LONDON – Situated at BOXPARK Wembley, a 20,000 square-foot 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 colored 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, the venue features a course of nine pop-themed holes paired with a high-octane Martin Audio sound system, provided by partners, Middlesex Sound & Light (MSL).
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Director and project manager Darrel Olivier looked no further than the company’s CDD6 / SX112 subwoofer combination, as he has many times in the past.
From Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ to retro 80’s 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. Olivier won the pitch and was soon on-site discussing requirements for the multi-zone site with owner Allan Saud, of operators Mighty Adventures. The brief was to provide 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.
Stated Olivier, “The process began in September last year but became drawn out because of COVID. However, it was a joy to work with 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 speaker selection, he said, “The place is like a tin can with high ceilings and hard surfaces so we specified a large quantity of speakers which could be underrun, to mitigate the reflections. We have used the 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 2-way loudspeakers. In the Ground Floor bar, a pair of CDD6 are complemented by a 1 x 12in SX112 subwoofer concealed under the stairs.
Each of the nine crazy golf holes is served by its own CDD6 and color-coded with its own individual RAL color, with the Martin Audio enclosures are sprayed to match. Three SX112 subs 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,” explains Darrel Olivier.
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.
DJ plug-in points have 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 many media displays used exclusively for digital signage and promo, controlled by Tripleplay.
This is the first Pop Golf venue in what is being positioned as a gradual brand roll-out.
Stated Allan Saud: “The Martin Audio sound 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 speakers blend in seamlessly.”
More photos by Andrew Meredith: