The Forum invests in another 30 years of live music

Award winning small venue upgrades sound system with Reference and EMS Series

In operation since 1993, The Forum is an award-winning independent music venue situated in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Hosting an eclectic mix of genres, from rock and punk bands to singer-songwriters, hip-hop acts and everything in between, The Forum is a landmark venue for live music lovers from across Southeast. To mark 30 years of keeping the music well and truly alive, the venue recently upgraded its existing sound system, working closely with sound designer Dan Roncoroni and British loudspeaker manufacturer EM Acoustics.

“I became involved with The Forum around 18 months ago, through a project at the nearby Assembly Hall Theatre,” says Roncoroni. “Impressed with the results, the Assembly Hall recommended my services to The Forum, which eventually led to the system PA upgrade project.”

On hearing the existing system, which was largely as old as the venue itself, Roncoroni suggested an upgrade to the PA system. “We set up a demo of the EM Acoustics system at their factory to showcase the entire product line-up to The Forum team,” recalls Roncoroni. “They were impressed by the power and slim form factor of the boxes and decided to invest in a couple of EMS-81X’s as small front fills for the existing PA system before committing to a full EM system.”

In preparation for their 30th anniversary, the team were still looking to modernise their overall sound system and a full PA from EM Acoustics was the natural next step. EM Acoustics allowed the venue to borrow a demo system for a month, further solidifying The Forum’s plans to upgrade with a full solution from the British brand.

“I’ve had a long relationship with EM Acoustics,” continues Roncoroni. “Over the years, they’ve proven to be a reliable and high-performance option, but more recently EM has risen to the top of the list for me in terms of quality, value and customer support. Furthermore, their ethos aligns perfectly with The Forum’s values of minimal waste and efficiency, so I had no hesitation in recommending a Reference Series solution.”

R10 loudspeakers, with their slim form factor, play a crucial role in navigating the challenges presented by the venue’s unique space, which was once a public facilities building before being renovated. “The R10s are rigged horizontally against the ceiling, one unit per side, and provide generous headroom for the heavier rock and metal acts that play at The Forum,” says Roncoroni. “These are supplemented by EMS61s, which match the tonality of the R10s perfectly, plus EMS-81s as delays and an S-218 subwoofer, which is installed beneath the stage.”

“Opting for an EM system was an easy choice,” says James Wilson, Production Manager at The Forum. “The Reference Series combined with the S-218 sub is an incredibly powerful combination within a small footprint. The ease of rigging, lightweight design of the boxes and interchangeable waveguides made installation and tuning easy, something that we managed entirely in-house.”

Live music fans across the UK understand the importance of supporting small venues, like The Forum. Roncoroni and the in-house team praise EM Acoustics for their collaboration in helping this small venue deliver big performances. “The new system represents a huge step forward for The Forum in ensuring we can cater to the highest level of artists and events for a long time to come,” reflects Wilson. “The value and customer service from EM is second to none, and they have supported us every step of the way from initial consultation to installation.”

The value and customer service from EM is second to none, and they have supported us every step of the way from initial consultation to installation.
James Wilson,
The Forum