Patch were delighted to be asked to amplify both the 'Montpellier Gardens' and 'Town Hall' sites at the prestigious Cheltenham Literature Festival. 2019 marks the 70th consecutive year for the festival and the 140,000 spectators enjoyed hearing from some 900 authors and celebrities throughout the 10 day event.Nicola Tuxworth, Head of Programming, said: “We are thrilled that more people than ever before experienced the Festival’s unique brand of literary revelry. Our programme reflected on seven decades of incredible heritage whilst looking outwards to the raft of talent from around the world, and forwards to the future of the written and spoken word. We recognised literary greats, showcased new voices and, most importantly, helped inspire a future generation of readers, writer and thinkers through cumulation of our year-round education outreach.”

Helen Bonham-Carter Cheltenham Literature Festiva.jpg 2019

Helen Bonham - Carter


Richard Ayoade

Patch were tasked with designing audio systems for the spaces to provide perfect coverage throughout the audience areas whilst adhering to strict weight and sightline restrictions. The PA consisted predominantly of our d&b Audiotechnilk Q and E series loudspeakers with some help from the EV ELX series with Amptronic Hearing Loops throughout. 

Every venue was also recorded both for the press and to be stored in the expansive Cheltenham Festival Archive so the control solution was important to get right. To add another layer of complexity, our consoles also provided the mix that was streamed out on Sky Arts. Yamaha QL and Allen and Heath SQ (with Dante Cards) consoles provided the necessary processing power to get the job done whilst also providing a reliable routing solution for the recording. The larger venues recorded presenters, playback and audience mics separately over Dante and were then mixed down and mastered on site to ensure the recordings were ready to be used for any application.

Another challenge to overcome for us was the ambient noise level. As the venues are mostly temporary structures, they don't offer much in the way of isolation from external noise wether that's rain, people or a nearby venue. Basically we needed to make sure we could get enough direct signal from the presenter to be able to get above the ambient noise level without it feeding back or indeed re-amplifying the offending noise. Our solution: the DPA 6066 headsets. The best headsets in the business. Presenters can sometimes be uncomfortable with headsets but these are light, discreet and easy to fit.

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Patch Productions Conference audio

They also sound incredibly natural which is a real bonus when you need to get the mic nice and close as we did in this scenario. Another important thing is the ability to tailor the mic to skin tone. We stock a selection of colours so they can be discreet on everyone. Celebrities including Dermot O'leary, Graham Norton, Louis Theroux, Daisy May & Charlie Cooper, all presented wearing our DPA 6066. In fact everyone we encountered was happy to wear them with some even commenting on how they didn't even remember they we wearing one (after we had to chase them to the signing shop to retrieve them!)

Dan Woodgate from "Madness" Getting Mic'd Up