Photo above: With 30,000 people attending each day, Disco Donnie Presents billed Ubbi Dubbi as the #FirstFestBack (pc: Drew Ressler, RUKES.com)
Although increasing numbers of live concert events are finally starting to occur once again, Dallas-based L-Acoustics Certified Provider Onstage Systems has already been busy over the past few months. In addition to providing sound reinforcement for recent Deadmau5 and Brett Young shows, the company was the exclusive audio supplier for Ubbi Dubbi, which was billed as the first large-scale North American festival to make its official post-pandemic comeback on April 24 and 25.
Staged at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, just south of Dallas, Ubbi Dubbi attracted more than 30,000 fans each day at the festival to hear top EDM artists like Kaskade, Illenium, Carnage, The Adventure Club, Kill The Noise, and dozens more joyously celebrate the communal experience of live music. To keep the crowd of ravers moving and grooving, event promoter Disco Donnie Presents (DDP) called on Onstage Systems to handle all concert sound reinforcement, which it did via L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems deployed across the festival’s four stages.
Onstage has worked with DDP on numerous festivals since 2015, including the inaugural Ubbi Dubbi, which took place at Fort Worth’s Panther Island Pavilion in 2019. At this year’s two-day event, a full lineup of 45 national and international EDM artists and 27 “hometown heroes” performed for the highly enthusiastic music-hungry throng.
For the primary “Ubbi’s Stage,” Onstage flew six L-Acoustics K1 over eight K2 per side as the mains, with eight KS28 subs ground-stacked below each array, plus 16 SB28 double-stacked in groups of four across the face of the stage with a single Kudo enclosure atop each sub-cluster for frontfill, all driven by LA8 amplified controllers.
“I am really loving this rig size; six K1 over eight K2 is a perfect match for many of our shows,” enthuses Onstage Audio Department Manager Jeremy Helt. “It’s compact, not too heavy, a perfect combination of K1 and K2, and friendly in the truck pack as well. Given the size of the main hangs and the audience area, no delays were necessary. The width of coverage from K2 meant we didn’t need an outfill covering the VIP area either.”
Onstage Senior Project Manager Tyler Johnston agrees: “The K1/K2 combo is loud, clear, and rider-friendly. There’s never any need to talk an artist or client into the fact that it’s going to sound fantastic. With L-Acoustics gear, there’s no doubt about the level of quality that the system will deliver.”
A considerable part of that reputation for amazing sound can be attributed to L-Acoustics Soundvision as a stellar system design platform, says Helt. “Soundvision has become an extremely reliable tool for predicting audience coverage, tuning details, and even timing effects,” he shares. “Autosolver, in particular, has taken so much time and trial-and-error out of the process that everything is now very streamlined. In most real-world situations, there is little tuning to be done if the Soundvision process has been correctly completed beforehand, and Ubbi Dubbi 2021 was a terrific example of that.”
The festival’s secondary “Dubbi’s Stage” featured ten K2 per side as the mains with a massive double-stacked wall of 24 SB28 subs spread out across the stage face, all driven by LA8. The “Zoom Room” stage utilized arrays of four K2 per side plus SB28 subs, while the “Ubbi Dubbi World” circular shade structure featured a four-stack surround design using Kudo with K1-SB subs to support trance acts.
Both “Ubbi’s Stage” and “Dubbi’s Stage” were also equipped with the appropriately-dubbed “Texas headphones” for stage monitoring. These comprised three Kara over one SB18 sub per side for DJ sidefills and were similarly LA8-powered. According to Johnston, “Texas headphones were the requirement on every rider this year because they look cool and sound amazing,” he says. “Once all the big names started using them several years ago, the rest of the DJs followed suit, and now everybody asks for them.”
For Onstage Systems CEO/President Hyacinth Belcher, Ubbi Dubbi was a tremendously welcome return of an event that companies like hers have been hoping for over the past year. “This was a mile-marker event for sure, and it felt great to be the first audio company back for an event that brought in 60,000 people post-Covid,” she says. “During the pandemic, the Onstage team came together to produce eight weeks of Covid-safe drive-in events where we kept our K2 busy! Our team was able to stay sharp and in good practice, so when we came out for Ubbi Dubbi, we could come out strong with a PA that we love and had taken very good care of during our ‘year break,’ so to speak.”
“Being in the driver’s seat and seeing all the smiles—people glowing with happiness to finally be able to attend festivals again—to listen to our favorite artists, and be outside under the sun and the stars—it was incredible,” she adds. “Witnessing the faces of artists, crew, and attendees when the rig powered up and music traveled across the landscape was priceless. Music heals, and we were all there soaking in the beautiful elixir!”
Following Ubbi Dubbi 2021, Onstage Systems has kept its K1/K2 systems busy in Hutto (a city just outside of Austin) and Fort Worth for Deadmau5 shows, on a Brett Young concert at TCU’s Carter Stadium, and for other recent events.