Riot Fest, a three-day, multiple-stage rock, punk, alternative and hip hop music festival rocked audiences in Chicago, Toronto and Denver with help from a sound reinforcement system featuring Adamson Systems Engineering loudspeakers. 

This year’s lineup included performances by Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Motorhead, CIV, the Damned, Ice Cube, and even country music legend Merle Haggard. Kansas-based StagePro was tasked with providing production services for all three events. Omaha, Nebraska-based Audio Visions provided additional sound reinforcement support. Audio Visions deployed their newly purchased Adamson Systems Engineering E Series PA at one stage in all three locations.

“When we purchased the system we were looking for a PA that would keep us on the cutting edge,” explains Jasper Goforth, general manager for Audio Visions. “It’s events like these when you want to make sure that you are providing artists with the quality they expect. The Adamson rig has everything we could need and it really delivers for performers.”

Although the specific stage and performers varied from location to location, the sound requirements stayed fairly consistent. Goforth originally input the stage dimensions into Blueprint AV, Adamson’s predictive simulation software, and then would add the scope of the audience area that required coverage in each city. 

“We were really blown away by the Blueprint software,” he adds. “It is incredibly accurate. We were used to using software that still required a fair amount of tweaking once the PA was hung. Blueprint is spot on every time. It’s a tremendous time-saver.”

The left-right line arrays – made up of 12 Adamson E15 and two E12 enclosures – were hung from an APEX 5040 hydraulic stage to the left and right of the stage. A total of 16 E219 subwoofers provided low end. Six were ground stacked under each array with another four up the center. Two Adamson S10 enclosures were placed along the lip of the stage for front fill. Four E119 subwoofers were utilized for side fill subs while another two were deployed for drum subs. 

Both the Adamson E15 and E12 are 3-way line source enclosures. The E15 is loaded with two 7-inch Kevlar® Neodymium midrange transducers paired with two 4-inch high frequency compression drivers while the E12 features a single 7-inch Kevlar® Neodymium midrange transducers paired with a 4-inch high frequency compression driver. 

Enhanced low end is provided by two 15-inch (E15) or two 12-inch (E12) proprietary Kevlar® Neodymium woofers. The end result is seamless mid-high energy with minimal distortion at very high SPL levels and substantial low end for most applications. 

The system was powered by racks of Lab.gruppen PLM amplifiers. Goforth adds, “The Lab.gruppen amplifiers, which Adamson recommends with their loudspeakers, are terrific. They are clean and drive the system without breaking a sweat.”

Goforth notes that as they moved from one location to the next he noticed that the Adamson rig was getting placed on more “featured” stages. After inquiring why, he was told that the engineers on the other stages heard it and asked to use it on their stage. 

Shawn London, FOH engineer for Eagles of Death Metal, adds, “I found that the hang and sub configuration gave me much more headroom and signal flow than the PAs at the other Riot Fest stages. I had people coming up to me and saying that they were about 500 feet back from the stage and could hear my mix as clear as day. I also noticed that the downstage coverage was much better than the other systems.”

Goforth concludes, “I have to add how impressed we were with the entire Adamson team. We are not a huge house and knowing that we would get the attention we needed from the manufacturer was a big plus. Everyone we worked with was knowledgeable and anxious to help. I think we’ll reap the rewards of this decision for years to come.”


Photo Cutline: Riot Fest, a three-day, multiple-stage rock, punk, alternative and hip hop music festival used a sound reinforcement system featuring Adamson Systems Engineering loudspeakers. 

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