Caroline Bay’s Sound Shell is a fantastic outdoor entertainment venue, but it’s also becoming the source of some fantastical hyperbole. If this nonsense is going to continue then I’ll have to launch my next election campaign down there. Just imagine the hoards I could claim were in attendance. I can even imagine a front page heading in the Timaru Herald: McMillan attracts 10,000 to Caroline Bay.
Seriously though, in my last post I estimated that the seated capacity of the Sound Shell would be around 3,000 where the steps, grass and front area were fully utilised. I’ve since done a bit of research and analysis to get a better picture of the Sound Shell’s capacity.
So lets start with what we know. The steps have allocated seating for 1,812 people, based on 50 cm wide seating. That means that for adults, it’s pretty much shoulder to shoulder, (and in reality people will only sit that close if they are forced to). Measurements from the Timaru District Council’s online GIS show the seated area (including isles) takes up around 1,240 sq. m which gives a crowd density of 1.46 people per sq. m when at capacity. The grass section comprises of 920 sq. m, the path 320 sq. m, and the front section (which includes the temporary seating) comprises 330 sq. m.
Based on research from Dr. Dirk Oberhagemann, I’m estimating that people on the grass, path, and front sections have a maximum density of 1 person per sq. m seated and 2 people per sq. m standing. I’m also assuming that the concrete steps can have two rows of people per step if standing.
Given the above, I estimate the maximum seated capacity of the Sound Shell as 3,382 and the maximum standing capacity as 6,764.
Along with the above information, I’ve compiled a series of photographs from various events held at the Sound Shell, with the published attendance estimate. Using the pictures, I’ve managed to create what I feel are more reasonable estimates of attendance:
|Bay Carnival 1965
|Bay Carnival 2010/11
|Alan Hubbard Memorial 2011
|Anzac Day 2012
|Christmas Carols 2012
|Bay Carnival 2012/13 – Annah Mac
And here are the notes for the estimates: