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Case Study / inside The Sound Design for The 2012 Coachella Festival
The Main Stage amidst the Coachella 2012 scene

Scott Sugden writes about the sound design for the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Designing a sound reinforcement system for a large-scale music festival is a complex process, with the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held this year in Indio, California, serving as an instructive case study.

Once again, the festival relied on Rat Sound Systems of Camarillo, California, to provide systems for all five stages. The L-shaped configuration of the stages, combined with the wide range of music styles performing at the festival, created a number of unique sound design challenges, including controlling sound bleed from one stage to another, tailored spatial coverage, and frequency control over extreme temperature ranges – in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the afternoon, and as much as a 50 degree temperature drop in the evening.

Rat Sound’s experience combined with L-ACOUSTICS line arrays and sound design tools proved a great match in overcoming these challenges to deliver quality concert audio to more than 650,000 who attended Coachella over two weekends, as well as the Stagecoach Country Music Festival on a third consecutive weekend.

Full case study available here (PDF): Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2012

Scott Sugden, Head of Applications, Touring, L-ACOUSTICS US