Olympic Park, London, UK

15 August 2012

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At the heart of the Olympic Park, London stands Park Live, a dedicated area within the Olympic Park for up to 10,000 fans to enjoy giant screens and picnic lawns in acres of newly created parklands.

Park Live provides the perfect location during the Olympic Games for a picnic or meeting place for friends and family, as well as being the only place in the Olympic Park where audiences can watch live sports action on giant screens during the course of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

At the heart of Park Live is an enormous stage area raised on columns above the river with giant video screens broadcasting live coverage from TV to the parklands on both side of the river.The stage area sponsored by British Airways is where athletes are interviewed after competing, allowing fans to get up close to the real winners and other stars.

Park Live is proving to be the ‘Henman Hill’ of the Olympic Games, where you hear from medal-winning athletes, watch the action live on screen, or simply enjoy a relaxing time on the new riverside lawns.


A key factor in the delivery of the audience experience at Park Live is the distributed audio system. Designed by Sound Directions UK for a major contractor for Park Live the distributed sound system covers acres of newly created parklands, separated by the River Lea. 

The sound system is required to reproduce the audio from live feeds from TV channels in addition to the audio from the live events held on the British Airways stage, to audiences of up to 10,000 people spread across the parklands without polluting surrounding areas with noise.

Stanislas Boivin-Champeaux from Sound Directions UK produced a system design incorporating in-ground loudspeakers placed strategically across the vast parklands and custom-designed high-frequency ribbon-arrays located strategically on the central stage, hidden from audience view.

A critical factor in choosing the SoundTube XT850i-GN in-ground loudspeakers was as much the aesthetics of the product in addition to its audio performance and characteristics. Blending in perfectly with the surrounding parklands newly-laid pathways, lawns, wild shrubs and flowers nearly 100 in-ground loudspeakers were installed to provide a multi-zoned and distributed sound system.

Boivin-Champeaux for Sound Directions UK commented, ‘The performance of the SoundTube XT850 is excellent, the custom ribbon-arrays were added to supplement the in-ground loudspeakers and add some atmosphere to the sound in both park areas, enhancing the listening experience for the audiences’

Cloud VTX-4400 and VTX-4240 4-channel amplifiers drive the SoundTube loudspeakers and custom HF ribbon arrays. With more than 40 channels of amplification required by the sound system to cater for the large number of zones across the parklands, the VTX 4-channel amplifiers were chosen for their performance and reliability.

Park Live is open from early morning to late evening allowing spectators to visit before and after sporting events in the Olympic Park for the duration of the Games and the system is required to operate at maximum levels for up to 18 hours per day.

Boivin-Champeaux commented ‘I really like Cloud amplifiers, our system design coupled them with a series of Cloud CXL-400T 100V transformers and they provide a really clean and strong audio signal. The VTX-WM1 web cards fitted to the amplifiers turned out to be a really cool feature as they allow the contractor to remotely monitor the amplifiers throughout the course of the event. There is also a lot of synergy between a British amplifier manufacturer and this Great British event’.

Park Live continues to draw in enormous crowds during the course of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.