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Inside a Six-Month Festival’s Pandemic Audio

OPAV has been providing sound for 350-plus concerts and events at Orlando's Frontyard Festival since December 2020.

Frontyard Festival’s audience area viewed from Dr. Phillips Center’s Rooftop Terrace, above and behind the stage.
Frontyard Festival’s audience area viewed from Dr. Phillips Center’s Rooftop Terrace, above and behind the stage.

Orlando, FL (April 19, 2021)—As the pandemic begins to subside, we’re starting to see more events and concerts tenuously happen, but there’s still great—and quite reasonable—concerns about how best to hold a show safely. With that in mind, it stands to reason that a heath network would probably hold as safe an event as possible—and that’s what has been in Orlando, FL, as regional health network AdventHealth is currently holding its annual, six-month-long Dr. Phillips Center’s Frontyard Festival.

The festival features more than 350 live performances, films, and other events, staged daily, on the front lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, with as many as 2,000 guests seated in distanced private boxes spread across the yard.

Throughout the half-year run, local sound reinforcement provider OPAV has been deploying K2 and Kara loudspeaker systems from L-Acoustics. The performance area, known as the Mainstage at Seneff Arts Plaza, features left and right hangs of six K2 enclosures, with two KS28 subs groundstacked under each array, plus four Kiva II positioned across the downstage lip for frontfill. Two large offstage LED walls each feature six Kara per side to cover the 100-meter-wide audience area, extending back 85 meters. Processing and control of the entire LA12X-powered system are provided by an L-Acoustics P1 and LA Network Manager.

“Given the broad range of programming, genres presented and downtown outdoor noise challenges, Frontyard Festival’s system had to be capable of overcoming acoustic obstacles while presenting the highest quality sound to match the experience of our indoor theater performances,” notes Spencer Tong, Dr. Phillips Center’s Executive vice president of Operations. “K2 has been remarkable for them all, and has exceeded our expectations. We’ve heard numerous accolades on the quality of the sound experience, with guests commenting on how amazing this system performs for an outdoor venue. And during performances, many patrons have stopped by the sound mix position and given their compliments to the engineers.”

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With the PA essentially being left in place for six months from early December through May, the system has made use of the L-Acoustics AVB processor and measurement platform. “P1 has been one of the biggest assets in our deployment,” confirms OPAV project manager Tyler Higdon, who has been onsite with OPAV Audio Engineers Justin Avant and Colten Mortensen for much of the Frontyard Festival. “We’re using P1 for main system control, and it has been very helpful in keeping the rig sounding the same every day by compensating for changes in temperature and humidity.”

“It has also given us the ability to meet the requirements of ‘drive lines’ locations without having to do any physical patching, while seamlessly allowing us to change over from the video trailer feed for walk-in to the FOH engineer for the show,” he continues. “The advanced matrix of the P1 allows us to drive the amps, supply video trailer audio, record feeds, and assisted listening systems for the venue, all while letting the engineer only worry about mixing the show and supplying either a left/right/fill/sub or just a left/right signal.”

All involved are pleased with how the festival has gone so far. Tong notes, “During a time where live entertainment has been shuttered in most of the world, the OPAV team partnered with the Dr. Phillips Center to uplift our community, bring jobs back, and share happiness and smiles through live entertainment.”

Frontyard Festival •


L-Acoustics •