Christoph Schneider stages 28-metre-long, movable bridge using 56 JDC Line 1000
Between 16 and 18 June, one of the highlights of the German festival season took place in Scheessel, northern Germany, with the staging of the Hurricane Festival. The enormously versatile German rapper Casper, who rocked the River Stage on Saturday night, was one of the headliners of the festival alongside Muse, Kraftklub, Die Ärzte, Placebo and Queens of the Stone Age. Thanks to a mobile bridge that stretched almost five metres above the heads of the audience, a special festival moment was created that will live in the memory for a long time.
Lighting designer Christoph Schneider used 56 JDC Line 1000 to create the lighting for the 28-metre-long bridge that stretched between the two FoH positions.
“There was a desire for a B-stage with that certain something extra,” says the designer, explaining the basic concept. “Although a B-stage is nothing new, if you want to create surprising moments you have to think ‘out of the box’.”
In fact the idea for the movable bridge ultimately came from Landstreicher Booking, the artist’s booking agency. Peter Roth-Lipkow from schoko pro GmbH in Wiesbaden developed, planned and built the massive construction together with Malecon Staging. Schneider then brought them to life with lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics.
“The overall design for Casper was pretty clean and powerful,” says Schneider. “With the bridge in mind, I was looking for a linear lighting solution that would be able to cut through the night sky with high output.”
After a phone call with Michael Feldmann from GLP, the JDC Line 1000 was earmarked for this purpose. “Regardless of which fixture I use I generally don’t want the technology itself to be visible,” Schneider continues. “Usually I see the JDC Line hidden in the decor so that only the light bar remains visible. However, in this case, the fixture design matched the black truss bridge perfectly, as the whole construction had a rather industrial feel.”
The JDC Line 1000s were used to trace the contour of the bridge. The hybrid of high-performance strobe and two RGB LED surfaces in a linear design were able to provide strong images with their enormous power, which harmonised very well with the raw look of the special construction and would unfold over the heads of the audience.
In order to guarantee the surprise effect on the one hand and an unrestricted view on the other, the bridge was lowered at the beginning of the show and was therefore invisible to the majority of the audience. It was only raised shortly before use and provided the first of the show’s many ‘wow’ moments.
Christoph Schneider had clear ideas about how he wanted to shape Casper’s big moment on the bridge: “If the artist were to appear on a B-stage, of whatever kind, then the focus had to be there. That meant no blind spot, no light from the main stage, but all lighting emanating from the artist. And because the 10 minutes that Casper would perform on the bridge high above the audience were to be the absolute show highlight, there needed to be a lot of lighting coming from his direction at that moment. What was needed was a fixture that could effortlessly illuminate an entire festival site. The JDC Line 1000 was ideal for this purpose because it’s brutally bright!”
Consequently, the designer used the hybrid bars either directionally or as floodlights. “I like designing shows that open up spaces and play with surfaces – beam looks interest me less,” he says. “The JDC Line covered quite a narrow area over which I ran coloured waves of light – and this looked pretty impressive at a distance of 28 metres. Dynamically coordinated with the music in both directions – or even circulating – this lighting sequence contributed significantly to the effect of the performance. There were also fire effects and lasers, and I made it a point to give each individual element its own momentum.”
The artist performed almost three songs (“Lass es Rosen für mich regnen”,“Blut sehen – die Vergessenen Pt. 2” and “Gib mir Gefahr”) high above the Hurricane.
Christoph knew what to expect from the JDC Line, having used it before with Alligatoah. This time he uses it in mode 5 (196 channels), which together with other spotlights on the bridge contributed to an impressive 31 DMX universes.
“Everything worked wonderfully and the audience was absolutely blown away by this special interpretation of a B-stage and the performance of the artist on it,” he concludes. “That was certainly one of the really big festival moments this year. Many thanks to everyone involved!”