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Louisville Football Stadium Delivers High-Impact Game Experience with Meyer Sound LEO

Papa JohnsTo amplify the home-game atmosphere and bring the 55,000 fans closer to the on-field action, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at University of Louisville has chosen the most powerful loudspeaker technology available today—Meyer Sound’s LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system with the 1100-LFC low-frequency control element and SB-3F sound field synthesis loudspeakers. Selected for its sheer power and remarkable ability to project sonic clarity and impact over long distances, the system was chosen by recently retired, long-time stadium manager K.C. Scull after experiencing the impressive LEO system at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

“The performance of the new Meyer Sound system at Cardinal Stadium has been excellent,” reports Mike Dewees, head technician at Acoustical Audio Designs, the company contracted for operation and maintenance of the stadium systems. “There are no more complaints about not being able to understand the announcer. Now the music quality is very good throughout the bowl with consistent coverage in all seating areas, and the system has incredible headroom.”

Packed tightly into the north end scoreboard, the system features 24 LEO-M line array loudspeakers deployed in five arrays: two main arrays of eight each for the lower bowl plus two additional arrays of five and three LEO-M loudspeakers for the upper seats on the east side.

Eleven SB-3F loudspeakers throw crisp, mid-high-frequency sound to the far end seats and an upper deck terrace over 700 feet away. Eight 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements arranged in cardioid arrays supply low end, and two arrays of three-each MICA® line array loudspeakers provide additional coverage. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 AES and two Galileo 616 processors handles drive and optimization.

According to consultant Ron Baker, the power of LEO and SB-3F helped to solve a difficult packaging problem. “Everything had to be squeezed into the same scoreboard structure as the old system,” he notes. “We had to apply creativity to shoehorn all the extra horsepower into the same small engine compartment.”

For Dewees, the extra horsepower is appreciated. “The old system was susceptible to changes in air temperature and wind,” he says. “Now, with LEO, we can get over peak crowd noise as needed with no distortion.”

Dewees notes that the additional horsepower calls for adjustments and restraint on the part of users. “Because the potential level is off the charts, our only issue so far has been getting the operators to use that power wisely.”

The new system for the stadium was designed by Ron Baker and Justo Gutierrez of Dallas-based consultants Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams. Installation of the system was contracted in two phases, with the SB-3F loudspeaker system installed by Parsons Electric of Minneapolis. The LEO system was installed by Florida-based Pro Sound & Video under the supervision of Brian Smith of the Pensacola office.

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Meyer Sound Gives Voices to Global Dissidents in @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

AlcatrazMeyer Sound loudspeakers play a critical role in @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, an exhibition of seven new sculpture, sound, and mixed media works by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The installation explores human rights and freedom of expression in the context of Alcatraz, a former federal penitentiary and now iconic historical site in the San Francisco Bay.

Widely hailed as one of the most significant art exhibitions of the year, @Large already has been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, and The Guardian, among others. This extraordinary $3.6 million project on Alcatraz Island was originally proposed to Ai by Cheryl Haines, executive director of the FOR-SITE Foundation and curator of the exhibition.

“Ai’s work both awes us with its grace and beauty and challenges and critiques our way of thinking—in a manner that we hope will catalyze public dialogue on many human rights issues,” says Haines.

The inspiration for the exhibition is rooted in the reality of Ai Weiwei’s life. Forbidden by authorities to travel outside of China, the artist created the works for the installation in his Beijing Studio. “The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned,” says Ai Weiwei. “This is not the case. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill.”

Singled out by Los Angeles Times writer Carolina A. Miranda as “one of my favorite pieces in the exhibition for its subtlety,” Stay Tuned is an intimate and evocative sound installation occupying 12 barren and deteriorating prison cells in Alcatraz’s A Block. The installation features different music or spoken recitations in each cell created by people who have been imprisoned for the creative expression of their beliefs, as well as works created under incarceration. Artists range from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Russian rock group Pussy Riot and the South African anti-apartheid activists The Robben Island Singers.

Driving Stay Tuned are 12 compact yet powerful MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers with IntelligentDC™ technology. As Ai insisted the loudspeakers be invisible, they are mounted behind a rusting ventilation grate. Two MM-10ACX subwoofers support music by Iranian Arya Aramnejad and Nigerian Fela Kuti. Sound design for Stay Tuned was handled by San Francisco-based Moment Audio Group, a spinoff of Earwax Productions, where sound artists and engineers Jim McKee and Jeremiah Moore worked jointly with producer Starr Sutherland.

“The quality and invisibility of the loudspeakers contribute to the work’s startlingly evocative effect,” notes Moore. “It’s only one person at a time in the cell, and the clarity of sound leads to a startling directness and intimacy.”

