Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) was backstage when the 11th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival took place in the eclectic city’s Zilker Park earlier this month.
PWS set up and coordinated the performers’ wireless microphones, along with other communication elements, for the three-day music spectacular.
Responsible for managing 350 frequencies per day across eight stages for artists and the media, PWS’ four-person crew worked closely with the festival’s producer, C3 Presents, to ensure all wireless microphones, in-ear monitors and show communications were properly coordinated and operating flawlessly.
“When dealing with a festival of this size, and with so many artists and media bringing their own equipment, pre-planning is essential,” says Jimmy Van Winkle, general manager, PWS. “We do our homework ahead of time so that when we arrive at the location, we know what we are walking into and are prepared for it.
“You always have to expect last-minute challenges, but our team of experts has worked hard to earn the reputation we have and does a fantastic job.”
In order to ensure proper frequency coordination, PWS sent out coordination forms to stage managers and media representatives attending the event. These forms detail the frequencies and model numbers of the microphones, in-ear monitors and communications devices that will be in use at the festival, to help eliminate the potential for signal interference.
Once on site, PWS also actively searches for users who haven’t submitted their RF needs ahead of time, providing them with available frequencies.
In addition to managing frequency coordination, PWS lent two of its Domed Helical Antennas to the music festival.
Launched in late 2011, the PWS Domed Helical Antenna boasts the highly successful circular polarization configuration, pioneered by the company’s original Helical, but with the unit sealed within a unique new compact “domed” design.
Thanks in part to its unique characteristics and ability to offer extreme flexibility of use, the PWS Domed Helical Antenna has become the industry standard for multi-channel wireless microphone, in-ear and intercom systems. With an inherent boost in gain, greater bandwidth and dropout-free polarization, it truly outshines the performance of traditional antenna designs. Inconspicuous and robust, it is ideal when the requirements of aesthetics and function can’t be compromised. It also holds up to considerable road-related abuse.
Founded in 2001, The Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival is a yearly American music event that brings together more than 130 acts from all over the world to play rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and more on eight stages. It hosts more than 200,000 people and has featured a diverse range of bands. This year, it presented such artists as The Black Keys, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer and The Roots.
Professional Wireless Systems (PWS)