Professional Wireless Systems Weathers RF Congestion at Panorama 2017 in NYC
When music, fashion and technology converged on New York City’s Randall’s Island for the second installment of Panorama, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) was on site ensuring the festivals’ musical acts were free of any RF signal interference. Presented by Coachella organizers, Goldenvoice, Panorama attracts some of the biggest names in hip-hop, indie-rock, and pop.
For the three-day festival, PWS was challenged with all the demands of a multi-day festival, with the added challenge of being in one of the most congested RF environments in the country. Located on Randall’s Island in the East River, Panorama is within five miles of the high-power broadcast antennas that service the New York City metro area.
“Sometimes we benefit from RF isolation created by the venue, as festivals typically take place in a remote location,” says Danny Lane, project manager, Professional Wireless Systems. “Panorama was completely different. On Randall’s Island, we had no protection from the RF coming from the over-the-air broadcasters. Providing clean RF coordination for more than 20 bands a day is no small feat. TV channels that would typically fall below the useable threshold at an indoor venue in New York City were active and unusable on Randall’s Island. Of all the UHF channels, only four were available to us. PWS brings its expertise in antenna design, RF system optimization and industry wide contacts to all of our gigs. We are capable of taking care of any system, but without the proper preparation and planning we performed with the other parties involved, such as RAT, 8th Day Sound and See Factor, this would not have been possible.”
PWS performed an RF sweep and contacted the artists’ crews ahead of time, providing as much pre-production support as possible to ensure the three-day festival went smoothly. Without that preparation, 16 out of the 20 total artists, including all three main stage headliners, would have brought RF into the heavily congested range. “This could have been catastrophic to the event,” continues Lane. “The artists that were depending on festival RF would have had nowhere to go, and two out of the three festival audio vendors for the music stages would have also been out of luck. Thankfully, we worked to provide as much advanced support as possible, making sure each artist and vendor was properly prepared for the festival.”
With a lineup of well known artists as well as up-and-coming acts, Panorama 2017 featured performances from Nine Inch Nails, Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, and more.