Access All Areas September 2019 - Page 39

SEPTEMBER | REVIEW Acoustic challenges Jockey Club Live and Music Plus Sport continued their partnership with the 2019 summer series spanning 24 dates and 15 different racecourses including Newmarket, Market Rasen, Aintree, Carlisle and Haydock A ccess visited Sandown Park, where more than 10,000 people enjoyed a family day of racing followed by an emotive Jess Glynne set. Andrew Wilkinson, chief executive of Music plus Sports told Access: “This year it has not been as easy as some. I think the competition for good headliners and the oversupply of entertainment generally has put a squeeze onto a lot of outdoor shows, but we’ve fared pretty well and are optimistic moving forward. We always want to sell-out although some artists are better at achieving that than others. There’s been huge amount of sport, which is a direct competitor alongside festival and live music activity, so we have to make sure we are cost effective with the cost of our tickets. “Our USP is delivering a unique afternoon of racing followed by music in a great setting. The tickets are generally around £50 (including VAT), which is great value for afternoon racing followed by an evening show. This is our sweet spot as we constantly look to improve the quality of our entertainment through new talent and changes to the themes and types of music, with West End productions and fifty-piece orchestras, DJ collaborations being new and successfully undertaken for the first time this year. “Since we started six years ago Symphotech has been with us looking after all of our technical production, Health & Safety, staging and noise management needs. We work very closely with them before, during and after the event, talking with them about any problems that might be anticipated and how we overcome them. The planning for next year starts now as we are booking artists and they start talking to the production managers of these artists; discussions which will run through to the shows themselves. Sandown has seen successful concerts with big acts such as Jess Glynne, Madness and Pete Tong & the Heritage Orchestra all headlining this summer. Will Hodgson, director at Symphotech commented: “We coordinate the suppliers across all courses to ensure consistently high quality production in line with the brand. This year we have brought in Clair Global supplying audio and lighting, which gives us one convenient, cost effective, point of contact. Serious Stages supplied stages and AVPs, Midas supplied power, Blue Multimedia brought in all the camera and video and Alistage provided all the crowd barriers. We do supplier deals across all of the venues for all shows, which means we can give Music plus Sport good value. “Pete Watts is Symphotech’s production manager for this and many of the Jockey Club Live shows. He manages all the technical aspects, which includes lighting and the PA, producing a standardised rig across the shows. He then liaises with the various artists, tour managers and production managers to get technical specs agreed. “Part of our role is compliance with licences. Last week we had to organise authority from the CAA for Pete Tong to use lasers, which was particularly sensitive with the venue being on the flight path into Heathrow. It’s different to other events, but went smoothly. “We have a specialist company called Acoustech that manages noise levels for events, which is important for the racecourses maintaining good relationships with neighbours. Sophia Livett is our on-site noise consultant here (at Sandown Park), monitoring and recording readings at key sensitive remote locations. She also interacts with the public and is constantly relaying any messages back to the front-of-house sound engineer to manage levels, which is often altering volume levels or getting adjustments to specific frequencies when necessary.” The operations manager at Sandown racecourse, Gareth Richardson, stated: “This is my fifth year working with Music Plus Sport and Jockey Club Live, they provide the acts and Sandown provides the racing element. We combine the two to produce a quality of experience that reflects Sandown. “Acoustech has that experience and personal touch that means if the licence levels are unrealistic, they can talk to and manage those levels with the council and the racecourse.” 39