Ever-progressive technology continues to equip teams with the ability to produce experiences that are unique, bespoke, and ultimately, unforgettable. If you’ve had your eyes on the trends of stage production over the past year, you’ll have noticed three key trends taking place across the globe; immersion, 3-dimensional, artist-centric lighting.
Immersive & Interactive
Increasingly, lighting designs are becoming more immersive and interactive to create engaging experiences for audiences.
One example of this was during the Super Bowl halftime show this year where 65,000 wristbands illuminated the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The 65k wristbands were tuned into a digital program so they were a part of the lighting performance, giving punters the feeling of being involved in the show itself.
Something to consider here is as the world becomes more environmentally conscious, brands need to be mindful of their strategy to dispose of such materials. The production of these wristbands meant they were produced from recycled materials, then returned to the production company after use.
Catching the eyes of an international audience for quite some time now is the Yuma Tent at Coachella. Lighting designer, Steve Lieberman is known for his immersive work and is the creative behind the Yuma Tent since its inception.
Lieberman isn’t fond of the idea of lighting designs being front loaded - where you could turn around and escape the lighting. At the Yuma tent, all lighting displays are designed to uniquely complement the artist performing at the time. They are driven by emotion and whatever the dj plays on stage is reflected in the lighting design.
Speaking of Steve Lieberman, it’s becoming more common for talent of such caliber to be an attraction at events. More prominent in electronic dance music, lighting design is a critical element to any live show.
Norwegian DJ Kygo tours with his lighting designer and director Alexander Hesse as a part of his live show. Hesse told Fagerhalt, “traditionally, if you’re going to a concert with, for example, Bruce Springsteen, you’re there to see and to hear The Boss. That’s it and you’re happy with that. But when attending this kind of event, you’re not there for the artist only – you want more. You want lights, moving pictures, special effects and pyrotechnics. You want an experience that blows your mind. That’s why I don’t call them DJs, I see them as producers and directors”.
Closer to home, we see festivals like Victorian Pitch Music & Arts Festival commissioning artists to create CGI, spacial design and light installations that enhance stage presentation and in some cases provide a playing field for punters are able to interact with.
While this is expected in the world of EDM, we foresee more and more integrated aural and visual experiences emerging in mainstream entertainment.
As we explored in our 2019 review, 3D is becoming a more dominant approach in the world of brand experience.
This year, the Super Bowl halftime show hit the nail on the head for what is leading lighting trends which can be seen when the stage appeared to “fall away” underneath J-Lo using 3D effects as the stage came to life with LED screens.
Ariana Grande’s 2019 Coachella set featured a 28’ diameter inflatable sphere and six 30K projectors front of house. Visuals were projected onto the sphere in line with music from her album Sweetener. This ultimately came to life when during her song ‘NASA’ “when the stage seemed to zoom into hyperspace with galactic content and the sphere transformed into a giant moon, mimicking the full moon that hung above in the sky”.
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