Movement Festival moves the bar by which all Electronic Music Events are measured with the help of Thunder Audio and L-Acoustics
Detroit, Michigan - September 2016 -- Since 2000, Detroit has hosted the who’s who of electronic music artists each Memorial Day at Detroit’s Hart Plaza. Tens of thousands of fans from all over the world come to hear a world-class gathering of electronic artists and DJs in the birthplace of techno. Production company Paxahau took the festival over in 2006 and named it Movement, and for nine of those 10 years, they have enlisted system provider Thunder Audio Inc. to make Movement the sonic yardstick by which electronic events and festivals are measured worldwide. This year, L-Acoustics was used on the main stage to bring German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk’s 3-D show to some of the world’s most discerning ears.
Paxahau Production Manager Michael Fotias says that Movement has come a long way over the decade that Paxahau and Thunder Audio have worked together to bring Movement’s six stages to life. “What we put onstage in terms of gear is first for the solution,” says Fotias. “We look at artists’ specific needs and try to deliver above-industry standards for them, and we try to improve every year.” Thunder Audio’s focus on quality production has “been a key factor” in this endeavor, he says.
After confirming headliner Kraftwerk, who they’d hoped to have at Movement for years, Paxahau knew that bringing in L-Acoustics was a necessity in order to deliver on these lofty standards. “Hart Plaza is a very unique and oblique venue,” says Thunder Audio Systems Tech Nick Aghababian. “The main bowl is cement, and tends to be quite bouncy and a challenge sonically, and we suggested to Kraftwerk’s production manager that the L-Acoustics system was the best way to deliver high SPL clarity for people from the front row all the way to the top of the bowl.” Aghababian notes that L-Acoustics software made a real difference when it came to measuring Hart Plaza’s unique layout. “All tweaking and adjustments can be done virtually, so we get the sound exactly where we need it,” he says.
The sonic quality of Kraftwerk’s 90-minute performance was not lost on the savvy Detroit audience. “The Movement audience is a discerning one,” Says Paxahau Director of Operations Sam Fotias. “Even with the penetration of electronic music into today’s society, there is still somewhat of a stigma when it comes to whether this genre is ‘real’ music. But the music is made with tech items, and enjoyed primarily by a tech crowd – so they have very exacting standards.” Yearly patrons emailed and sought Fotias out after this year’s Kraftwerk performance. “They were all asking about and complementing the sound system,” says Fotias. “It was so astonishingly clear that when it was all the way up at 11, you didn’t really have a sense of how loud it was – no ear fatigue at all. We’ve used a myriad of other rigs, and the L-Acoustics system was almost crazy in its clarity.”
“Movement patrons want their faces crushed,” laughs Aghababian. “The L-Acoustics system stayed so clear at the SPL levels that we require, while still giving that raw feel that everyone expects at Movement. We had the system at only about 60%, and it absolutely delivered.”
—article by Kathy Vargo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and printed courtesty of Thunder Audio Inc.