I've been trying to keep my distance from this debate recently, given my distance from Shetland and lack of presence on Shetlink over the last few months, but..... As a professional sound engineer, working in a well known London concert venue a few points in a recent post caught my eye and I just couldn't let them pass. This is a gross simplification. There are countless reasons why one might hear bad sound at a gig. Badly set up equipment is indeed one, as is a performer with a poor grasp of microphone technique, or a dirty mains supply, or a late get in leading to hurried sound-check..........etc, etc, etc. There are so many variables that are difficult to control. Venue owners must, therefore, do their utmost to create favourable conditions with the variables they can control. The most fundamental of these is room acoustics. A room with good enough acoustics, and the right mix of instruments played by skilled musicians, needs no PA or sound engineer (yes, these rooms are rare, but they do exist). And, conversly, the best sound engineer in the world will struggle to get good, clear sound in a "poor" acoustic space (I put poor in inverted commas because this is another simplification. Your definition of poor acoustics will vary depending on what you want to achieve). So, I would say that the most important factor in designing a performance space is creating an acoustic environment suited to the type of noise you intend to make. Another gross simplification. 5000 people (and all the heat and humidity they create) can have a profound effect on the acoustics of a big space. I know, I've heard it from behind a mixing desk. Correct me if I've picked this up the wrong way, but you seem to be suggesting that a big room suffers less from environmental acoustic effects than a small one. This is not the case, the effects are just different, and need different solutions. There are acoustically good and bad small rooms and there are good and bad big rooms. One is not "better" than the other. Different designers? Different brief? Different budgets? Different building regulations?...... My point being, who knows? I'm sorry to labour a point here, but there are countless reasons why one acoustic space can be different from another. And the fact (? I'm taking your word for this) that the Oslo Konserthus has poor acoustics is absolutely no reason to suppose Mareel will also. What an arrogant statement. I would imagine that most of the people arguing in favour of Mareel take music quality very seriously. Surely that must be a large part of the reason for wanting a purpose built venue. I can't help suspecting that many of them also have a much more detailed knowledge of acoustics than you do. I agree with you that local bands should strive to develop the skills to allow them to operate in less favourable venues, but I don't see how this can be an argument against Mareel. It is not just intended to be a nice sounding hall for local bands to have an easy life in. I'm not going into all the varied purposes Mareel is intended for because they've been covered at length elsewhere, but to argue against it because it will provide local bands with a pleasant performance space seems a little perverse to me.