SSE Audio recently completed a major audio installation and integration at the world famous home of Royal Ascot.
SSE Audio worked closely with Bose Professional to upgrade the audio and PAVA (public address and voice alarm) systems at Ascot Racecourse, a project which saw over 1,000 loudspeakers installed across the site.
Audio plays a significant part for the 75,000 racegoers on race days, as they move around the many areas of the site – including numerous private boxes.
The newly-developed Bose ArenaMatch was chosen as the main loudspeaker system for the site, with multiple control locations installed as part of the resilience of the infrastructure, which is at the heart of the evacuation system for the site. Network control for the complete installation uses the QSC Q-SYS Ecosystem, including a plugin developed by SSE Audio and Bose.
In 2006, the entire site was upgraded with a £200 million redevelopment including a new Grandstand, Parade Ring and Pavilion – connected with underpasses. The grandstand, which is 350m long (longer than three football pitches) follows the contour of the racetrack and has a 45,000-capacity including over 250 private boxes.
In the last two years, however, the focus of the Ascot board has been on how technology can help elevate the race day experience, with the first priority to update the venue’s audio system.
Audio is extremely important throughout the duration of an event at Ascot; the racing commentary is played through the audio system, music is featured heavily, and a famous sing-along session takes place at the end of each day at Ascot Royal; with 25,000 people congregating around the bandstand.
On major race days the audio has to cater for some 75,000 visitors. The ambition was to achieve extensive audio coverage across the site, with high vocal clarity and at levels that match the particular location and circumstance.