CarFest noise under control

Monday, 3 September 2012
CarFest noise under controlSteve Gosling and Richard Vivian
UK - CarFest South, the motoring and music festival organised by DJ Chris Evans and former Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter was a sell-out success raising an estimated £750,000 for BBC Children in Need.

Organisers approached Steve Gosling of 24 Acoustics to give guidance on noise control at the event. Gosling created noise prediction models for the site and drafted in entertainment noise specialist Richard Vivian of Big Sky Acoustics to assist with real-time event monitoring. Together they co-ordinated the noise monitoring and control activities over the two day event ensuring offsite noise levels complied with the strict limits stipulated in the licence.

The main music stage hosted an impressive line up of live music performances including The Feeling, Texas, The Magic Numbers and Razorlight as well as regular DJ slots from Chris Evans and the final of the all important Cake-versus-Pie competition.

South West Group provided consistent and predictable sound levels from the ground stacked EAW KF850 PA system. Noise from music was raised as a significant concern by some local residents prior to the event, but by using the natural contours of the land and aiming the loudspeaker system at the audience and into the gradually raked ground behind music noise levels were contained around the stage area.

"The predictability of a point source system, combined with the fact that even a large system doesn't necessarily need to be flown is a significant benefit when it comes to containing noise at an outdoor event," commented Vivian of Big Sky Acoustics. "We know where the PA is pointing, there are no boxes high in the air, and on a typically unsettled British summer day a traditional point source systems is more stable than coupled arrays which are very dependent on consistency of the air mass in front of the loudspeakers if they are to work as predicted".

From the happy faces over the weekend to the glowing reviews that followed, CarFest appears to have exceeded all expectations. Motor enthusiasts got to see the most diverse range of vehicles on the hill climb ranging from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to Formula One race cars. Amongst the famous petrol heads to join Chris Evans and Jody Scheckter where James Martin, Mark Webber and Nick Mason who took to the track in one of the many iconic supercars on show.

The location for this all new festival was Scheckter's Laverstoke Park Farm, a working biodynamic and organic 2,500 acre farm near Basingstoke and that was a catalyst for this also being a foodie festival with live cookery demonstrations and many artisan food producers in attendance.

Before the event local residents urged Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to review the premises licence because of fears of disruption. They claimed there was a lack of warning about how the festival might affect the nearby village of Overton.

In a statement, Jody Scheckter said, "We were delighted to host this very special event to raise much-needed funds for Children in Need. We have had overwhelming positive feedback regarding CarFest from local residents and visitors alike, all commenting on how very well run the family event has been and on the part of the local residents a total lack of any disruption with traffic, noise or crime.''

(Jim Evans)

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