The Bose L1 Model II and S1 Pro systems and T8S ToneMatch Mixer combined to create a musical universe apart from the larger event, which took place in Appleton, WI, August 1-4, giving artists from the big stages a chance to get up-close-and-personal with their audiences in a more relaxed backyard-type setting
View a featurette on the Tiny House Listening Lounge here: https://youtu.be/iPZyvyzgsIk
Framingham, MA – The Mile of Music is an annual Americana and Roots music festival located in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. This year — the festival’s seventh — festivalgoers could leave the main stage area and head over to the Tiny House Listening Lounge (click here to watch a video featurette), where a range of Bose Portable sound systems created its own less hectic and more intimate environment for many of the same artists who were also playing on the festival’s main stages, including Tony Lucca, Dan Rodriguez, JD Eicher, Paul Childers, Claire Kelly, Sam Burchfield, and Megan Slankard. The Tiny House Listening Lounge, which was assembled by event producer the Band Ambassador Media (BAM) Group, set up a small stage using a pair of Bose L1 Model II PA systems, three S1 Pro portable PA systems, and a T8S ToneMatch mixer. These components proved to be not only a sonic hit with the artists who used them and their loyal fans, but also an incredibly flexible assortment that was able to be reconfigured as the environment changed around it.
Jamie Kent, Owner of the BAM Group, characterized the Tiny House Listening Lounge, whose stage was built off of a classic Airstream trailer surrounded by couches, rugs and Adirondack chairs, “as a bohemian back yard. It was an escape from the craziness of a music festival, but without ever leaving the music behind.” Kent says that small stages like the Tiny House Listening Lounge might seem out of place at large music festivals, but actually these events’ sheer scale in many cases creates a need for smaller, intimate spaces at the periphery, where listeners can connect more deeply with the artists and their music. “We wanted to create a great listening experience in that kind of situation, and Bose portable systems were the clear solution,” he says.
The Tiny House Listening Lounge was set up with a pair of the L1 Model II sound systems, which Kent says impressed performers and listeners alike with their tonal purity and immersiveness. “Several of the artists walked around the perimeter of the Lounge area and listened, and they were blown away by the fact that it sounded completely consistent everywhere in the area,” he says. “We also had S1 Pro’s set up as monitors, in case one of the artists felt more comfortable using a traditional monitor speaker in front of them. But really, with the L1, you just don’t need monitors, because you can be out in front of the speakers and feedback isn’t a problem.”
The Bose suite of systems provided by the BAM Group proved invaluable beyond its main mission of providing great sound in any situation. A pop-up thunderstorm on Day 2 of the festival, just before Tony Lucca’s Tiny House Listening Lounge set was scheduled, forced the staff to pack up all the systems for about an hour. “But people came for Tony’s set despite the weather, so we grabbed an S1 Pro, utilized its battery power, and the crowd loved the impromptu set!” Kent recalls. Meanwhile, the Bluetooth® enabled T8S ToneMatch mixer let the Tiny House Listening Lounge’s FOH engineer keep the show expertly balanced without having to interfere with the seating area. “We placed the mixer off the left side of the stage and never affected the line of sight to the stage,” Kent says.
L1 Changes Everything
Many of the artists who performed at the Tiny House Listening Lounge had already experienced the benefits of portable Bose sound systems, so the event was like a homecoming for some. “I’ve been using Bose for most of my professional career, and I don’t know where I’d be without it,” says Megan Slankard. “When I got my first L1, it changed everything: it was easy to take to gigs anywhere, no matter what the size of the audience, I didn’t have to show up to a gig two hours early to dial in the sound, and because it’s so easy to use, being your own expert sound person is one less hat an indie artist has to wear. So when I show up at a gig and I see Bose, I know I can relax and focus on the music and connect closely with the audience.”
Singer/songwriter Tony Lucca’s thunderstorm pop-up experience was unique: Kent suggested he perform using the battery-powered S1 Pro and that was, says Lucca, “A magical little moment. I had been faced with having to either postpone my set or go old school and play it totally unplugged, because they had torn down the larger equipment. Then Jamie said we can use the S1 Pro as a battery-powered self-contained P.A., and it literally saved the show. It was the perfect solution in that moment, and I didn’t feel like I had to hold back at all. It sounded amazing — a real joyful noise! It’s the perfect thing for any nomadic indie musician to have and be able to set up and play anywhere, any time, and really garner a connection with the fans.”
Fellow Mile of Music performer Dan Rodriguez likes having his L1 model II system in his van at gigs, even if he isn’t scheduled to use it, like the time at a recent festival gig in Minnesota when he was disappointed in the sound of the PA being used for the stage and asked the house mixer if he could set up his L1. “In the time it would have taken me to sound check through the other system, I was into my first song, and it was louder and sounded better,” he recalls. So unsurprisingly, Rodriguez was happy to see all the Bose PA products ready to go at the Tiny House Listening Lounge. “I’m a super fan of the Bose gear, and it’s reassuring when you see it there waiting for you,” he says. “It means someone took the time to care about how things sound.”
“No matter what the conditions, the Bose gear would let the music happen,” says Kent. “The Mile of Music Festival was really the proof of concept for us this year, and it shows that with the Bose products, we can scale the Tiny House Listening Lounge within any kind of larger festival. “We’ll be back with it here next year, and at lots of other festivals.”