek Steakhouse and Lounge in nearby Piedmont, South Dakota. The installations cover both indoor and outdoor areas, taking advantage of the Vernal’s compact design, powerful sound output and weatherproof construction.
“The Vernals come in both 8-ohm and 70-volt configurations, and are designed for businesses that have 70-volt systems already installed,” said Torino. “We replaced a lot of those 70-volt horns with Vernals. They provide much better sounding audio.”