The MM-4XP loudspeakers also helped Moore deal with the limitations of the site. “We needed a loudspeaker with very low distortion, high power, and proven reliability, and the MM-4XP was ideal on all counts,” he says. “In addition, Meyer Sound’s exclusive IntelligentDC technology enabled us to run DC power for the amplifiers and the audio signal over a single cable from our equipment room 120 feet away. We didn’t have to sacrifice power and clarity because of long speaker cables.”

Source recordings for Stay Tuned are played on an Apple Mac mini running QLab software. Output to two MPS-488HP IntelligentDC power supplies is via an RME Fireface 400 interface augmented by an Aphex Model 141 ADAT to Analog converter.

One of the most prominent cultural figures of the 21st century, Ai Weiwei is a Beijing-based artist and activist known for his work in sculpture, installations, film, architecture, and photography. His work often responds to conditions in China, including limits placed on free speech and expression and his personal experience of incarceration.

Founded in 1979 by husband-wife team John and Helen Meyer, Meyer Sound products

are universally acclaimed as the gold standard in the professional audio industry and renowned for their accuracy and precision. Meyer Sound solutions can be found in legendary musical venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Musikverein, Concertgebouw, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, in addition to multimedia exhibits including The Morning Line pavilion in Europe and numerous soundscapes by Bill Fontana. With more than 40 patents for a range of innovative technologies and products, many of which have revolutionized the audio experience for musicians and audience, Meyer Sound is acclaimed not only for it audio engineering, design, and manufacturing process but also for its dedication to acoustic research.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz is scheduled to run through April 26, 2015.

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Outkast FOH Engineer Sold on Long-Throw Power of Meyer Sound LEO

outkastHip hop legends Outkast recently completed their summer tour with three sellout hometown shows in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. Dubbed “#ATLast,” the 20,000-plus crowds were supported by a Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale reinforcement system as specified by FOH engineer Darcy Khan.

“The first time I’d mixed with LEO was earlier this summer at the Montreux Jazz Festival,” says Khan. “I loved the way it sounded. It was astonishingly clear, with no phasing issues, and I could walk from the stage all the way to the back and hear a nice, even wall of sound. A few weeks later, I mixed on another LEO system at the Osheaga Festival in Montreal, where I experienced the system’s long-throw power. That sold me. I knew I wanted a LEO rig for Atlanta.”

Supplied by VER Tour Sound, the Atlanta system deployed main arrays of 14-each LEO-M and side arrays of eight-each LYON™ linear line array loudspeakers. Three delay towers comprised eight MICA™ line array loudspeakers each, while 12 MINA loudspeakers provided front fill. Low end was supplied by 12 flown and 18 ground-stacked 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. A Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with three Galileo Callisto 616 and three Galileo Callisto 616 AES array processors provided system drive and optimization.

According to Khan, the linear characteristics of LEO helped him to maintain sonic consistency despite the extreme dynamics of Outkast’s sound. “Even if you spend all day tuning the PA, when the show starts, the crowd gets going, and you push it up to 110 dB SPL, many PA systems start to change,” he points out. “So I’m constantly fighting the mix, and that’s frustrating. But with LEO, I always hear the same qualities in the mix, whether during a soft part or going full on. It’s always even, so I can just mix and not worry about the system.”

Khan was also impressed by the musicality of the 1100-LFC loudspeakers. “I like to feel the low end, but I also want to hear the unique sound of the instruments, like the Roland TR-808 drum machine. With the 1100-LFC, I can hear that tonality all the way down to 30 or 40 Hz.”

Representing VER on-site were project manager Kyle Shepherd and system engineers Erik Rogers and Chad Fuller. Logistics were orchestrated by VER Tour Sound’s Ralph Mastrangelo and Chance Stahlhut.

Khan mixed Outkast on a DiGiCo SD10 digital console while the band used Shure UHF-R wireless microphone systems, with Antwan “Big Boi” Patton on a Sennheiser SKM 5200 wireless microphone. Monitors were mixed on a DiGiCo SD5 digital console, with the band using Shure PSM 1000 IEM systems.

Outkast have won six Grammy Awards and sold over 25 million albums. The “#ATLast” event was their first concert appearance in Atlanta in more than a decade.

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Slovakia’s Amex Audio Energizes Rental Business with Meyer Sound LYON

amexSenec-based Amex Audio s.r.o. in Slovakia has invested in a new Meyer Sound LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system as its flagship product to serve its most important customers. With LYON’s power and clarity, Amex has been hired by clients that range from Mercedes-Benz to Pohoda Festival and the Slovakian “X Factor” show.

