‘Electric Daisy Festival’s bassPOD stage is impressive by any measure’

USA - The architectural design of the Insomniac Events Electric Daisy Festival’s bassPOD stage is impressive by any measure. With a 65ft high trim and a width of approximately 250-feet, it is clearly massive. But there is more than size to this impressive metallic structure designed by Stufish Studios. With its shapes and forms extending in every direction, and at multiple levels, it presents a labyrinth of possibilities, inviting all who look at it to let their imaginations run wild along its myriad paths.

Erik Mahowald spent countless hours delving into every nuance of this stage design long before it was ever constructed. He was tasked with making it come alive and accenting all its compelling power with light.

“Once we received the architectural design from Stufish Studios, my team and I closely evaluated the size and material of the structure,” said Mahowald, head of Bending Lite Productions. “Since the structure is built out of metal, it presents lots of unique opportunities when it comes to lighting.”

Mahowald and his team (programmers Josh Gregoire, Trevor Weidenbacher, Alex Vanroon, and Aaron Attarzadeh, along with stage manager, Lawrence Barcello) made the most of those opportunities, creating reflective effects off the stage’s metal structure, and dramatizing its nuanced features with combinations of shadows and light, while also ensuring that their show flowed in sync with the video content from Wolves Visuals.

“One of our biggest goals with lighting bassPOD was letting the architecture be seen clearly,” explained Mahowald. “We did not want to detract from the brilliance this structure has to offer. Lighting from multiple angles is key in lighting a giant metal structure, using fixtures to uplight, front light, back light, and sidelight played an integral role in the success of illuminating bassPOD. The variety in placement also gave us multiple options to light such a reflective structure.

“Since this is a three-day show, we wanted as many tools as possible to vary the lighting of the structure. We also used a variety of fixture types to ensure bassPOD was lit properly, while also keeping in mind operation for such a fast-paced style of music.”

Key to helping Mahowald achieve this goal were his rig’s 120 Chauvet Professional Color STRIKE M motorised strobe washes, which were supplied by 4Wall Entertainment. Positioned throughout the rig, the IP65-rated fixture with two white light tubes surrounded by a pixel mappable face, filled a variety of roles in his design over the course of the festival.

“Color STRIKE Ms were used as a multi-purpose fixture,” said Mahowald. “At times they were used as a wash to light the structure, while at other times they worked as a strobe to accent the sounds of bassPOD.”

Summing up the overall effect of the interplay between light and darkness in his design, Mahowald noted: “Lighting a structure like this one is all about moments.” And indeed, at bassPOD, 2024, there were plenty of moments that no one will ever forget.”

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