The project began earlier in 2021, as government restrictions on social mixing started easing, Richard Newell - food and beverage director at The Dorchester - contacted Nicky with an unusual idea.
“Initially, restaurants were only allowed to serve food outside. With the hotel’s rooftop unused, except as a private garden for some of the suites, Richard had the idea of opening it to allow them to serve food,” says Nicky. “He realised that live music with a warm, laidback vibe would be a way to enhance the dining experience, as well as introducing younger people and new music fans to what the hotel has to offer.”
Opening in April this year and continuing until late summer, every three weeks a new chef took over and The Dorchester Rooftop, as it’s called, had a different theme with different live music. With superb food, music and unrivalled views over London, four Yamaha DZR10 and two DZR12 powered loudspeakers, plus a pair of DXS15XLF subwoofers easily met the need for high quality, distributed sound, while coping with the challenges of wind and other outdoor factors. Performances were mixed on a TF-RACK rackmount mixer.
“We’ve worked with Yamaha on various projects, so they were the first people we called. We designed a sound reinforcement system and were more than happy for it to be all Yamaha equipment, because one of the things we really like is its consistency,” says Nicky.
“You can make live music as big or as small as you like and Yamaha’s consistency and reliability lets us make it as good as it can be. You want the same audio experience, no matter where you are in a venue. With Yamaha we can achieve that and also have remarkable uniformity across multiple venues.”
As well as Yamaha mixing and sound reinforcement in all its venues, Molto Music provides Yamaha instruments for the performers. For The Dorchester Rooftop, these comprised a CP88 stage piano, Stage Custom Hip 20 drum kit and TRB-1005J five-string bass guitar.
“The idea is that they only need to bring their Oyster card and perhaps some beer money for after their performance,” smiles Nicky. “Everything else is provided.”
He continues, “It's been interesting to see how drummers and keyboard players already love Yamaha gear, but guitarists and bass players tend to be surprised when they try a Yamaha guitar. Some have initially insisted on bringing their own instrument, but are now asking us about buying Yamaha guitars and basses because they’ve played them and liked them. So, we are kind of converting people along the way.”