Airstar gets intimate with Shawn Mendes
Thursday, 24 August 2017
balloonThe llluminate tour comprises 61 dates in total touching every continent
World - Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes shot to fame via a clip he posted to Vine in 2014 and has quickly garnered pop royalty status with a social media fan following of millions. At the pinnacle of his career playing sold-out arenas around the world, Shawn is currently embarking on his Illuminate world tour – and French manufacturer and provider of lighting balloons for the event industry, Airstar, is helping to set the stage with its Pendulair LED product.
The llluminate tour comprises 61 dates in total touching every continent, with Shawn playing some of the world’s biggest music venues. Named after his current platinum-selling second studio album, the show features a set built around a 5m wide Airstar Pendulair LED lighting balloon - known as the ‘Orb’. Providing the main source of the light for fans as they walk into the venue, in an off-blue hue which links the tour to the Illuminate album logo, the ‘Orb’ takes centre stage alongside Shawn for the duration of the concert.
Lighting and stage design for Shawn’s third concert tour and first all-arena tour is overseen by Louis Oliver and James Scott of Okulus, working alongside Shawn’s creative director Paul Caslin, on-the-road lighting director Ryan Nixon and production manager Andrew Thornton at 24/7 Productions (UK).
“With Shawn’s current album entitled Illuminate, we wanted a central piece to the performance that brought this to life visually and set the right tone and atmosphere. Paul took inspiration from the dramatic Solar Equation project from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer – a large-scale public art installation simulating the sun which debuted in Australia in 2010 and was enabled by custom Airstar solutions – and this led us to envisage the ‘Orb’ and reach out to Airstar,” explains Thornton.
Production design company Okulus are the driving force behind the collaboration, and Scott elaborates: “The ‘Orb’ is the visual representation of Shawn’s inner conscience, which he talks with as part of the artistic narrative interwoven between tracks. He performs three songs directly beneath the ‘Orb’, with a custom content by Treatment Studio mapped onto it. The lighting and staging became another medium through which he is speaking with his fans, creating a fully immersive experience.”
(Jim Evans)

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