The Rolling Loud festival, created in Miami, Florida, in 2015, has since rolled its way into the American West Coast, Asia, South America, Australia, and, since 2021, Europe. Renowned for presenting the globe’s biggest hip-hop and rap acts, the festival’s European footprint was inaugurated in the Netherlands and Portugal. Sponsored by Live Nation, the franchise made its German three-day debut in July 2023 at the Munich Exhibition Center. This open-air venue, situated at the trade fair centre in Munich, drew in a crowd of over 60,000 fans to a diverse array of nearly 70 performances spanning hip-hop, rap, and dancehall, across two stages. Notable acts, including Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Ayra Starr, and Wizkid, were hosted on the capacious main stage, designed to host an audience of up to 50,000. This stage was equipped with L-Acoustics K Series, including the industry benchmark K1, to provide a powerful yet flexible soundscape for the performances.
FeedBack Show Systems, a specialist in professional audio rentals with a long-standing reputation as a major L-Acoustics rental provider in Europe, were entrusted with designing a concert sound system with exceptional SPL per metre and precise directivity control. Their challenge was to ensure dynamic, bass-driven sound to every corner of the audience, while minimizing noise spillage to the surrounding neighbourhood. FeedBack’s team had carefully considered the interplay between the audience and the stage, given the unique acoustic challenge as it was open at the back but enclosed on the sides, leading to a delay in sound reception that stretched about 60 metres. They chose a combination of L-Acoustics K1 for the main and side arrays, with A Series as side-fills, to offer clear yet powerful coverage throughout the plateau.
“The festival site is flanked by the expansive trade fair area, with residential zones situated both in front of, and behind it,” says Michael Staps, Feedback Project Manager. The main stage system consisted of left/right arrays of 12 K1 with 4 K2 down per side, bolstered by 12 K1-SB per side, flown behind and 21 LA12X amplified controllers. Near-fills comprised 12 A10 Wide, four A15 Wide and 21 LA12X, to ensure clear sound to the front. To achieve the bass extension required by the hip-hop program, 60 further KS28 subwoofers were placed along the stage front amplified by 24 LA12X. On stage, the DJs enjoyed a monitor system of eight Kara II and 15 SB18 with 12 LA12X. The side-fill consisted of six A15 Wide with four SB18 subwoofers and a total of 14 X15 HiQ wedges. Four delay towers were placed 65 metres from the mainstage and included a total of 52 K2 and 24 KS28.
The team at FeedBack succeeded in creating a sound experience that satisfied all the requirements, impressing fans on-site, while keeping the neighbours comfortable and happy. ” We created a bespoke audio solution that optimised rear rejection, giving the artists clear, comfortable sound that gave them the confidence to perform their best on stage,” explains Staps. “The CX preset that we decided to use for K1-SB was a game-changer; it helped us to project more sound forward and less backward.”
The feedback from FOH technicians was overwhelmingly positive. “I can’t count how many crew members told us these are the best loudspeakers they’ve ever heard. Even artists with their own FOH technicians that have played at festivals around the globe, the consensus was that the sound in Munich was the best, which clearly reflects the top-notch product and superior design of L-Acoustics,” concludes Staps.