The inaugural “Fête de la Musique”, also known as World Music Day, took place in Paris, France in 1982. Today, it is an annual outdoor music event, is celebrated in more than 450 cities in 120 countries around the world. As the musical highlight of the “Croisements Festival” or “Crossroads Festival” which celebrates Franco-Chinese artistic collaborations with focus on French artists who draw their inspiration from Chinese life and culture, the 3rd Ningbo Fête de la Musiqué took place at the Ningbo Cultural Plaza on June 18th and 19th. With varied musical styles from Rock ’n’ Roll and Metal, to Folk and Jazz, bands like Redor, Omnipotent Youth Society, Left Right and famous singers such as Chen Li brought a fantastic feast of sounds to fans in Eastern China. VUE provided both the PA system and technical support for the festival, which debuted VUEs large format al-12 Scalable Line Array loudspeaker system.

While VUE has become a leading brand in the Western Hemisphere, this was VUE’s first public festival in China. Fête de la Musique took place in Ningbo Cultural Plaza, which can accommodate nearly ten thousand people. VUE headquarters sent two support staff — Alex Schloesser of Global Marketing, in charge of the APAC Market for VUE and Systems Technician Josh Cruz based in VUE’s headquarters in California — to support the event. From initial site survey, to system design and simulation, set-up and testing, the event came together without a hitch, with the sound hailed as “fantastic.”

However, the event still presented the sound team with some acoustic challenges. For instance, there were a number of tall buildings with glass and concrete walls along the sides of the plaza. VUE technical support combined their live sound experience with Ease Focus simulation results to provide an optimal solution for the event.

The FOH mix position was located at a significant 200-plus foot distance from the stage, practically at the end of the audience area. The top boxes of the PA were aimed at the mix position, dropping off only a few feet past the FOH, thus avoiding the sound hitting the imminent glass structure behind and creating unwanted reflections. “The environment was quite unforgiving with all the reflecting surfaces, but only 2-3 EQ filters were added to the factory supplied one-box presets to counteract the environment — the system sounded quite impressive right out of the box,” comments Cruz.

VUE’s al-Class line array systems were paired with VUEDrive™ Systems Engines for amplification and networked DSP. Each side of the main PA consisted of eight al-12 High Output Line Array cabinets hung over four al-8 Line Array cabinets used for down-fill. Additional front-fill was provided by four stacks of two al-8s arrayed on top of six hs-28 subs on their side, in front of the stage. At the two sides of the stage, four al-4 subcompact line array cabinets stacked on one hs-28 were used for side fills. A four-tall dual 21-inch hs-221 subwoofer ground stack was added both left and right for additional low-end extension.

The al-12 utilizes dual 12-inch woofers, six four-inch Kevlar/Neodymium mid-frequency drivers and dual 1.4-inch exit high-frequency compression drivers with Beryllium diaphragms. The al-8 employs dual eight-inch woofers, four four-inch Kevlar/Neodymium mid-frequency drivers and dual one-inch exit high-frequency compression drivers. Both encompass VUE’s Acoustic Linearity principles with CST™ Technology by keeping the high- and mid-frequency driver topology identical, enabling the full range of al-Class models to work together without breaking the true line when combined in an array. All drivers in the al-Class were engineered from the ground-up for higher efficiency and power handling with less power compression. The high-frequency elements for all al-class utilize VUE’s proprietary Truextent® beryllium driver technology, which reduces mechanical breakup while improving linearity and high-frequency extension.

The recommendation from VUE was to place the new dual 21-inch hs-221 subwoofers across the front of the stage in a continuous cardioid configuration, but due to some resistance from festival organizers concerned about the video crew’s dolly access to the stage lip, the subs were stacked 4-high per side, roughly underneath of each al-Class array with an additional six hs-28 subs arrayed at the center in 1m intervals to allow video crew access, with every second sub supporting a pair of front fill al-8 cabinets on top.

“Surprised!” “Gorgeous!” and “Clear!” – were some of the comments heard about the VUE mains system. The General Manager and Sound Director of the festival contractor Qijiang Stage Art, Huang Yadong commented: ”A lot of bands’ engineers turned to me with congratulations, asking where the PA system had come from. They were very pleased with its performance.”

An Ning, The FOH Sound Engineer for Chen Li’s band added: ”I had already heard of VUE, but the even coverage and the details that the system produces is really amazing – It truly highlights the singer’s vocal qualities.” FOH Engineer Deng Chenglong agrees: ”I suspect due to the beryllium diaphragms, VUE sounds especially phenomenal in the HF range from 5kHz to 20kHz.” The guitarist of ReDor held his thumbs up while smiling in approval after hearing the minute al-4s size on stage. He praised the fill system as: ”One of the best in China!”

It rained on and off quite heavily for the duration of the festival, but neither the PA nor the 10,000-strong audience members were deterred or affected. The combination of local customs and worldwide musical styles paired with the hard-hitting VUE PA system, delivered a strong sensory impact and left the audience with an unforgettable summer solstice experience.


VUE systems at the festival included the al-12s, al-8s under-hang and front fill, hs-221 and hs-28 subwoofers and al-4 side fills.


One of the main arrays – 8x al-12s and 4x al-8s per side.


VUE’s brand new hs-221 Subs stacked 4-high under the main PA System.


During the set-up – VUE China crew with Tiffany Jin – VUE China Sales Assistant (center), and Josh Cruz – VUE Headquarters Technical Support, (center – right of Tiffany Jin)