Listen out

When you think of music festivals, loud music, big crowds and mosh pits probably come to mind. But how about Royal Wolf shipping containers?

Believe it or not, Royal Wolf was a key player backstage at this year’s Listen Out festival in Melbourne. Behind the scenes of the popular national dance music event, which took place at Catani Gardens on the St Kilda foreshore in September, Royal Wolf’s shipping containers were playing a critical role – even if nobody realised it.


The sound walls at Listen Out were constructed from Royal Wolf shipping containers, stacked three high, behind each of the stages to reduce the noise impact of the event on the surrounding area.

“There were three stages and three sound walls,” Royal Wolf Business Development Manager Adrian Sheer says of the event.

“The main point of the sound wall is to keep all the music and noise trapped. For the Listen Out festival, the sound walls were there to protect the residential area, because it was on the St Kilda foreshore and there were residential buildings across the road.”


Adrian, who has been with Royal Wolf for two years and manages all the refrigerator (“reefer”) and kiosk containers, says the Listen Out Loud event was “easily the biggest job” that he’s won.

“It was pretty straight forward because I didn’t have to do the install, so there was no engineering involved. It was about making sure my yard had the boxes allocated and all the trucks were booked,” he explains.

The job required a total of 90 containers, ranging from high cubes and standard containers to reefers and wolf locks. In addition to the sound wall, the containers were used as site offices, refrigerators for food and drinks, and secure storage spaces.

All up it took eight workers about two and a half days to construct the sound walls for the event.

“It’s a lot slower for the build because you have to line the containers up correctly, you’ve got to put the twist locks in and lock them in place, and then you’ve got the bridge clamps as well – that takes a bit more time,” Adrian explains.

Counterweight ballasts weighing about five tonnes were used to add weight to each container to stabilise the wall and prevent it from toppling over.

Unloading all the containers from the trucks using a crane was also a slow process.

“In a perfect world it would take 10-15 minutes, but that doesn’t always happen,” he laughs.

Rain during bump-in hindered progress temporarily as well. But, despite the challenges, the job was a resounding success.

Featuring a line-up of international and local artists, including AJ Tracey, Roddy Ricch, JID, Barkaa and Triple J Unearthed winner Mulalo, Listen Out’s first show for 2022 went off with a bang (albeit one the neighbours hopefully didn’t hear).


With Listen Out done and dusted, Adrian was keen to take any learnings and make improvements for the next gig.

“Listen Out was a good learning curve for me and will help me make the next big job run even better,” he says.

Since then Adrian has provided containers for the Melbourne Royal Show, MotoGP and Cox Plate, and will be headed back to St Kilda for the Australian tour by Grammy-nominated DJ Fisher in November.

There’s certainly never a dull moment at Royal Wolf, and that’s exactly how Adrian likes it.

“I love that every day is different, and the variety of customers I get to work with keeps things interesting,” he says.

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