Sound System Design & Coordination for Winchester Fireworks


As Winchester’s largest one-day fundraising event, Winchester Round Table Bonfire and Fireworks has enjoyed huge success and grown in size over the years. Each November they welcome 20,000 visitors to their well-known fireworks extravaganza. As ever, the evolution of this annual event meant that the sound system technology had to grow with it. They faced a number of obstacles which with our knowledge and expertise, we were able to help them to overcome.

Issues:

  • Outdated Sound Equipment – An old-style sound system meant that the audience struggled to hear, impacting the atmosphere and the feeling that they were part of the event. Event Growth – As the size of the audience grew, so did the need for larger sound coverage to make sure all areas of the site were reachable.

  • Entertainment Requirements – As the event has developed and the audience grown, so has the need for entertainment prior and post fireworks. Music was added to build the atmosphere in the build up to the event and then after the fireworks were finished.

  • Health and Safety – As with all events, it’s extremely important to adhere to rules and regulations. With an event of this size, it’s paramount that any emergency announcements would be heard.

Soundbite’s Solution:

  • Continuity – As we provide our services to this event annually, we make sure that the same teams of people work the event, ensuring our client has familiarity with us, as well as our staff with the event.

  • Planning - We carefully planned and plotted a simulation of the speaker layouts and positioning to ensure good audience sound coverage. We also considered our speaker and operating positions to ensure they would work well with the event layout.

  • Systems and Technology – We used leading sound system technology systems that are designed for large crowds and performances. The system even monitors the site temperature and humidity then adjusts the audio where required.

  • Network – The sound system was fully networked so we could adjust sound levels remotely around the site via iPad. This helped us monitor boundary noise levels.

  • Radio Links - To avoid trip hazards we kept cable runs to a minimum and used radio links.

  • Backups – We ran backup music tracks for the fireworks in case the music playback failed.

What were the results?

  • With just a few simple tweaks, we were able to transform this event. Background music throughout the event created an upbeat atmosphere, resulting in a greater experience for the attendees.

  • The fact that sound coverage now reached the entire site meant not only did attendees hear everything that was being said, but also that adverts could be better shared resulting in higher advertising revenue.

  • Due to Soundbite’s familiarity with the event, the event organisers had confidence in our service and delivery, taking pressure and AV planning responsibilities away from them so that they could divert their attention to the most important part of this event – fundraising.

  • Whilst these may seem like small changes, the ultimate success was the impact these had on donations. Organisers raised significantly more funds, predominantly due to the improved atmosphere and their fundraising messages reaching all corners of the crowd.