Photo Credit: Yellow Studios

Cohesion and TikTok Mix Magnificently at First-of-Its-Kind Music Festival

MESA, Arizona -

From the 17,000 spectators at the sold-out festival to a record-breaking 33.5 million remote viewers, TikTok’s “In the Mix” festival showcased the performance, dependability, and application flexibility of Cohesion. The first-of-its-kind live event deployed a Cohesion audio system to support its unique format and deliver a series of electrifying performances.

Presented at Sloan Park in the Phoenix suburbs, “In the Mix” featured a who’s-who of musical icons, up-and-coming sensations, and social media celebrities. The team from ATK Audiotek, a Clair Global Brand, deployed a Cohesion system to optimize every performance, even as the elaborate design of the production presented intriguing challenges.

Enabling the audience to focus on the 360° stage at the center of the stadium required no flown visual obstructions. The audio design also needed to manage clearance for video towers and a freewheeling Spidercam meant to capture dynamic live footage for the TikTok livestream. In short, BAFTA Award-winning director Hamish Hamilton and event producers Done+Dusted in collaboration with Yellow Studios required that nothing tall be constructed at or near the main stage.

“They didn’t want to see it, but it had to sound good,” said ATK Audiotek Account Executive Andres Arango, describing the ultimate mission for the system. The ATK design deployed a hybrid system of flown and ground stacked line arrays. Eight clusters of ten CO12 loudspeakers were flown from four towers, sufficiently equidistant from center stage to ensure clear sightlines for all in-person and remote spectators. The flown system was supplemented by eight strategically placed ground stacks of two CO12 loudspeakers and an additional eight ground stacks of four CO10 loudspeakers to ensure that all in attendance were consistently immersed in the festival spectacle.

“Considering the design limitations, the coverage we ended up with was outstanding,” said Jeff Peterson, FOH production mixer. “Every audience area had crystal-clear,high-fidelity audio without impeding audience or camera sightlines.”

The main Cohesion system was augmented by forty-eight CP218 II+ self-powered subwoofers, in an arrangement of twelve stacks of four, to provide impressive low-end output, impact, and control. Twenty self-powered CP6+ point source loudspeakers were used as complementary front fill to complete the system.

“What’s critical is how much energy comes off products in directions we don’t want,” said Peterson. “What we found of Cohesion is it’s very controlled and very helpful. There’s not a lot of unwanted energy off the back and sides.”

Peterson continued, “It’s nice to not run at 99% of available power and to have that headroom. It’s rare an engineer is going for raw horsepower. It’s not just the max power, it’s the ability to control where you’re going with it.”

Arango agreed that no matter where a spectator wanted to enjoy the show, the “sound was perfect.” He added that fans easily “felt that sub on the entire floor, but people stood in front of the clusters, rocking out, and they weren’t bothered at all. We got that dialed in.”

Notable artists at “In the Mix” included Charlie Puth, Anitta, Niall Horan, Peso Pluma, Offset, and Cardi B. DJs entertained the crowd between sets, and influencers roamed the stadium throughout the day to provide live interviews.

Alongside the shattered records for total unique viewership, the festival notably logged 9.6 million fans who watched live on TikTok, officially making it the most-streamed broadcast ever on the platform. Additionally, a one-hour exclusive broadcast with special behind-the-scenes footage aired on December 15 on Disney+ and Hulu.

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Photo Credit: YG Entertainment
Blackpink at Dodger Stadium