Innovative Sound Wall for Festivals and Events



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How do you, as a festival organizer, prevent noise hindrance for the environment of your event? How do you handle the sound clash between different stages? Bakker Group Coevorden has the solution. A 10-meter-high mobile sound wall.


/www.bakkergroep.nl

04-06-2018 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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Transcript

How do you, as a festival organizer, prevent noise hindrance for the environment of your event? How do you handle the sound clash between different stages? Bakker Group Coevorden has the solution. A 10-meter-high mobile sound wall.

 

Hi, Patrick. Welcome to our studio.

 

Thank you

 

A lot of festival organizers are having a big challenge and that’s sound disturbance for the environment, but you have the solution.

 

That’s correct. We have our sound wall solution, consisting of nine and a half meter high panels.

 

We see it here.

 

Yes, we see a very good example, that we used during the Woo Hah festival in the Netherlands. Nine and a half meter high panels, two and a half meters wide. With a concrete block of 10,000 kilograms at the bottom for stability.

 

You don’t push that away.

 

We haven’t tried it, but it won’t be a success, I think. No.

 

But the sound wall wasn’t built initially, for the events industry.

 

No, correct. It was initially built for the oil and gas industry. It was built and designed in cooperation with NAM Shell in the Netherlands. And we built it to protect the environment from the disturbance of a drilling site.

 

That’s a lot of noise, of course.

 

Yes. The drilling rig itself, produces noise but also a lot of the equipment used during drilling operations. Like pumps and power generators, these kind of things. All have engines, motors that createa lot of noise, yes.

 

And what is the effect in decibels, I assume, can you expect?

 

We are able to reduce approximately 20 decibels.

 

That’s a lot.

 

It was tested by TNO in the Netherlands and we have official reports to prove it. It all depends on the configuration of the wall, of course. But the tests we have done have proven reduction of approximately 20 decibels.

 

Like you mentioned, you had your first festival last year.

 

Yes.

 

How did that go?

 

Well, the opportunity came up because of the downtime in drilling, in the oil and gas industry. We had a period where there weren’t a lot of operations planned. No new wells, neither gas or oil and we were looking for opportunities to try to rent our products in another branch. And the festival industry, well music industry basically, was one of the ideas we had. And by coincidence, we came into contact with the organization of the Woo Hah festival in Tilburg. Where they had to do something about the level of the sound they were producing, or the music they were producing. The festival is organized in the middle of a dense area,in the middle of the city. So, there were some areas they had to protect from the noise. And we came into contact with them and we provided them with a solution. And at the end, it worked out perfectly.

 

It cannot only be used for the environment, of course, but also, on a lot of festivals, you have multiple stages and a sound clash between those stages. I think that’s a great solution for it.

 

Yes. Well, I’m not an expert on the various kinds of soundsand sound clashes, but I spoke with one of the organizers and he explained to me a bit what happens during a sound clash. We had a look at the drawing or the setup of the whole field where the stages had to be installed. We created an area in which we placed a sound wall to try to avoid the sound clash.

 

A massive wall like this can also be helpful in crowd control, of course. You have to follow the wall.

 

Yes. Well, it is an expensive solutionjust for control of the people but...

 

If it is there, then it can be used in that situation.

 

That’s true, yes.

 

But what do you do then... it’s of course okay to keep people from the stage, but what happens if something goes wrong? Then they can’t escape.

 

In case of an emergency, we have designed some of the panelswith an emergency exit door. Just for the people. Especially for the Woo Hah festival, we created a system with a push bar. So, in case of an emergency, you simply push the bar and the door opens and people can escape. Or at least, exit to a safe zone or safe area.

 

I think one last but important question: I can imagine it takes some time to build a wall like this.

 

Yes, that’s true. Well, we need what we call a clean environment to start. So, we need some space. We come in with a lot of trucks and we need a mobile crane. We need a sky worker or a cherry picker, as we call it. The walls are ten meters high. So, we need a little bit of space to place the concrete blocks. And in the end to put up the panel, which is nine and a half meters high. Yes, from there on, we need some space to build up the wall but, in the end, if everything goes well, we are able to build approximately 50 to 75 meters per day.

 

That’s still quite fast. I would have imagined that it would go slower.

 

No. We have quite an experienced crew. We have the sound wall in our program for more than 30 years. And we have guys in our team that are with the company for over 20 years at the moment.

 

They have some experience in this field.

 

Yes, they have.

 

Okay, Patrick. I think that’s a great solution for a lot of organizers. Thank you for coming over to our studio.

 

We hope so. Thank you, very much.

 

And you at home, thank you for watching our show, I hope to see you next week.

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