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Open AccessArticle

Advantages and Disadvantages of Surround-Type Concert Halls

Theatre Projects, London NW5 2SW, UK
Rob Harris Design Limited, Winchester, UK
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 582-589;
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)
PDF [169 KB, uploaded 22 July 2019]


Following the significant number of new shoebox-type halls that opened in the last decades of the 20th century, the first decades of the 21st century have seen large concert hall design and construction dominated by halls in a surround format. This typology is characterised by the audience surrounding the concert platform, with a significant percentage of the audience seated to the sides of or behind the platform. These halls often use vineyard-style terracing. This paper discusses some advantages and disadvantages of surround halls, with respect to both acoustics and wider performance aspects. The perspectives of audiences, performers and hall operators are considered. Factors include acoustical quality, equality of audience experience, multiple performance genre use and ticket revenue. In particular, the implications of locating a high percentage of the audience behind the concert platform are examined. This is because, in most surround halls, a significantly higher percentage of the audience is located behind the platform as compared, for example, to shoebox halls. View Full-Text
Keywords: concert hall; surround hall; vineyard; advantages; disadvantages concert hall; surround hall; vineyard; advantages; disadvantages
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Harris, R. Advantages and Disadvantages of Surround-Type Concert Halls. Acoustics 2019, 1, 582-589.

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