“We already had a M’elodie® system, and were very happy with the sound of Meyer Sound products,” says Igor Demčák, managing director of Amex Audio. “We wanted that same sound coherence and linearity in our new, large-scale system. And with its power-to-size ratio and truck-space savings, LYON arrived at just the right time.”

Amex Audio’s purchase includes 28 LYON linear line array loudspeakers and a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors. The core LYON system is augmented as needed by other Meyer Sound loudspeakers from inventory, including M’elodie line array loudspeakers, JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers, and 600-HP and 500-HP subwoofers.

“When we used the system for “X Factor” and the Pohoda Festival, the FOH engineers were curious and amazed,” reports Demčák. “‘What is this system?’ they asked. It was their first experience with LYON, and they were very happy with what they heard.”

Other recent events that have used Amex’s LYON system include the Uprising Reggae Festival featuring Shaggy, Jimmy Cliff, and Dub FX; and an electronica concert by producer/DJ Bonobo.

Founded in 1994 and operating under its current name since 2006, Amex Audio provides sound systems and full production support for corporate events and live television shows, as well as for major music festivals and concerts.

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Japan’s Takarazuka Theatre Upgrades 12-Year Meyer Sound System to M’elodie and MICA

takarazukaFollowing 12 successful years with its Meyer Sound MSL-4 loudspeakers, the Takarazuka Grand Theatre in Japan returned to Meyer Sound when it came time to upgrade. With an emphasis on exceptional audio quality and system reliability, the 2,550-seat venue chose a design based on M’elodie® and MICA® line array loudspeakers.

“In my opinion, the best equipment should be robust and reliable,” says Masaru Kirie of Takarazuka Stage Co., Ltd. “The new system’s performance lives up to the prestigious Meyer Sound brand, and the sound quality is excellent in all respects.”

The theatre’s main system is anchored by left and right lower proscenium arrays of 13-each M’elodie loudspeakers and three over-proscenium L-C-R clusters consisting of seven MICA and three M’elodie loudspeakers each. Ten 700-HP subwoofers provide low-end reinforcement, with six placed overhead and two located with each of the side arrays. All arrays are hidden behind screens and walls to stay out of sight.

In addition, 32 UPA-2P and two UPA-1P loudspeakers, four M1D line array loudspeakers, and six UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers provide secondary fill, delay, and stage monitoring, while four HD-1 studio monitors are used in the control room. The entire system is driven and aligned by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with 10 Galileo 616 processors. For special effects, signal matrixing, and Wild Tracks™ playback, the system includes a D-Mitri® digital audio platform with 24 modules.

The system was designed in consultation with Meyer Sound Japanese distributor ATL, Inc., and installed by JATO Co., Ltd. of Osaka.

Located in a suburban resort city, the Takarazuka Grand Theatre was built in 1993 to host productions of the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female theatre troupe that presents lavish, large-cast musicals based on Broadway productions and Japanese folk tales. Both the theatre’s operating company and the Revue are owned by Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc.

The Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre, which serves as another home venue for the Takarazuka Revue, is also equipped with a Meyer Sound system.

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Meyer Sound MICA Provides Flexibility for Concert Series in Ancient Sicilian Amphitheatre

grecoItaly’s 2,700-year-old Teatro Greco in Sicily recently hosted a summer concert series with artists including James Blunt, Simple Minds, and Italy’s chart-topping Gigi D’Alessio. Faced with limitations for amplification in the historic amphitheatre, the audio team selected the flexible MICA® line array loudspeaker system to ensure pristine audio quality throughout the arena.

“Every time we go to the magical Teatro Greco, we are awed by the magnificence of this venue,” reports Roberto Rosu, FOH engineer for Gigi D’Alessio. “And thanks to the quality of the MICA system, the end result was amazing.”

Flown loudspeaker arrays in the historic arena were not an option, according to Freddy Dagata, audio project manager for Light and Shade di Alessandro Finocchiaro, the Aci Catena-based production provider. “We really had a chance to appreciate the versatility of a Meyer Sound system,” says Dagata. “MICA worked very well when ground-stacked, and we had amazing coverage throughout the arena. We were able to satisfy all requests of the artists and their FOH engineers, as the system perfectly handled a wide variety of pop and rock styles.”

Flanking the stage were twin stacks of eight-each MICA loudspeakers, aided by additional left and right outfill arrays of seven-each M’elodie® line array loudspeakers. Four UPM-1P loudspeakers provided front fill, while two UPA-1P loudspeakers anchored a center image on the wide stage. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor supplied system drive and optimization.

