Coachella’s Yuma Stage Augments Experience With PK Sound

INDIO, CALIFORNIA, JUNE 6, 2024 — Hundreds of thousands of music fans from around the world recently descended on Indio, California for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Now spanning across two full weekends, the sprawling annual spectacle presents hundreds of acts — from the biggest international headliners to exciting up-and-comers — across eight carefully curated stages, each offering its own unique experience. For the 2024 festival, one of the most sought-after destinations on the expansive festival site was the now-legendary Yuma Stage — Coachella’s “beating heart of house and techno.”

Beneath a massive tent boasting hardwood floors, opulent furnishings and, perhaps most critically, air conditioning, the Yuma Stage’s stated goal was to offer a posh, pulsating nightclub vibe in the middle of the desert. Of course, that also entails an audio experience more befitting a top, multi-million-dollar nightspot in Ibiza or Singapore than a temporary music festival on the grounds of a polo club in Southern California. That’s what ultimately led stage organizers AEG Presents, Goldenvoice and Framework to opt for a PK Sound robotic line source deployment from LA-based PK Alliance Member BNE Productions.

In addition to offering the pristine acoustic impact for headliners like Gorgon City, The Blessed Madonna and ARTBAT, PK Sound’s patented multi-axis robotic technology allowed designers to precisely focus the system’s vertical and horizontal acoustic coverage on the audience area and minimize tent wall reflections to deliver the cleanest, clearest sound possible.

“I had the chance to deploy PK Sound’s robotic line array systems on some recent events in downtown LA and was really impressed with the results,” comments George Stavropoulos of Sonic Lab Audio, head audio consultant for the Yuma Stage. “Being able to robotically control the system’s acoustic coverage remotely and in real-time is a huge benefit in minimizing noise pollution for those shows in crowded urban areas. The same principles apply when directing sound away from Yuma’s reflective tent walls to optimize clarity and punch for the packed crowd.”

Designed by Stavropoulos’ partner and PK Sound Project Support specialist Paul Bauman of PdB Sonic Design, BNE Productions’ deployment included main arrays of 10 PK Sound T10 robotic line source elements per side. Using PK .dynamics software, which unites every stage of the modern live sound workflow in a single application, Bauman took advantage of PK’s variable horizontal directivity on each module to sculpt acoustic coverage to the exact parameters of the Yuma tent with precisely tapered arrays while ensuring a smooth transition to the delay positions. 

“Kobi Danan from Framework (the promoter behind the Yuma Stage) is always interested in new technologies and open to trying things that elevate the guest experience, whether it’s in a nightclub, at a downtown street party, or in a tent packed with thousands of people at Coachella,” comments Bauman.

“There were a lot of compliments on the sound this year, and that’s rare — especially from production professionals,” Danan adds. “People definitely noticed the difference.”

A total of 24 PK Sound T218 intelligent subwoofers capably handled low-frequency reproduction, arranged in four cardioid columns of three on each side of the stage thrust. In a unique approach, Bauman applied reverse electronic delay steering to focus energy and improve low-frequency throw along the middle of the lengthy, relatively narrow tent structure.

The L-R delay towers each had five Trinity Black robotic line array elements and three T218 subs in cardioid mode per side. Six PK Sound VX10s handled front fill while four K12p point source modules covered the rear VIP area. The on-stage monitoring system included three T10s atop a single T218 per side. Rounding out the audio system was a DiGiCo SD9 adjacent to the stage for FOH and monitors.

“Our team has taken on increasingly high-profile events over the past few years as a PK Alliance Member, but Coachella is definitely a new milestone,” comments Saad Al-Jadir of BNE Productions. “We really enjoyed our collaborations with Framework, Sonic Lab Audio and our partners at PK Sound on this year’s Yuma Stage. The real highlight was seeing people totally immerse themselves in the experience, and we’re proud to be able to contribute to that.”

BNE Productions is a full-service live event production, logistics and management company, providing premier audiovisual solutions that transform a concert or event into an experience people will remember as the “Best Night Ever.”

ACT Entertainment is the exclusive North American distributor of PK Sound solutions.

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