Stadium confidence despite sound criticism

Despite criticism of the sound quality at Forsyth Barr Stadium during the Hollies concert, event promoters and stadium managers remain confident the venue can, and will, continue to host major musical productions.

About 6500 people bought tickets to Ride the Rhythm, which involved an equestrian display and competition followed by the Hollies concert on Friday.

The Otago Daily Times was contacted by a few ticket holders disappointed with what they said was poor sound quality.

One letter writer said he and his friends left the concert after four songs because the acoustics were ''abhorrent''.

''It was our first and last visit to this venue for a music concert,'' the Ashburton resident said.

Another ticket holder said she also left early because she could not make out the words to some songs.

But Ride the Rhythm manager Andrew Hansen and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden were pleased with the sound quality and excited about staging further concerts at the stadium.

Both received positive feedback from people who attended the Hollies and were personally pleased with how the event went.

Mr Hansen said the promoter who helped bring the Hollies to New Zealand from the United Kingdom told him the sound quality was ''above average'' for a stadium of that size.

He received an email from someone who said there was no problem with the sound, unlike at the Elton John concert.

A full sound system was used, as enough tickets were sold to cover the cost.

''About 95% of feedback has been positive. Everyone's just raving about it,'' Mr Hansen said.

The next Ride the Rhythm at the stadium was already being planned, he said.

''It will definitely happen again. The stadium is fantastic.''

Mr Burden said he and the Hollies' promoter were pleased with the sound quality and, although he was aware of a few complaints, there had been a far greater positive response.

''We've had an unusually high number of positive emails from people saying how much they enjoyed the concert. It's always difficult to get it absolutely 100% right, but we don't have any concerns in terms of upcoming events,'' he said.

Ride the Rhythm was difficult to manage because it was ''effectively two events in one'' and the best seats for viewing equestrian displays were not necessarily the best for concerts, Mr Burden said.

Those seated farthest from the Hollies' stage were allowed on the pitch to be closer to the band.

Seating would be carefully considered for the next such event, he said, but for the Paul Simon concert in April that would not be an issue.

''The promoter has been in contact with the people who did Elton John and has all the information from that, and is very well prepared for the concert,'' Mr Burden said.

Overall, Ride the Rhythm had been a great success and he was keen to do ''something like that'' again.

rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

Depends where you're seated

It depends where you are seated; sound may be great in some areas, but rubbish in others.

If people from out of town are walking out after paying for tickets there is very obviously a problem. And a problem that, quite irrespective of one support for or against the stadium, we shouldn't be ignoring. 

As said below, we need to admit there's a problem with the sound - and fix it.  Or at the least make sure people aren't being seated in the areas with rubbish sound.

I am being realistic

Just waiting to hear how much the ratepayer contribution to this event will be. And re the advertising, I didn't know this event was being held either. I only found out the day the event was on.

Stadium sound

The sound was a good as I would expect in a stadium setting from a band who specialise in vocal harmonies. It made no difference whether you were on the pitch or in the stand. Of course they would have been much better in the town hall,which is built for music, but that was not an option.

I had no problems in hearing the words.

A concert in a stadium built for sport is best suited to bands that are loud.

There was plenty of publicity about the show for anyone who reads the ODT, so there was no excuse for people not knowing it was on.

Concert promotion

I didn't go to the event, but there was certainly no lack of advertising and promotion for Rhythm and Ride.  It was all over the media in the couple of weeks leading up to the show.

be realistic

Speedfreak your negativity is overwhelming.  You are entitled to it don't get me wrong but let's use a little tact.

6500 is a better response that ticket sales to any other of their concerts. It doesn't have to be a full stadium to be a success. As long as everyone at least breaks even or makes a profit. Vector doesn't even sell out half the time and it's only 12500.

30,000 won't support every event in town so be realistic. 

One more thang chaps!

I attended the Hollies as did my parents and a few other friends. No one had any complaints about the sound quality go figure!

No doubt someone will be along soon to tell me why im wrong whilst proving it with a made up stat.

Low numbers

A number of people I have talked to had no idea that the Hollies were even playing at the stadium on Friday night. Most of them said had they known they were playing they would have brought a ticket and gone along for sure. 

I feel the low crowd for this event boils down to a failure to market the event than to anything else.

Heads in the sand

Look guys get a grip. 

Get the sound right - Listen to the people who had a problem.  They couldn't hear the music. These people who couldn't hear properly are not anti stadium.

Paul Orders and the Chief of DMVL and the Mayor need to front up.

People like you are coming away from the venue unable to hear the concert.  People like you are spending money on a concert they can't hear.  Please do due diligence and get those "sound experts" to do a dam sound check. 

Just for Ffolkes

Here's a wee line from a song from our friend, slightly adjusted for this article. I know you will get a laugh from this:

Would the next has been please stand up, please stand up 

Achievements of mediocrity

If the promoters are well aware in advance of sound issues at the stadium and have prepared accordingly, then a simple question remains unanswered.  Why do patrons who shell out money to see and hear acts at the stadium rate the sound quality over the PA systems as "abhorrent"?  While pondering that answer, why is it that, after we were all told that the surface was the most high-tech, durable and incredible surface ever devised that the recent soccer fixture rated the surface as being the worst they had played on?  When considering the answer to that question, readers may like to consider just how much they have paid in their rates to achieve these levels of mediocrity.

Another nail in the stadium coffin?

Yes, Im thinking so. Soon, no music events will be held there once the word spreads of the sound quality. I heard complaints that you couldn't understand a word the announcer at the previous event, the weekend before as well. Not looking good.

The Hollies, one of the biggest names in music, draws 6500 people to the stadium. Could have held that at the Regent or in the Octagon and the sound quality would have been better. I still say the roof is the problem with the accoustic quality.

And who will be the next big drawcard to help the stadium a bit further down the slippery slope? The Wiggles perhaps? 

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