Summerfest’s 50th Festival Goes 100 Percent DiGiCo

Clearwing Productions deploys SD- and S-Series desks for FOH and monitors on every stage this year
A DiGiCo SD5 is serving as the FOH desk at the BMO Harris Pavilion
Sound Byte

2017 is Summerfest’s 50th anniversary festival and the first year that DiGiCo mixing consoles have been used on every single stage throughout the park.

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - July 2017 -- With nearly 900,000 expected music fans flocking to Milwaukee’s Henry W. Maier Festival Park on 75 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline from June 28 to July 9, Summerfest has unquestionably earned its nickname as the “Big Gig.” Showcasing more than 800 national and regional acts performing on 11 stages from noon to midnight each day, this year’s festivities mark two milestones: first, 2017 is Summerfest’s 50th anniversary festival; and second, this is the first year that DiGiCo mixing consoles have been used on every single stage throughout the park.

Milwaukee- and Phoenix-based Clearwing Productions, Summerfest’s exclusive audio provider, is currently deploying six of DiGiCo’s newest SD12 consoles on both the FOH and monitor positions of the Uline Warehouse and U.S. Cellular Connection stages, as well as for monitors at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard and Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stages. Beyond that, the festival’s seven other performance venues are relying on an assortment of DiGiCo SD5, SD10, SD9, SD8, SD11 and S21 desks, all paired with an appropriate match of SD-, D- and D2-Racks.

The 50th anniversary of Summerfest also notably marks the first North American deployment of DiGiCo’s brand new 32-bit “Ultimate John Stadius” mic preamps, which are being used on several stages throughout the festival grounds. Delivering significant audible improvements and transparency, each eight-channel SD Mic Preamp Card includes a fully differential audio path from input to converter, twin 32-bit ADC conversion and a lightning-quick conversion time of 73uS. Providing dynamic punch and increased audio depth, the card features a dynamic range of 123dBA and an incredibly low noise of 128dB EIN. 

"Long billed as the ‘World's Largest Music Festival,’ Summerfest brings in nearly a million visitors to see and hear more than 800 acts performing over an 11-day run,” says Clearwing Productions President and CEO Gregg Brunclik. “Clearwing has been providing audio for Summerfest since 1995, and it's a fast-paced, punishing schedule of amazing artists, rain or shine. We've been increasingly relying on DiGiCo consoles for more and more stages each year, and we're thrilled to now finally have them on every single Summerfest venue. Why? Because they're without a doubt the most requested console brand on touring riders, their reliability has been absolutely rock-solid, and the service and support we've received from DiGiCo's distributor, Group One, has been second to none. Period." 

100 Percent DiGiCo for Summerfest’s 50th / Add One

Summerfest Music Festival Production Manager Steve Vallee agrees: "I have used Clearwing Productions on many large-scale events over the years, including Summerfest and the Harley Davidson Anniversaries. I don’t really even look at them as a contractor, but rather as a trusted partner in producing my events. Same goes with DiGiCo as an equipment vendor. Each year, Matt Larson and his team from Group One have gone to great lengths to ensure that all of our shows are nothing less than flawless from a technical perspective, truly going the extra mile to support our touring engineers on-site. So when Gregg and Bryan [Baumgardner, audio operations/logistics] at Clearwing suggested that we exclusively use their consoles this year, I had zero hesitation in saying yes. I can and have used some of the largest production companies and equipment vendors in the world; however, I have never been as satisfied with anyone as much I have with Clearwing Productions and DiGiCo.”


DiGiCo’s SD- and S-Series mixing consoles are supplying the main house mix for L-Acoustics K1/K2/Kara loudspeaker systems on seven Summerfest stages this year—including the 23,000-seat American Family Insurance Amphitheater—as well as for JBL systems on the four remaining stages.

As usual, the impressive roster of A-list talent performing during the 50th anniversary festival spans a broad spectrum of genres, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Luke Bryan, Paul Simon, Zac Brown Band, P!nk, The Chainsmokers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Future, Big Sean, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Steve Miller Band and hundreds of others.

For more details on this year’s Summerfest, visit www.summerfest.com. Clearwing Productions can also be found online at www.clearwing.com.

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