L-Acoustics, founded in 1984, is an innovative sound systems and technologies, known for their L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology and L-Acoustics Creations, which offer concert-grade sound systems and immersive environments worldwide.
Each August, Montréal’s picturesque Parc Jean-Drapeau, which spans two islands on the St. Lawrence River, draws a sea of spectators to three of the city’s biggest music festivals, all produced and promoted by evenko.
This year, the 16th-annual OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival (Aug 4-6) broke a record for attendance with a weekend crowd of 155,000 who came to see and hear artists like Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, and Rüfüs Du Sol. The ninth-annual îLESONIQ (Aug 12-13), Canada’s largest electronic dance and urban contemporary festival, surpassed that number, drawing 65,000 over just two days, while a week later, the second-annual LASSO Montréal (Aug 18-19), headlined by country music stars Chris Stapleton and Kane Brown, doubled attendance to 50,000 over its inaugural year. Although the genres for these three weekends differed significantly—ranging from pop to EDM to country—the sound reinforcement solution remained essentially the same: L-Acoustics K1/K2 systems deployed by local Certified Provider Solotech.
Solotech was able to engineer economic and operational efficiency using the same system design foundation for all three events, with adjustments for changes in staging as needed. The main stage setup for this year’s three major evenko festivals featured two Stageline SAM750 stages positioned adjacent to each other and used a LRLR audio configuration. Each audio hang comprised eight L-Acoustics K1 loudspeakers with six K2 downs. Behind each hang were eight K1-SB subwoofers acting as low-frequency extensions, supported by 48 KS28 subs deployed on the ground in a cardioid configuration. Front-fills consisted of ARCS II and ARCS Focus speakers and eight delay towers, each featuring arrays of eight K2. To keep the low end consistent, the second ring was comprised of three KS28 subs. LA12X amplified controllers running over Milan AVB provided amplification.
Adjustments were needed to accommodate the stage design for each festival: the featured performances at OSHEAGA and LASSO Montréal alternated between the two main stages throughout each day, with almost no delay between acts, recalls Alexandre Bibeau, Solotech’s Technical Project Manager for all three events. For îLESONIQ, the creative department added a platform between the two stages to create a central space for the artists to perform.
“îLESONIQ’s Coca-Cola NEON stage comprised an in-the-round design that consisted of a left-right PA with four delay towers, using six K2 and two KS28 per tower,” he says. “Two of the towers were placed mid-field, and the other two were placed at the far end of the field, all pointing towards the center. The tuning process is complex, but the result is an excellent audio experience, initially designed by Étienne’s Lapré, and which we have been implementing for three straight years at these festivals.”
As at any urban-area music festival, noise abatement is necessary, and Bibeau says the L-Acoustics toolkit had what they needed to stay compliant. “The festival site is located on an island very close to Montréal’s city center, and sound dispersion is something our team focuses on each year,” he explains. “Having advanced tools like Soundvision and LA Network Manager to ensure that the coverage is not only exact but stays completely onsite is essential to the success of the festivals.”
The sheer number of performers and fans at these shows in a single month can put an extraordinary load on gear and people. Solotech’s personnel pride themselves on keeping the music pumping without missing a beat, even during an unseasonably hot Canadian summer, which had days over 106°F (41°C) this August. That made equipment choices even more critical than usual.
“We have an amazing team here at Solotech, and everybody left feeling quite proud of what we accomplished at Parc Jean-Drapeau this year,” says Bibeau. “L-Acoustics was an easy choice and a huge part of that success. They’re a valued Solotech partner who offer us world-class systems and great support.”
The wide diversity of music genres added its own challenges, but the fidelity of the L-Acoustics systems easily accommodated the whole gamut—from the thumping bass of EDM to the crisp speech intelligibility required for country music songs. Solotech Project Manager Pierre Du Berger adds, “My team is extremely confident in the L-Acoustics products we source for these evenko music festivals. This project requires us to design and deploy systems for three very different styles of music: a wide variety at OSHEAGA, electronic music at îLESONIQ, and country music at LASSO Montréal. By choosing L-Acoustics, especially the K1 and K2 loudspeakers for the main stages, our team knows that it can rely on their performance across the three weekends.”
Three major Montréal music festivals in three straight weekends was a challenging triple play, but having the right partner with Solotech and the right sound system from L-Acoustics made it easier for the tri-events’ producer. “It removes any apprehension or doubt about how the sound will be delivered to our audiences,” says Duncan Blair, evenko’s Senior Director of Production, Concerts and Events. “Clear sound, exceptional coverage, and technical reliability are all requirements we look for, and L-Acoustics’ systems deliver them every time. It also makes for easy advance work with touring audio techs when they see these systems on the festival production rider. Having L-Acoustics on our festival stages is a must.”