Completed in 2013, the $267 million Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova scored an immediate goal as a mecca for Brasil’s soccer fanatics. With a capacity of 48,000+ fans, excellent sitelines and a handsome physical presense, the stadium was everything a sports fan could hope for. In 2016 when a group of entrepreneurs booked the venue for the first of a planned series of Salvador Fest concert events, appreciation for the venue quickly hit a wall. A number of Brasil’s top and some international high profile performing artists (and over 50,000 fans) were bitterly disappointed by abysmal acoustics that totally undermined the music.
With extensive experience in “acoustically tuning” stadiums and arenas throughout Brasil for Olympic and other major sports events, WSDG was called in to evaluate the problems and propose comprehensive (and affordable) corrective procedures. Our initial assement revealed a glaring absense of acoustical treatments. In addition to acoustic measures, we recommended that the (1,000sq. ft) stage constructed for previous concerts should be moved from its original position before a (150 ft. wide) gap in the stadium shell to a permanent location sideways at the field.
After repositioning the (260’ long) stage, WSDG draped all empty seats in the (35,000 sq ft.) area at the upper ranks with an expansive acoustic ‘blanket.’ Additionally, lengths of fiberglass wrapped with carpet were hung from scaffolds at the sides of the stage to establish a secondary absorbtive barrier. These flexible treatments dramatically reduce the reverberation time in the space, and substantially enhance sound quality throughout the stadium. To further distribute sound with a balanced frequency response and even sound pressure levels for all occupied areas, WSDG designed an innovative 80-unit speaker array system for the 2016 event.
For the upcoming festival, WSDG is already studying new ideas and simulating other concepts to vastly improve performance sound quality for the 50k + fans scheduled to attend Salvador Summer Festival in December 2017.
WSDG Partner/Director of Design/Head of the Belo Horizonte, Brasil office, Renato Cipriano (left), and U.S.-based Project Engineer, Kevin Peterson pictured on the field at Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova Salvador, Brasil with 3 line array system columns being used during their acoustical measurement process, to generate sufficient sound pressure levels (SPL) in all directions to excite the reverberation inside the arena, and capture useful data to fine tune the acoustical model used for simulations during the systems design phase.