A message from L-Acoustics to our live sound family.
2020 was the year the world went silent. Beyond the tragic loss of lives in the pandemic, our live events industry faced a disaster of a magnitude unseen in modern times. L-Acoustics was not spared.
We had to pull together to reimagine, create, and diversify while protecting our workforce and partners as much as possible.
2020 was not the year we planned for, of course. It brutally and mercilessly broke an incredible 30-year run of uninterrupted growth for L-Acoustics. Like many others, we had to reorganize accordingly: a first in our company’s history and a particularly difficult decision for a group that prides itself on being a large family and putting the well-being of our employees at the forefront of our business principles. Nevertheless, the response of solidarity, courage, resilience, and creativity from our employees and partners was nothing short of remarkable.
At the start of the pandemic, our focus turned to our employees and their safety, implementing safety protocols in all our offices and connected remote work for 300 colleagues in a matter of days. Our teams then quickly stepped up by adapting to the digital world. We introduced free daily webinars to offer the live sound community new learning opportunities, hosted our first virtual global launch event for K3, and launched an eStore to bridge the physical distance and promote new select products as well as L-Acoustics merchandise to private end-users.
Through our partners’ dedication and creativity, our systems made their way from festival and theater stages into the world of socially distanced entertainment ranging from livestreaming studios to drive-in concerts and virtual crowd noise systems. Meanwhile, installation projects thankfully completed planned renovations through the pandemic down-time, although at a reduced rate, but increasingly focused on L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal designs and even winning accolades such as Sports Venue of the Year for Dodger Stadium.
The crisis was also an opportunity to expand our mission to elevate the listener experience.
L-Acoustics Creations offered to “bring the concert home” with dedicated residential sound system designs, raising the bar for how live sound can be experienced powerfully and creatively in private spaces. We pushed even further, developing new industry collaborations to “bring the concert with you” with Contour XO in-ear monitors, co-engineered with JH Audio to deliver the renowned L-Acoustics sonic signature on a personal scale, and supported by a diverse group of incredibly talented sound engineer ambassadors. Coupled with the beta release of our L-ISA immersive creative tools, Contour XO turned out to be the perfect platform for exploring binaural mixes at home and recreating the detailed and full-range live PA experience we all miss so much.
We remained steadfast in our commitment to innovation with installation market-focused releases of K3, M1, and Ai Series, and continued to pursue R&D of future product generations. We were encouraged, during this challenging time, to be recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies, and to receive several innovation awards including AV Awards' Control Technology of the Year for M1, and Sound & Video Contractor’s Innovative Products of the year for A Series and P1.
Throughout the year, the crisis and its impact fueled a desire to take action. Our employees, deeply touched by the pain endured by the out of work live events community, showed heart and started some initiatives: cycling for charities, reaching out to peers and elected officials, participating in industry meetings on safe operations, and organizing events. As a company, we worked to bring awareness to our industry’s plight, lighting our offices in red, supporting Crew Nation, Backup, #wemakeevents, and #saveliveeventsnow. Our industry - first in, last out - is in dire need of strong representation, and we can only hope the crisis will lead to sustained advocacy and organization with our peers in defense of live events.
Closer to us, we listened to our clients in need and amended our commercial terms in support of our Certified Provider network to help them restart faster in 2021. We also announced an extension of our product warranty by 12 months for all clients and end-users and decided to direct 100% of net profits generated on the L-Acoustics eStore in 2020 to charities which support our industry colleagues in need.
As live events slowly return – and we already see encouraging signs of new life for concerts in APAC – our recent endeavors to reimagine live and virtual events will continue to strengthen the fabric of services and solutions we provide to our pro sound community.
As a final note, we turn to our founder and President Dr. Christian Heil’s message for the live event community: "As a company, we always look forward, embracing our mission to shape the future of sound. Despite the hardship, the challenges of 2020 provided fertile ground for experimentation and exploration. We carry forward everything we have learned, including a heightened sense of gratitude for the intangibles that power our industry: the vital relationships, the spirit of resilience, humanity, and the resolve that the show must go on!"