External shot of Kennards Hire sound barriers surrounding Eden Park
Earlier this year, Eden Park, New Zealand’s national stadium prepared to hold its first concert on the hallowed turf.
Unfortunately, in the days leading up to the much-anticipated concert, things didn't quite go to plan. Luckily, Kennards Hire's Auckland branch stepped in with some quick action that saved the day.
Here's how the story unfolded.
Traditionally, Eden Park has been a sports stadium. It has been the home of Auckland rugby and cricket for over 100 years, and has a capacity of close to 50,000 seats.
Early 2021, Auckland Council granted the venue permission to hold up to six live music events over 12 months – a brand new direction for the stadium. It was especially significant given that so much of the world has had to put its live events on hold due to COVID-19.
The first concert was held in April, with the event also being the first one of its kind in NZ since the start of the pandemic. It featured popular NZ band SIX60, alongside several other Kiwi acts, and attracted a capacity crowd.
But there was a problem!
Two days before anyone even stepped on stage, the supply of the noise control equipment was unfortunately cancelled.
This was a serious challenge, as the concert needed to meet council requirements for noise pollution control, which is set at a maximum of 75dB. Without the required level of soundproofing, the event wouldn’t be able to go ahead.
This was also no ordinary job. It wasn’t just a matter of hiring some equipment and all would be well – it needed a bespoke solution for what was a very unique situation.
So the project manager for the acoustic barrier, Ben Hogan of MacFarlane and Murray, made a call to Nigel Annear – Kennards Hire NZ Area Manager in Auckland.
Kennards Hire rises to the challenge
The Kennards Hire Auckland team, with Branch Manager Junior Moevasa at the helm, very quickly got onto the task by supplying and installing fence sound barriers.
But as Junior points out, this was a big job that basically involved covering the whole stadium. The size of the job then presented another challenge as the branch had limited supplies of the sound barriers in stock!
To solve this, Junior says they had to quickly rally around their network to make sure the organisers got what they needed.
Internal shot of Kennards Hire sound barriers surrounding Eden Park
What happened next?
According to the team at Eden Park, Nigel, Junior and the rest of the Kennards Hire team at the Auckland and Grey Lynn branches “literally found a solution to our problem” by swinging into action so fast. The Park’s CEO Nick Sautner said:
“Eden Park’s first-ever concert marked a new era for New Zealand’s national stadium. Delivering the biggest concert in the world since COVID-19 was a significant milestone, and Kennards Hire played a critical role in helping the show go on, designing a bespoke, fit-for-purpose solution to help us achieve compliance and mitigate the impacts of noise on our neighbours.”
Ben Hogan said that the Kennards Hire team pulled out all stops to ensure the stadium had enough scaffolding and acoustic matting to deliver a bespoke sound barrier solution. He describes the team as going the “extra mile to ensure we had enough of the acoustic matting to finish an urgent and hugely stressful job.”
Ben also offered his congratulations to the team for helping make Eden Park’s concert successful, and he said that he won’t hesitate to get in touch with Kennards Hire for further projects.
As for the concert itself, by all accounts it was a resounding success, and reviews have been very positive!
But there’s even more good news. Shortly after the event, Eden Park was ranked the best stadium in the world by Pollstar – an honour previously reserved for big overseas venues like New York’s Maddison Square Garden. This was another first for New Zealand - no NZ venue has been in the top ten before.
“Being named the number one stadium in the world in Pollstar’s mid-year rankings only a few months later made the event even more memorable," Nick Sautner said.
The vision of the Eden Park Trust Board is for the venue to be recognised as providing world-class live events. Given these recent successes, it appears they are well on their way towards achieving their vision.
What the results demonstrate
The final result demonstrated the expertise and dedication of the Kennards Hire Auckland team, in the way they made sure the venue had exactly what was required within a short timeframe.
It shows how important it is to Kennards Hire generally to ensure our customers have what they need, even if the situation is urgent. And if we find we don’t have the equipment at one branch, we will get it from somewhere else – as was the case in this project.
When teams pull together in New Zealand, they can really pull off fantastic world-class events that rival the best of them!