Over 800 acts on eleven stages over the course of eleven days with nearly 900,000 fans in attendance. Those are the stats for Summerfest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin's greatest marquee event, and considered one of the world's largest music festivals by Guinness World Records.
Summerfest provides the backdrop for the music industry's hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites from alternative rock, pop and country to R&B, Reggae and more in a world-class festival setting on the shores of Lake Michigan. A few of the headliners included Violent Femmes & The Avett Brothers, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, John Mayer, FUN., Pitbull, Rush, Eagles, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, New Kids on the Block, Tim McGraw, Billy Idol, Alice Cooper, LL Cool J, Empire of the Sun, The Mavericks, MGMT, Bad Religion, Dr. John, Styx, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pat Benatar, Social Distortion, Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies, The Mowgli's, Jimmy Eat World and many, many more.
Clearwing Productions has been involved in the event since 1995 and worked closely with DiGiCo to provide five systems in key positions at premium stages throughout the event—used by artists ranging from Imagine Dragons and DJ Diplo to Gavin DeGraw, The Wailers and Dropkick Murphys) including an SD5 at BMO/Harris Pavilion FOH with an SD-Rack running over fiber (pictured); an SD10 at Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage FOH with an SD-Rack running over fiber; an SD11 at the JoJo's Martini Lounge Stage FOH; and an SD8 at the Miler Stage. An additional SD10 at the Marcus Amphitheater FOH for the artist Pitbull.
"The DiGiCo consoles have performed this marathon of a festival flawlessly once again," says Bryan Baumgardner, audio operations/logistics manager for Clearwing. "With the newly added benefit SD-Convert software, the consoles are even more festival friendly."
"There were two types of engineers mixing on our consoles," says Ryan Shelton, Group One Ltd/DiGiCo Sales and Support Associate. "The first are house engineers for Summerfest and employees of the Clearwing, and the second, engineers traveling with the bands. House and local production engineers who hadn't had the opportunity to mix on a DiGiCo, loved the opportunity to get hands-on and put in a lot of hours on a console that they'd been seeing out with many national acts in the field. Overall, the attitude of the engineers we spent time with was an eagerness to learn about the new technology available to them in the varying sizes of DiGiCo systems represented at the festival. But also, they enjoyed getting deeper into these consoles to understand how they work and how they will make their jobs easier as things inevitably get more complicated."
Pictured: FOH at BMO Harris Pavilion. Photo Credit: Paul Weber.