Other artists heard through the Meyer Sound system during the 2014 season included Emma, Giorgia, Il Volo, and Negramaro.

Located on a mountaintop with breathtaking ocean views, the Teatro Greco of Taormina was built in the early seventh century BC, although most of the remaining stonework is from a later Roman era reconstruction. With a diameter of 120 meters, it is the second largest Greek amphitheatre in Sicily.

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Meyer Sound D-Mitri Drives Anne Frank Stage Production in Theater Amsterdam

anneAward-winning sound designer Jeroen ten Brinke has chosen the Meyer Sound D-Mitri® digital audio platform as the backbone of his design in ANNE, a dramatic presentation of the Anne Frank story in the 1,100-capacity Theater Amsterdam. With a CueConsole™ control surface, D-Mitri drives the play’s audio mixing, matrixing, and loudspeaker processing.

“Choosing D-Mitri as the foundation of the system was a no-brainer,” says Jeroen ten Brinke, who is a design parter at Audio Design International. “The audio quality is second-to-none, which is critical to bring out all the subtleties of the dialogue. It also works beautifully with both the orchestration and the sound effects, which range from whisper-quiet to wartime bombing scenes.”

Compared to most theatrical plays, the sound design in ANNE is extraordinarily intricate. Actors interact simultaneously across acoustically isolated “rooms” using wireless microphones. The room interior sets rotate on and off stage using sophisticated mechanics. As two of the acoustically isolated rooms are often on stage and active at once, hidden monitoring systems are needed for actors to hear each other on each set. In addition, dozens of loudspeakers are embedded in the sets to localize actors’ voices, as much of the dialogue is spoken in soft voices or whispers. Consequently, 24 microphone inputs are programmed in D-Mitri for balance, mixed with the original orchestral score and effects, and routed to the constantly changing outputs. Everything is then reproduced in 8.1 surround sound.

“D-Mitri coupled with CueStation™ is clearly the result of many years of experience in complex theatrical automation,” says ten Brinke. “It gives me endless flexibility during the design process. There’s never a ‘no can do’ response, no matter how demanding the request.”

The D-Mitri platform for ANNE comprises two digital I/O frames and three analog output frames, plus one DCP core processor, one general purpose I/O frame, and one analog input frame. D-Mitri is controlled via CueStation software and a CueConsole, and uses 48 input channels and 72 discrete outputs.

The audio production team also includes Chris Blaauw, assistant programmer, and Igor Milosavijevic, resident sound mixer. The system was supplied by Amsterdam-based Focus/Rent-All, with Meyer Sound distributor Audio Electronics Mattijsen facilitating the sale.

A three-time winner of the John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Achievement in Design, ten Brinke also used D-Mitri in the Soldier of Orange production (Soldaat van Oranje), where a circular audience platform revolves inside a surrounding ring of expansive stage sets.

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Fox Sound Service Invests in Italy’s First Meyer Sound LYON System

fox soundFox Sound Service has purchased the first Meyer Sound LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system in Italy. Adding to Fox Sound’s large Meyer Sound inventory of more than 170 loudspeakers, the LYON system has supported a range of classical, rock, and dance events across the country.

“I was extremely impressed with the technical advantages of linear sound reinforcement offered by Meyer Sound’s LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcementsystem, but we had been waiting for a more compact version better suited to the Italian market,” explains Carlo Volpe, technical director and co-owner of Fox Sound. “LYON is exactly what we need. It has the performance and versatility ideal for any production, from open-air classical music presentations to jazz festivals and rock concerts. My partners and I are proud to be the first in Italy to supply this new technology.”

Fox Sound’s purchase comprises 20 LYON linear line array loudspeakers, eight 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system, and RMServers for the Compass® RMS™ remote monitoring system.

Since delivery, LYON has been chosen to reinforce the orchestra and chorus of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia for an outdoor concert in Rome’s historic Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo. The system has also supported events such as Festival Mozart and Traffic Festival in Torino, Verde Vento (Green Wind) Festival in Cassino, and the Perdonanza Celestiniana (Celestine Pardon) celebration in L’Aquila.

“After 25 years of providing Meyer Sound technology to the Italian market, it was time to take a major step ahead with LYON,” says Walter Alfonsetti, co-owner of Fox Sound. “LYON complements our existing range of Meyer Sound products, and will play an important role in the future of our company.”

The LYON system sale was handled by Meyer Sound’s Italian distributor, Linear Sound, a division of Eko Music Group.

Located in Poggio Picenze, Fox Sound Service supplies a wide range of event production technology rentals throughout the Italian peninsula. Events served by the company include classical open-air concerts, civic celebrations, corporate presentations, and summer music festivals, including 25 years with the prestigious Pescara International Jazz Festival.

