Hard Rock Kota Kinabalu is located along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens on Kota Kinabalu’s famous waterfront area, a popular hangout for both locals and visitors. Around the cafe, you’ll find luxurious holiday resorts, a world-class marina, championship golf courses, and many more popular attractions.

Source: Hard Rock Cafe Official Website


Kota Kinabalu (KK) is located on the tropical island of Borneo and is the capital of the East Malaysian state of Sabah. Kota Kinabalu is known for its sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, virgin coral reefs and of course the iconic Mount Kinabalu. April this year saw another iconic space open…Hard Rock Cafe and Restaurant, along the waterfront area of Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens.

Hard Rock Cafe actually established itself in Kota Kinabalu in November 2012, when it opened its Rock Shop. The Rock Shop was a stand alone space, which was awaiting for the intended shopping centre behind it to open so that it can offer its full services. It took 3 years but the shopping centre was eventually completed and Hard Rock Cafe could finally open its restaurant in April this year.

The stand alone Rock Shop is now integrated within the Shopping Centre occupying the first floor, with the second floor featuring the restaurant that comes with an outdoor patio.

Locals and tourists are excited that the Hard Rock Cafe has finally opened its full fledged service with great food and music, which is embedded in the Hard Rock Cafe DNA, not forgetting the Rock Shop, which completes the experience for any guest. The location which faces the South China sea is also fast becoming the “in-place” to hang out at.

Helping to ensure that continued sensation of a fun-filled atmosphere are the sound and lighting systems that have been integrated into the venue by Kuala Lumpur based integrator, Systems Electronics & Engineering Sdn Bhd.

Sound reinforcement duties have been promptly handed over to EAW speakers. Their clarity, power and coverage are key reasons why Systems Electronics & Engineering went with them.

The band performance stage located on the second floor features 4 units of EAW MK2394i, 12” 2-way 600Watts Trapezoidal loudspeakers hung as Front Of House systems. These are complemented with 2 units of EAW SB180, 18” high power subwoofer systems. 4 units of Mackie SRM550 powered speakers handle the monitor duties. Speaker management for the FOH systems is handled by a EAW UX8800 unit.

Mixing duties are assigned to a a 48 channel Allen & Heath GLD112 digital mixing console which is complemented with a A&H AR2412 AudioRack and a A&H GLD-AR0804 expander AudioRack.

To the left of the stage is the DJ console facing the stage. The DJ works with 2 units of Pioneer CDJ-2000 CD turntables together with an Allen & Heath DB2 4 channel DJ Mixer and a Rane Serato SL4 DJ software for additional effects. 2 units of Mackie SRM350 active speakers act as monitor systems.

The rest of the venue feature a total of 57 units of EAW SMS 5 compact satellite speakers that are installed within the restaurant, the outdoor patio as well as the Rock Shop offering foreground music reinforcement (FGM). Six units of EAW SB150ZP subwoofers complement the FGM system within the restaurant.

All the passive speakers are powered by a range of Powersoft amplifiers. These include 1 unit of Powersoft Duecanali 3904 amplifi er for Front of House, 6 units of Powersoft M50Q amplifi ers for FGM, an additional Powersoft M30D for both FOH and FGM and a Powersoft M28Q for further FGM amplification.

DSP duties, other than for the Main FOH, are handed over to a Symetrix Radius 12×8 EX that incorporates a xOut 12 expander. Being Dante enabled, it allows for digital audio to be transmitted over the Ethernet making the overall system easy to install and configure.

One final aspect with regards to audio, is the iconic microphone seen in all the Hard Rock Cafes for staff to make announcements. You can’t miss them, as they are visually so cool. At HRC KK, the Shure 55SH Unidyne vocal microphone that comes with a customised base plate takes centre-stage.

Lighting mainly for the stage is provided by 6 units of ACME CW 150 LED ParCans, 4 units of ACME LED-MS 700PE Moving Head Spots ans 4 units of ACME CM200Z Wash. All fixtures are controlled via a Martin M-PC dongle Duo working with a laptop. The Hard Rock Cafe and Restaurant somehow feels that it truly belongs in Kota Kinabalu, complimenting the beaches and tropical rainforests.

Photo Credit: Hard Rock Cafe, Kota Kinabalu