The indie music faithful gathered in the California desert for the seventh annual two-day Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the end of April. Continuing the practice of past years, Sennheiser sent a support team to look after the many microphone and personal monitor systems in use at the event, which also featured Turbosound Aspect loudspeakers on two of the five main performance stages.
This year, the attraction of Madonna's festival debut drew record numbers of fans—reportedly in excess of 45,000 on each day—out into the heat, which soared close to 100 degrees. Nearly 30,000 packed into and around the Sahara Tent, which was doubled in size from previous years to accommodate the expected crush to see the dance music diva debut her upcoming touring show. In common with many of the artists on the weekend's schedule, Madonna used her long-time favorite Sennheiser vocal mic—the wireless SKM 3072 supercardioid condenser—to wow the fans.
Kristy Jo Winkler, Sennheiser's U.S. artist relations manager, and Mark Saunders, Sennheiser's UK artist relations manager, were at Coachella to handle the needs of and support endorsees such as Massive Attack (e 935), Franz Ferdinand (e 840), Bloc Party (e 935), Depeche Mode (wireless SKM 935 G2 vocal mics), Scissor Sisters (wireless SKM 535 G2 vocal mics) and Coheed & Cambria (wireless SKM 935 G2 vocal mics).
Rat Sound outfitted two of the performance stages with Turbosound Aspect speaker systems. According to Manny Barajas, Rat Sound's crew chief in the Gobi Tent, "We had four flown TA-890H mid-high Aspect boxes and three install-version Aspect boxes in a ground-stacked configuration on each side. We also had nine of the TA-890L low boxes and two of the TSW-218 subs per side. In the larger Mojave Tent, we flew six Aspect boxes a side and we had two Aspect boxes with the rotated horn configuration for a ground-stacked front-fill. We had nine of the low boxes on each side, and we had four of the 218 subs per side." Barajas notes that the flown Aspect cabinets only recently returned from a nationwide solo tour by David Gilmour.