The May, 2012 issue of Pro Sound News features our coverage of the recent Coachella festival in Indio, CA, but here’s even more insight and gear info.
Indio, CA—The first Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in October 1999 was a two-day affair that attracted approximately 25,000 attendees to the Empire Polo Club grounds in Indio, CA. The event has since grown by leaps and bounds, selling out all 50,000 tickets on each of the two days for the first time in 2004, then expanding to three days in 2007 and selling all 180,000 of that year’s tickets in a record 10 days. Apart from one hiccup, skipping a year in 2000 as the result of a rumored significant loss from the previous year’s event, Coachella has continued to go from strength to strength.
This year, L.A.-based festival promoter Goldenvoice, which was acquired by AEG Live in 2001, tried something new to accommodate music fans, scheduling identical three-day lineups on two consecutive weekends. The result was a new attendance record—according to the Indio Police Department, an estimated 80,000 to 85,000 people were on site each day during the first weekend.
Coachella, perhaps the premier West Coast multi-day music festival, has now become a permanent fixture. In March 2012, Goldenvoice—which also promotes the country music Stagecoach Festival at the location on the weekend following Coachella—announced that it had purchased 290 acres of land at the site, including the areas used for camping and parking.
Rat Sound, which has provided sound production at Coachella for many years, has been working with L-Acoustics at the festival since 2001, making the transition from V-Dosc to K1 on the main stage three years ago. This year’s festival included several models of L-Acoustics boxes, as well as Rat Sound’s proprietary cabinet designs:
Speaker System Details
Main L/R arrays (all L-Acoustics), per side (top to bottom): 8 K1-SB, 12 K1, 3 KARA
House left side array: 12 L-Acoustics Kudo50°
House right side array: 9 Kudo50° (the asymmetry is to minimize spill onto the adjoining Outdoor Theatre stage)
Front fills: 6 L-Acoustics ARCSII
Delays: 9 towers each of 6 L-Acoustics V-Dosc
Main L/R arrays, per side (top to bottom): 8 K1, 3 L-Acoustics dV-Dosc
Front fills: ArcsII
Delays: 6 towers each of 6 V-Dosc
Main arrays, per side: 8 K1, 12 Rat Subs
Surrounds (8 total), each: 4 V-Dosc, 4 Rat Subs
Mains, per side: 9 Kudo, 8 Rat subs
Mains, per side: 8 V-Dosc, 6 L-Acoustics SB28
Front fill: 3 dV-Dosc
Delays, per side: 6 dV-Dosc
Amplifiers on all stages: mix of L-Acoustics LA8 and LA48a, with Crest for Rat subs in the Gobi tent.