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One-Man Band Ed Sheeran Wins Over Arena Crowds with Meyer Sound LEO and LYON

ed sheeranWith a Meyer Sound LEO™ and LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system supporting just his vocal, acoustic guitar, and loop pedal, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has single-handedly captivated 10,000-plus crowds on his latest world tour. Among the many concert reviewers impressed by how well Sheeran’s one-man show translated in a large arena, Katie Atkinson of Billboard writes: “He had the crowd wrapped around his finger, and the booming sound to pack an arena with just an acoustic guitar and his voice.”

Chris Marsh, Sheeran’s production manager and FOH engineer, says: “I’ve had a chance to hear Ed’s music on a lot of different systems, for various festivals, one-off shows, and opening for acts like Taylor Swift. But whenever I came across LEO—and more recently, LYON—I’ve noticed a marked difference in sound quality, and hence a marked difference in my enjoyment of mixing the show. When using them together, the transitions between the two loudspeakers are virtually seamless, whether moving across to the side hangs or up underneath the down fills.”

Although configurations vary slightly with venues, the large arena system comprises main front hangs of 12 LEO-M over four LYON linear line array loudspeakers each, with 14 additional LYON loudspeakers in each of the twin side hangs. Completing the system are 18 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements for low end and eight M’elodie® line array loudspeakers for front fill. A Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with one Galileo Callisto 616 AES and four Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provides system drive and alignment.

Onstage foldback is supplied by four MJF-212A stage monitors and dual side-fill stacks, each with two 700-HP subwoofers and one JM-1P arrayable loudspeaker. The system is supplied by Wiltshire, England-based Major Tom Limited, and systems tech for the tour is Tristan Nelson-Hauer.

“The 1100-LFC is an astonishingly fast-moving device,” says Marsh. “The impact it transmits when Ed slaps his guitar—his interpretation of the kick drum—is far better than I’ve heard from any other sub. The others are just too slow to keep up.”

Major Tom’s decision to invest in LYON was made by principal Lars Brogaard, an early LEO adopter. “The LYON-W has the wide dispersion I wanted for down-fill, and with the longer-throwing LYON-M, they complement the LEO very, very well,” he says.

Feeding the LEO system on the tour is a DiGiCo SD7 mixing console augmented by Avalon VT-737SP channel strips and Bricasti digital reverbs. Sheeran’s vocal mic is a Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless with a custom MD 9235 capsule.

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Meyer Sound LYON at Boston Calling Festival: A System that Can “Take the Audience Anywhere”

boston callingMeyer Sound systems made sure the two main stages at Boston Calling Music Festival were loud and clear. On the Red Stage, the LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system made an impression on the FOH engineers, many mixing on this new Meyer Sound system for the first time.

“That rig really rocked,” says Carl Davino, FOH engineer for The Replacements. “LYON has transparent highs, broad and articulate mids, and adjustable low-mids to handle any desired punch. The band’s performance was outstanding as well, and with that combination I felt like I could take the audience anywhere I wanted.”

The Red Stage’s 24 LYON linear line array loudspeakers were augmented by 12 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements and three 700-HP subwoofers, plus four UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers for front fills. A Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with four Galileo Callisto 616 and two Galileo Callisto 616 AES array processors provided system drive and optimization. Stage foldback was supplied by 10 MJF-212A and four MJF-210 stage monitors.

The LYON system helped solve an acoustical challenge at the Red Stage, according to Scott Tkachuk, CTO and touring operations director for Atkinson, N.H.-based Rainbow Production Services, and system designer for both stages.

“The stage was aimed at City Hall, 400 feet away, with huge reflective surfaces,” explains Tkachuk. “Yet the system still had to cover the VIP section in front of the building, almost 200 feet away. The way LYON handled it was amazing. The sound in the VIP section was clear and comfortably loud, with full bandwidth. We also had all the control we needed to minimize any annoying buildup from reflections.”

The Red Stage alternated performances with the Blue Stage, which featured 28 MILO loudspeakers, 24 700-HP subwoofers, four UPA-1P loudspeakers for front fill, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors. Stage side-fill comprised two 700-HP subwoofers and three MICA® line array loudspeakers per side.

Rainbow Production Services also supplied each stage with two Avid VENUE Profile consoles for FOH and monitors, as well as eight channels each of Shure UHF-R wireless microphones and Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G3 systems.

Along with The Replacements, performers on the Red Stage included Lorde and The 1975, while the Blue Stage featured headliners Nas with The Roots, The National, and Childish Gambino.

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