Summerfest returns with JBL VTX live sound
Thursday, 8 September 2022
uline-warehouse-stageThe Uline Warehouse stage at Summerfest 2022 (photo: Jay Baumgardner for Clearwing Productions)
USA - To provide artists and audiences at Summerfest with immersive and impactful live sound, Clearwing once again enlisted JBL Professional VTX Series speakers for the job.
A long-time staple of the music festival season, Summerfest is a multi-week event that brings a wide variety of artists and fans to Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee every year. With hundreds of performances taking place across 12 stages, Summerfest is historically one of the most-attended festivals in the world and earned the title of ‘World's Largest Music Festival’ by Guinness World Records in 1999.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerfest returned for three consecutive weekends in June and July rather than 11 straight days like previous years, and featured Modest Mouse, 2 Chainz, Charli XCX, Dustin Lynch, among many others.
Despite this year’s schedule change, Summerfest’s stages still required high-quality sound that provided both impactful dynamics for artists and balanced coverage for audience members. To meet these requirements, Clearwing deployed JBL VTX A and V Series speakers - reliable choices for the past several years at Summerfest.
“Summerfest is a logistical marathon,” said Jeffrey Mayer, regional audio operations, Clearwing. “Each stage area is a unique footprint, and many have proximity concerns. They require a product line with resources that can fill in only the desired coverage gaps while segregating the space beyond. Luckily, the VTX Series does just that.
“Having a product that deploys and recovers as fast as VTX is extremely beneficial –the rigging is quick and intuitive, and is designed in a way that alleviates many potential errors. It is a well-built, well sounding, tour capable product line that is sure to make its way onto everybody's rider. The versatility and scalability allow us to maximize our inventory.”
An early adopter of the VTX A Series, Clearwing first implemented the speakers at Summerfest in 2017 and again the following year after the positive experience and reception. For this year’s Summerfest, Clearwing went from equipping only three stages with VTX A and V Series speakers to all eleven stages excluding the American Family Insurance Amphitheater.
In 2019, Clearwing upgraded its permanent production inventory with VTX A12 and A8 line array systems for use for a variety of events, including Summerfest. The A12 offers 90-degree coverage down to 250 Hz and a specially designed Radiation Boundary Integrator and JBL transducers, ensuring distortion-free bass, balanced mids and detailed highs for every audience member.
“We chose the VTX A12 for Summerfest due to the system’s ability to meet the many requirements the festival demands,” said Bryan Brunclik, vice president – production, Clearwing. “Flexibility, coverage and intelligibility are absolute necessities for a festival that hosts such a wide range of artists and engineers, and the A12 exceeds expectations in these areas.”

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