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Eric Prydz is embarking on his most technologically innovative stage setup yet, EPIC (Eric Prydz In Concert) 6.0: HOLOSPHERE, set to debut at Tomorrowland on July 20. The premise of EPIC is the DJ superstar’s brainchild where technology and music coincide as one, and in this iteration, he’ll be performing in a two story LED transparent sphere.
The news of the technological undertaking was shared earlier this year, and a snippet of the masterpiece was teased on social media last month.
Prydz has been performing EPIC shows since 2011 with the goal of blowing people away through the marriage of technology and music, and the Swedish DJ’s production team has been relatively successful using lasers, larger-than-life LED screens, and enormous holograms. EPIC 6.0 will take the concept to new heights, as the Holosphere engineers have been working on the spectacle for the last two years. The project is 8 meters wide, and the production is so large, the festival had to redesign its grounds to accommodate the tech art.
While EPIC 5.0 centered around a 44-meter-wide holographic projection that hovered over the crowd, this new iteration is a multi-story sphere intertwined with more than 2.4 million LEDs that will transform into various creative objects throughout the performance. Prydz’s longtime collaborator, Mark Calvert from the tech entity Realtime Environment Systems (RES), told The Verge,“All these [EPIC] shows have been amazing, but at the end of the day they were two-dimensional projections,” he said, explaining the move away from hologram and towards an LED structure that provides more depth without distortion.
The Holosphere is made up of 72 handmade panels designed by Light Initiative founder Bryn Williams. Each panel has LEDs on both side, varying in shape, and are puzzled onto a metal skeleton. The five-tone design has to be split in two to accommodate for the maximum weight allowed on the stage, the top half is bolted to the ceiling, while the bottom half is supported by the stage.
While the physical nature of the sphere is literally massive, visual animations and effects will grasp festival goers attention with intergalactic space themes and a reported giant eyeball. The show designers mind altering animations were made using an amalgamation of Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya, and Adobe After Effects. They used a yoga ball for testing the spherical layout, which had the designers thinking differently since they’ve been used to designing for flat surfaces.
The sphere isn’t the only thing on stage. On both sides of the gargantuan sphere, there will be two equally large video screens. Lighting designer Ross Chapple has also equipped the stage with more than 500 fixtures that include 150 laser diodes, lamp beams, and LED bars that are on motors to move around the Holosphere. There is also a lighting rig above the centerpiece that will assist with an exploding effect for epic moments.
With all of this put in place, another crazy aspect is the entire production will be done live. Typically, bigger spectacles are synced and time-coded, but of course, Prydz has to go above and beyond. The “Call On Me” producer will have cameras of the crowd to dictate what he wants to play next. Liam Tomaszewski and Ross Chapple will take control in front of house with extensive knowledge of every Prydz song, minus the order in which he’ll play the songs.
The live entertainer continues to hit new highs with his show, placing the showcase on a pedestal of live performance. After two years of building this live spectacle, the team has two hours to execute its full potential at the biggest stage on the planet.
H/T: Dani Deahl for The Verge