Texas Welcomes Suburbia Festival

Texas’ newest music festival, the Suburbia Music Festival, sought to bring a lineup of world-class musicians to the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. With three stages positioned within the 801-acre park, festival goers were able to enjoy an array of top musical acts including David Guetta, Alabama Shakes, J. Cole, Tegan and Sara, and more, all while soaking in that Texas sun.
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VER Tour Sound provided the staging and sound system for Suburbia’s Maeadow Stage, with featured performances by Third Eye Blind and David Guetta.
Plano, TX—Texas’ newest music festival, the Suburbia Music Festival, sought to bring a lineup of world-class musicians to the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. With three stages positioned within the 801-acre park, festival goers were able to enjoy an array of top musical acts including David Guetta, Alabama Shakes, J. Cole, Tegan and Sara, and more, all while soaking in that Texas sun.

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Suburbia’s main space, labeled the Meadow Stage to fit with the theme of the weekend, was supplied by Glendale, CA-based VER Tour Sound, which brought in a JBL VTX sound system for the two-day stand. The other two stages, labeled Prairie Stage and Cedar Room Stage, were supplied by audio company Crossroads Audio (Dallas, TX), and positioned far enough apart that the stages didn’t have to worry much about sound bleed, leaving each audio company to focus more on reinforcing the sound for such a diverse group of artists. “I would say there was at least a 15-minute walk between stages, maybe more,” said Jason Vrobel, special projects manager with VER Tour Sound. “Between the main stage and the second stage was a giant hill, so you couldn’t see the other stages.”

That hill also helped buffer the sound, allowing Vrobel and his crew to hone the sound design. This also handled noise abatement concerns on site, so the engineers didn’t need to worry too much about disturbing neighbors.

For the main PA on the Meadow Stage, VER supplied 15 JBL V25s flown, with another four V25s stacked on the stage and 32 S28 subs. Another half-dozen G28s were set up on the center of the stage, Vrobel said.

Avid Venue Profile desks were used for both FOH and monitors, making it easy for guest engineers to set up before a particular performance. “Usually, most engineers know
how to use it and have files for those consoles,” Vrobel said. “It allows them to walk into a festival and do a soft patch of their inputs and go for it. Avid’s pretty much the standard festival console nowadays.”

While the Sunday headliner, David Guetta, is labeled as an Electronic Dance Music artist (a genre that typically requires extra subwoofers to reinforce the lower frequencies of the music), Vrobel said they didn’t need to bring in much in the way of extra subs for the stage. “We used fairly standard equipment. The only extras we had were DJ fills for David Guetta—L-Acoustic dV-Dosc and dV subs,” Vrobel said. Besides Guetta’s EDM performance, Vrobel said the other artists didn’t make any specific gear requests, minus a few specific microphones. “It was pretty standard for everybody,” he said.

Alt-rock group American Authors performed an hour-long set on May 4 at the Suburbia Music Festival.
Each day of the Suburbia Music Festival kicked off just after 11 a.m., continuing into the evening, with the final acts wrapping up just before 11 p.m., with approximately six to eight acts playing on each stage. Throughout the two-day event, Vrobel said his main purpose was to coordinate everything for the VER engineers and guest engineers, to ensure the sound system was working and the transitions between each act went smoothly.

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“Before getting on stage, sometimes the artist or engineer will change things. One of the biggest things for me with festivals is making sure I get the correct information, so nothing gets changed on the day of the show,” Vrobel said. “Our job is to give the bands and engineers the best sound system we can, so they can have the best experience walking into a festival with a sound company. We want to make things as easy as possible,” he added.

VER’s resume also reinforces that the crews can provide a positive performance experience, with the company servicing about 20 festivals each year, including the Essence Music Festival, Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta, New Orleans’ VooDoo Music Festival, and the Life is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas. “We’ve done everything from pop to rock to EDM,” Vrobel confirmed.