The D’Aguilar Pub
A popular rural Queensland pub embraces the very old and the very new to give its customers the best of both worlds.
Story:/ Graeme Hague
The D’Aguilar Pub is one of those delightful, old Queensland institutions that continues to be a place to go, despite the modern we’ve-got-everything-close-to-home thinking. It’s a drinking hole full of character and history – not to mention cold beer and great food – and a popular destination for day-trippers from the city and travellers heading into the Great Outdoors. Located about 20 minutes from the Sunshine Coast and 45 minutes from the Brisbane Airport, it doesn’t exactly require a Burke and Wills-stye expedition to reach it (who, by the way, set on their ill-fated trip roughly 30 years after the pub was likely first established in 1821). Still, it’s a testament to the venue’s popularity that thousands of punters every year frequently make the pilgrimage to ‘The Dag Pub.’
The Dag Pub has seen many incarnations over those 200-odd years, including in 1911 being completely dismantled and shifted from the foot of the D’Aguilar Ranges uphill to its present location to be closer to a new railroad.
So it’s safe to say the pub is a venue not unfamiliar with keeping the place relevant to current expectations, recognising market trends, and providing everything the customers need. Even if it means loading the whole joint on the back of a horse and cart and shifting somewhere else. Of course, nothing quite so radical is on the to-do list today. But the venue still likes to stay ahead of the curve.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
That rich history and rustic appeal is very important to the hotel’s identity. At the same time, the venue understands it has to offer the best of both words – meaning 21st century facilities – to cater for everyone. As such, the front of the D’Aguilar and much of the building interior is still the original structure and is filled with memorabilia and old-world charm. Out the back, however, is a space dedicated to sports broadcasts, exhibitions and events, and live music. It can host up to 350 people for a music concert, and 120 seated for weddings, conferences… you name it. That requires plenty of sound, lighting and AV equipment, and the pub’s management is well aware that maintaining the technical side of things at a cutting edge is vital to the venue’s success. Recently, a bank
of four new, large televisions was planned for the entertainment space. That’s when Darren Frankling from Electrica had the opportunity to suggest a more efficient and certainly more impressive solution.
Not that Darren was just idly walking past the hotel and noticed a bunch of TVs on the footpath. Darren and Electrica have had a long association the D’Aguilar Pub (and other Star Hotel venues) stretching back 18 years, beginning with security systems, before branching into AV designs and integrations. Immediately, he could envisage that the coverage hoped for with those new televisions would be far better achieved with a Lampro (by Unilumin) LED screen and accompanying audio system.
“That was the hardest bit,” says Darren. “Explaining to the venue exactly how it would all look, how much better by far it could all work, and of course justifying the extra budget. Not surprisingly, when it was all finished, they were blown away by the Lampro LED screen.”
Plainly, Darren knows his stuff, and the hotel gave him the green light. Teaming up with long-time colleague Brendon McDonald from NAS, Electrica designed a system that delivered well beyond what the Dag Pub originally imagined could be done.
At the centre is a Lampro LED screen measuring 3.5m x 2m with a 2.5mm pixel pitch. A quad splitter allows the screen to multi- function when it’s needed. Audio is distributed throughout the space with 12 inDESIGN ID- BGM6 outdoor speakers powered by a pair of inDESIGN four-channel BA4120 amplifiers and a single inDESIGN BA2240 two-channel amp.
Signal routing and core zoning is handled by two inDESIGN ZM824 mixers.
A Parallel Audio Performer-100 wireless microphone system ensures the venue is event-ready. The HH6100 handheld transmitter charges on the HC-2 docking station so no one’s yelling “where can I find a couple of AA batteries?” at the wrong moment.
DOWNHILL FROM HERE
The Dag Hotel installation is a great example of the expertise of integrators like Darren Frankling and Electrica, and the full support of NAS through Brendon McDonald, coming together to provide an outstanding result. It’s not the first time, as Darren explains, “Brendon is amazing with his advice and help, and he’s been doing that with us for 12 years. The catalogue of NAS products has everything you need, and the NAS crew are ready to help out at a moment’s notice.”
The D’Aguilar Hotel has set itself for another 200 years of selling cold beer, and installing solid, reliable equipment is a big part of that. The pub will obviously have its doors open for some time to come.
Unless they decide to move it back down the hill.