Coachella: the ultimate test for wireless DMX lighting control

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Southern California is one of the world’s largest and most famous music festivals. It is held over consecutive three-day weekends in April and boasts attendances in excess of 500,000 people.

In 2012, the Coachella organizers had a simple yet challenging request – they wanted to sync the lighting on the stage with a set of huge searchlights right at the back of the site over half a kilometer away. There was no way cables could be laid over that distance through the entire crowd to the stage, so LumenRadio was asked to link the lights wirelessly.

This was achieved with LumenRadio’s award-winning CRMX Nova systems. On 11 generator-powered lighting towers as far away as 640 meters (2,100 feet) from the control center, LumenRadio controlled four DMX universes of High End Intellaspots, PRG Bad Boys and Color Kinetics ColorBlazes.

Wireless lighting control over that distance is one challenge. But it becomes even more testing when you add tens of thousands of people in between, all with smart phones – and all using a free wifi service which was not allowed to be interfered with.

Provided by Felix Lighting of La Mirada, CA, the LumenRadio units overcame these challenges, not only linking several universes of DMX to locations well over half a kilometer apart, but doing so while successfully coexisting in an environment saturated by other wireless traffic.