L-Acoustics triumphs at Trifesta
Monday, 9 December 2019
joan-jettJoan Jett and the Blackhearts play the Bourbon & Beyond’s Oak Stage (photo: Steve Thrasher)
USA - Although Louisville residents have long associated the term ‘Triple Crown’ with Kentucky Derby thoroughbred horse racing at their own Churchill Downs, this year’s Trifesta may well pose a legitimate threat to that reigning royal trio title.
Produced by Los Angeles-based Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) - the concert promoter behind popular US music festivals like Sacramento’s Aftershock, Columbus’ Sonic Temple and Charlotte’s Epicenter - a Trifesta pass served as the golden ticket to get into three large Louisville music festivals held on consecutive weekends during September, each of which utilised an L-Acoustics K Series loudspeaker system deployed by Brown Note Productions (BNP) of Thornton, Colorado.
Staged at the Kentucky Expo Centre’s Highland Festival Grounds, the inaugural Hometown Rising festival packed in more than 70,000 country music fans over September 14 and 15 to hear from headliners Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban, among others. The following weekend, a crowd of more than 90,000 attended the three-day Bourbon & Beyond festival featuring performances from a wide variety of artists, including Foo Fighters, Robert Plant, and Zac Brown Band.
Anchoring the final weekend of the month was the three-day Louder Than Life, which brought out 128,000 hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts to headbang along with Guns N’ Roses, Slipknot, Disturbed, and many more.
According to BNP president Ryan Knutson, who, with the help of Soundvision, created the system design for Trifesta, each of the three weekend festivals featured two similar and adjacent stages.
The primary left and right main arrays for each stage - so four in total - were comprised of six L-Acoustics K1-SB low-frequency extension enclosures flown over 12 K1 full-range elements, with six K2 hung below for down-fill. Behind each of these 24-enclosure arrays was a hang of eight KS28 flown in a cardioid configuration to improve LF directivity. For added impact, two dozen more KS28 per stage were ground-stacked down below, topped by 16 Kara for front-fill, while 12 additional K2 were used as far out-fill arrays.
To further optimise coverage and control residential noise spill for the two larger festivals - Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life - Brown Note additionally deployed three delay towers, each flying eight K2. This brought the site’s total L-Acoustics enclosure count from 232 up to 256, all of which were collectively powered and processed by 95 LA12X amplified controllers housed in custom Brown Note touring racks.
“We designed the system based on the layouts that Les Targonski, DWP’s director of production and logistics, had provided us early on,” Knutson recalls. “Although the system for each of the three festivals was very similar, we still had to deal with slightly different layouts of stage thrusts, barricades, and so on.”
(Jim Evans)

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