Situated at BOXPARK Wembley, a 20,000 sq ft events space described as ‘the ultimate fan park destination’, Pop Golf offers a unique social experience, combining crazy golf with 21st century pop music in a brightly coloured environment. This unusual playground is built on the belief that nothing brings people together like music and play.
Based on a concept devised by Smith & Devil, Pop Golf features a course of nine pop-themed holes paired with a high-octane Martin Audio sound system and a visual system from CHAUVET Professional, Avolites, Samsung and Tripleplay, provided by partners, Middlesex Sound & Light (MSL).
“Key to the brief was the name, Pop Golf,” explained Darrel Oliver, Director and Project Manager at MSL. “The client wanted to provide a super high-quality audio and lighting solution that would allow for excellent playback of pre-recorded music of all genres throughout the venue, as well as good quality reliable LED based effects that could be controlled to create different themes, moods and shows during varying times of day.”
From Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ to retro 80s boomboxes and suspended cassette tapes, each hole is completely unique and has been designed to offer the experience of stepping straight into a music video. Hence MSL also applied some unusual twists and immersive customer interaction.
They were introduced to the project by designer, Zachary Pulman (Zachary Pulman Design Studio), with whom they worked previously on the similarly profiled, Swingers. Darrel won the pitch and was soon on-site discussing requirements for the multi-zone venue with owner, Allan Saud, of operators, Mighty Adventures. The client wanted cutting edge audio technology, that would do justice to the eclectic playlist, profiled by Creative Director, Kevin Mura (of Smith & Devil). The playlists were curated by Tin Drum, featuring different genres each night, while Open Ear delivered the platform for the music playout.
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Stated Darrel: “The process began in September last year but became drawn out because of COVID. However, it was a joy to work on because the client had put together a complete 30-page AV presentation pack; they knew exactly what they wanted. There was a strong emphasis on powerful sound with some quirks. For example, in the Sound Lounge experience they have used Ableton Live software run off a 32Gb iPad Pro to enable clients to interact and manipulate the sound.” Any sound source can be sent to any zone with local volume and source select by BSS remote control panels.
Explaining the loudspeaker selection, he said: “The place is like a tin can with high ceilings and hard surfaces, so we specified a large quantity of loudspeakers which could be underrun, to mitigate the reflections. We have used Martin Audio’s CDD6 many times; aesthetically it is a nice box, which works particularly well with the SX112.”
The operation exists on ground floor and mezzanine levels. In total MSL has deployed 22 CDD6 compact two-way loudspeakers. In the Ground Floor bar, a pair of CDD6 are complemented by one 12-inch SX112 subwoofer concealed under the stairs.
Each of the nine crazy golf holes is served by its own CDD6 and colour-coded with its own individual RAL colour, which the Martin Audio enclosures are sprayed to match. Three SX112 subwoofers have been specified – two flown and one floor-standing – each providing coverage for three of the holes.
One twist is on Hole 3 where a giant set of headphones has been equipped with a pair of Martin Audio ADORN A55. “As clients walk through it, they trigger different sound effects,” explained Darrel.
Up on the Mezzanine, each of the two zones is identically equipped with CDD6 in each of the four corners and an SX112 handling the low frequency extension. Five Powersoft M28Q four channel amplifiers were also specified for their efficiency and high-power performance when combined with the Martin Audio loudspeakers.
DJ plug-in points have also been provided on Hole 9 – which is designed as a live stage set, with provision for live PA. Further DJ plug-in points can be found in the mezzanine area for private hire clients.
Finally, MSL has provided a full AV infrastructure, with the custom lighting and many media displays used exclusively for digital signage and promo.
“The place is like a tin can with high ceilings and hard surfaces, so we specified a large quantity of loudspeakers which could be underrun, to mitigate the reflections.”
In each of the unique golf holes, MSL used a combination of LED and pixel lighting to bring the experience to life, creating an immersive and interactive environment for guests. 12 CHAUVET Colorado stage lights are deployed across the main golf course and mezzanine floor, with 16 bespoke Abstract AVR 500mm 360º RGBW individually controlled LED tubes placed underneath, creating a blanket of vibrant ceiling light across the venue.
“We also installed eight Colorwash RGBW LED wash lights finished in a custom red RAL to provide high intensity red colourwash on golf hole one,” furthered Darrel. “Across the rest of the venue, Abstract AVR RGBW LED tape light has been used to create halo wash LED lighting effects and emphasise wall features, bar features, bar counter fronts, and golf club stands.”
Controlling the entire lighting system is an Avolites T1 control PC with touchscreen, Avolites software, Avolites T1 single universe USB interface and license. “The Avolites package offered a really simple and user-friendly interface for the client, and enabled us to create a number of patches and shows that could be easily recalled at the touch of a button,” furthered Darrel.
As well as the lighting elements of the project, MSL provided seven Samsung displays across the venue, including a large external 65-inch Samsung commercial display screen. All screens are set up and controlled using Tripleplay’s TPS cloud based digital control signage solution, and the original content displayed on the screens, created the project’s Creative Director, Kevin Mura, can be set up and scheduled to play at any point during the day, further enhancing the guest experience.
This is the first Pop Golf venue in what is being positioned as a gradual brand roll-out.
Allan concluded: “The audiovisual system, recommended and installed by the MSL team, has ensured we are able to deliver the unique music experience that we want for our clients. It is both powerful and versatile, making its mark in both the interactive features as well as over the nine golf holes, where the loudspeakers and lighting elements blend in seamlessly.”
This article first appeared in issue 31.6 of MONDO-DR, which you can read below –