What are the acoustics like at Harrogate?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by toppy the tenor, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Hi everyone

    As Harrogate looms I was just wondering if anyone could shed any light on what the acoustics are like at Harrogate. I know the finals have been there before so I'm sure someone out there must know!

    If there are any West of England vets out there who have played there maybe they could help me out a bit by comparing it to somewhere locally - maybe the Riviera Centre?

    Cheers and good luck to everyone for next weekend.

  2. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    It's a fairly high and open stage playing on to a big open, semi circular, and tiered auditorium...the accoustics are excellent.
  3. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    Thats the trouble with the finals being at the same place. The bands that have played there before ie qualified last year will know what it's like, but new bands will have a stiff learning curve in the first bar. Good luck 4th section flugs and solo horns.
  4. Is it a bit lonely on there then? I presume I can take it from your comment that it's quite dry and not particularly forgiving?


  5. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    There's only one bar!

    We play there regularly. The acoustics are great from the audience and the adjudicators will hear everything.

    On stage it is extremely dry; there is no sense of resonance whatsoever and you may feel as though you're playing a solo. Don't expect to hear players on the other side of the band! It can certainly stand an extra 10% +/- volume and it would seem highly unlikely that any bands will be penalised for generally playing too loud.

    When we perform there we try to sit as far forward as possible and 'fan out' the cornets and trombones almost diagonally. But I accept that might be a risky contest strategy and emphasise that this is not a recommendation!


  6. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I've never been to the Sahara, but from what I've heard, the stage at Harrogate isn't far from.
  7. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Yeah it can get very lonely on the Harrogate stage. At least it meant I didn't get deafened by the percussion when I played there!!!

    I don't think there'll be much advantage to any band due to the continued use of one venue, not many of the bands will have played there more than once, qualifying for the nationals isn't generally a common occurrence (unless the band is called Hatfield ;))
  8. Thanks for all your help guys - all very useful insights.

    Be sure to keep an eye out for us in the 3rd Section - Portishead Town Band.


  9. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    I sat right near the back to watch my dad play last year, the acoustics are great as nothing is hidden, the adjudicator will hear absolutely every little thing, the best way to win in that room is to be as tight and meticulous as possible.
  10. Jasonp

    Jasonp Member

    I've been to the Sahara and played on stage at Harrogate, and they're pretty much the same ;)
  11. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    Is that a compliment Lol!

    last year we had a little 'brown trouser' moment at the start but it was the same for everyone. Not so this year.

    Oh by the way. the acoustic is VERY dry and last year there was no humidity in the air either. so you might want to take a water bottle on stage so you dont run out of spit!
  13. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    That was what we thought! "And the band in third place is the band that played number 18, Fulham Brass..." "Oh, ******, Hoe are we going to pay for it this year???" :biggrin:
  14. Jasonp

    Jasonp Member

    I heared a rumour today that the stage has been moved forward. I'm not sure how much of difference that'll make???
  15. Hopefully about 50 miles to St Goerge's hall in Bradford.
  16. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Possibly the worst stage I have ever played on (including the very lonely posh one in London!!). From the front of house it is excellent, the hall takes everything you can give it and the quiet stuff doesnt just dribble of stage but carries all the way to the back.

    Unfortunately....... you can barely hear yourself, let alone the person on the oposite side of the band. I really pity any aspiring young players in the lower sections that arent used to adapting to different accoustics intantly. The main reason for posting this is the hope that some of them are made aware of how much they are gonna have to concentrate here (I dont wanna be giving secrets away for no reason now do I!!)

    Last year myself and the sop player were conducting with our instrument to make sure our rows were in time with each other. Its definitely a lonely place on there.
  17. JR

    JR Member

    I totally agree
    Given that we are stuck with the otherwise excellent Harrogate venue for years to come, cannot the organisers do anything to help the performers - some of whom are very inexperienced and are having to get to grips with extremely demanding testpieces

    john r
  18. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    !!!!!!!!!NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!

    The first, last, and probably only time you will see these three words after a post by me.


    (feeling very intelligent now)
  19. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    It's ironic that just around the corner from the Conference Centre is Harrogate's Royal Hall - in my opinion one of the finest concert halls in the UK, with excellent acoustics. It is currently closed for restoration but will hopefully be back in service in the Summer of 2007. Since it is officially a part of Harrogate's conference facility I can see no reason why it could not be used for the finals whilst still retaining the benefits of the centre, namely the spacious rehearsal and storage areas. It's a great place to play and it can generate a tremendous atmosphere.

    It's also closer to Wetherspoons!

  20. Yoofman

    Yoofman Member

    Dry .... Harsh .... Unforgiving .... and that was the bar during the 2nd section final last year, which managed to run out of beer half way through! (Memo to organisers - we are brass band people - we DRINK - you need to make sure that you're well stocked!);)

    It's ironic that the stage is EXACTLY the same - very harsh and unforgiving - which I suppose is great for the adjudicators, at least they can hear everything which goes on 'stage-side' and nothing will be missed. For the bands though, it's a very hard place to play, especially for soloists on the end of the bench who will struggle to hear what's going on at the other end of their row, never mind what's going on in other areas of the band.

    'First-timers' at the Nationals - you'll enjoy the experience, but beware - the stage and the accoustics don't take any prisoners!

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