The summer is officially over. Festival season has wrapped up, and the leaves are falling off the trees. Now that the craziness is behind us, we can all take a breath and reflect on some of the epic shows and good times of the summer while we pack away our coolers and sleeping bags for another year. Summer 2012 was especially busy for the PK crew, with shows and festivals of all types filling our calendars. Among these events was the Full Flex Express Tour, a cross-Canada train tour, including some of the biggest names in EDM. Full Flex was inspired by the Festival Express, a train tour across Canada in 1970 which featured some of the biggest artists of the time, including Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. It was legendary to a lot of our moms and dads, as you can see in Bob Smeaton's 2003 film Festival Express. Our generation's Festival Express, the Full Flex Express tour, also featured some of the biggest artists of our time, including KOAN Sound, Grimes, TOKiMONSTA, Diplo, Pretty Lights and Grammy award winning Skrillex. Clearly we were very excited to be included in this mammoth event, and hoped to 'up the ante' from Full Flex's 70s counterpart.
Channelling our inner Janis Joplin, we began preparation for 10 days of madness and two stages. The action for each evening was set to be fast-paced and fun, going from DJs to bands, and back to DJs. Skrillex and Pretty Lights both had large-scale set designs sure to please the crowds from Toronto to Vancouver. Due to the tour having both indoor and outdoor stops, the system needed to be versatile enough to suit outdoor festival crowds and indoor arenas. The dates were also very spread out geographically with tight timelines, so the system needed to be setup and struck very quickly we would have to have complete synergy with the other road crews. In the end we decided to bring 60 PK-CX800 subwoofers, 32 PK-VX12s for the main PA, and 32 PK-VX10s for side-fill and delay. We chose to use a combination of ¼ wave spaced subwoofers centered on the stage to provide even coverage across the crowd with additional flown subwoofers on each side. Flown subwoofers! With a system of that magnitude we could be sure to be the vessel delivering the soundtrack to the summer, indoor or outdoor.
The tour kicked off in Toronto with a packed crowd of older electronic music fans, teens and parents. Full Flex wanted a bit of additional intensity during the early evening acts, so the Front of House structure did double-duty and the rear of it was used for the opening two acts. We split out 10 PK-CX800 subwoofers centre-stacked, and eight of the PK-VX10s per side, which covered the area behind FOH for the opener. When the stage switched over to the main acts, this gear became delay stacks. The combination worked out great, and the delay subwoofers performed perfectly. Hearing the crowd sing along to anthems such as Skrillex's Cinema and Major Lazer's Get Free made it feel like our mission was accomplished. The Full Flex Express tour ended in Vancouver at the PNE Coliseum, and after travelling across Canada together the Full Flex crew felt like part of the PK family. This was an event we'll remember forever and tell our grandkids about - definitely one of the things that made summer 2012 our best yet!
- The PK crew.