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Massive G-LEC Solaris rig at Mayday Rave









Mayday celebrations started early in the German city of Dortmund this year. The cavernous Arena in the Westfalenhalle opened its doors to 25,000 partygoers on the 30th of April, with most leaving, bleary-eyed at 9am the following morning.

The event was a truly gigantic techno rave party with a stark, utilitarian feel with gleaming lit truss corners looming out of the dark void above, urgent and inquisitive search beams probing the seething mass of revellers below and sharp, jagged and unsettling laser beams.

The most dominating and breathtaking feature in this huge space was defined by the 3D 10m x 10m x 7m array of G-LEC Solaris, ‘balls on a rope’. The Solaris rope cluster was arranged in the void space directly facing the VJ booth, above the audience.

Berlin based Lighting Designer Martin Kuhn knows how to design to achieve very large impact, having worked with large corporate events, rock concerts, architectural spaces and has, in fact designed the open air “sister” of  the Mayday Rave since 1997. This years Mayday was the second time since 2006.

Martin Kuhn: ‘Why did I choose G-LEC SOLARIS? It opens up a whole new set of creative possibilities. The concept of transparency is taken to the next level with this by making it possible to space and scale it in 3D as you wish.’

‘When I saw Solaris at the last PLASA I knew this was the product I was looking for. It was customizable, versatile, affordable, the cabling was unobtrusive enough, so I had all I needed.’ Continues Kuhn. ‘The idea was to not to use it as a simple LED curtain but to go the next step and do it in 3D. Fortunately enough I had some help by my production team in writing a special software using vvvv (the software) to map and move 2D content up and down the Solaris, using DMX controllable frame delay, mirroring and similar effects. On top, we rendered special 3D content to be played on the cube. I am looking forward to use it again in some creative way as soon as possible. And the result blew everyone away. You could see people standing under it looking up, mouth wide open, until they had a stiff neck…’

The 224 G-LEC Solaris ropes, totalling 2.4 km in length and with 1792 balls, were provided by production company satis&fy and supplier A&O, best known for specialist high power search lights.

Kuhn concludes: ‘It was no small feat to make it all happen, but with dedication from everybody involved and some very dedicated technicians to mount and cable this up we pulled it off. And it was well worth it.’

See video at Visual Drugstore!


Photo credits: Amanda Holmes

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