The RTM Stage needed to prove its worth as ‘a genuine rave cave’ (photo: Peitsman/Mitchell Dobbelstein)
The Netherlands - Techno-based Rotterdam Rave runs up to 10 underground rave events a year which draw in excess of 50,000 visitors. Originally located in old industrial buildings, the sold-out events have grown rapidly in size, and the organisation recently adopted the 8000-capacity RTM Stage at Rotterdam Ahoy as the newest addition to the Rotterdam Rave territory. As a purpose-built venue, the RTM Stage needed to prove its worth as ‘a genuine rave cave with plenty of underground vibes’.
Helping bring about this transformation at the Rotterdam Rave Kick-Off 2023 event in February was Peitsman Licht en Geluid BV, which supplied two MDG ATMe haze generators to Stöd for show designer, Joël Lemmerling, and lighting designer, Guy van Noorden.
Peitsman’s project leader for the event, Patrick Botterman, explains: “There was some scepticism amongst the rave goers that the venue would not be ‘underground’ enough, so it was Rotterdam Rave’s mission to prove to the public that they could achieve the right atmosphere for a fantastic evening.”
“It was important that we made the party goers feel like participants, not viewers, to really give them that immersive party experience,” adds show designer, Joël Lemmerling. To this end, Guy van Noorden designed an overhead set based around a number of aerial cubes and a tremendous lighting rig suspended above the public on over 800m of truss, and focused the lighting on the audience rather than the performers and DJs on stage.
As the hall was filled with beams of light and laser effects, the overhead cubes were outlined with white LED strips that added another dimension to their shape. These helped define the geometric shape within the haze, emphasising and enhancing the ethereal, dream-like appearance as they hung suspended and isolated above the audience.
This was made possible by the smooth, wide-reaching haze which filled every part of the hall from the two MDG ATMe haze generators. These were sited in backstage left and right positions and, with the aid of two fans, were all that were needed to fill the massive, 60+m long RTM hall. “We turned the ATMes on a couple of hours before the event kicked off and simply left them to it,” says Botterman. “They were really economical on fluid and the CO2 management was very simple. The result was a smooth, even haze throughout the whole hall which lasted until the early hours of the morning and proved the perfect foil to Stöd’s lighting.”
Peitsman has worked with Rotterdam Rave on its previous events at the Onderzeebootloods old submarine dry dock, and is the preferred supplier for all events at the Ahoy RTM Stage. “We work with ATMe generators a lot and find they are easily able to handle these large spaces,” says Botterman. “Even in the ZiggoDome (Amsterdam’s 17,000 capacity venue) we only need three ATMe generators.
“We were very excited at the opportunity to bring these to realise Stöd’s big party vision for the Rotterdam Rave Kick-Off 2023 - the first of the festival events for us and their first at the Ahoy RTM Stage… and with the audience partying until 7am, they obviously achieved their goal.”

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