This is Highfield Road is an online sound archive created by artist Duncan Whitley. Visitors to the website can search and listen online to the archive’s 141 sound recordings from Coventry City’s final season at their Highfield Road ground in 2005. The recordings capture the sounds of the crowd in the West Terrace during the games leading up to the final, emotional match at the Sky Blues’ erstwhile home, a 6-2 victory over Derby County on the 30th April 2005. The artist’s project aims to connect between football cultures and the burgeoning interest in sound in the contemporary arts. This is Highfield Road officially launches to the public at on Saturday 21st July.
The recordings were captured in Highfield Road’s West Terrace, using a technique known as “binaural sound” - similar to the technique used in VR and gaming to produce an effect of hyper-realistic, 360 “surround” sound when listened using headphones. Duncan has used binaural technology to transport us virtually to Block WT6 of the old West Terrace. The experience of listening to the recordings in headphones is immersive: we hear the chanting, the “banter” with the away support, the referee’s whistle on the pitch and even the conversations of the fans in the seats behind us with an uncanny sense of spatial realism.
The 141 recordings can be listened to by browsing interactive match timelines (https://www.