Audio Visual Masterpiece on the Long Haul

PRG delivered lighting, video and sound for the Klangwolke festival.

On September 10th, 2016, the bank of the Danube in Linz, Austria was transformed into a unique composition of lighting, video and sound for the 50th anniversary of the Johannes Kepler University. In the course of the Linz Klangwolke festival, under the auspices of the "Sparkasse Oberösterreich", media artist Salvatore Vanasco of xailabs staged the motto "Flow of Knowledge" as a technical-creative performance. PRG was responsible for the technical planning and implementation on the ground in collaboration with production manager Uwe Buhrdorf of "Wellenmaschine" and lighting designer Björn Hermann.

The show was only performed once, and with the best open-air weather, it lured around 100,000 visitors to the grounds of the Linz Danube Park. Overall, the scenery of Klangwolke extended to a width of 500 meters, or nearer 1,000 meters if we include the opulent lighting installation on the opposite side of the river - which was a logistical challenge even for PRG. Further the changing weather conditions during construction and rehearsal days did not help to ease the situation.

In particular the co-ordination of the 30 transmission paths for the wireless microphones and in-ear monitoring signals over such great distances was not easy. Further the radio relay system for transmission of video and light signals on the other side of the river required careful and foresighted planning prior to the event as well. It was a success: Even under the presence of some 100,000 potential "troublemakers" (guests) that could have interrupted the transmission as well as the flight of around 100 drones, the entire technical system worked perfectly.

Because of the location, lighting designer Björn Hermann worked hard on the implementation of the lighting installation with W-DMX transmission paths. In addition to six 4kW Lancelot followspots by Robert Juliat, Björn Hermann also used 120 Clay Paky Mythos, 56 Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash, 28 PRG Icon Beam fixtures as well as 112 SGM P-5 LED Washlights, 30x SGM Q-7 LED Blinder, 15x SGM Six Packs, and 8x Ehrgeiz SuperNova along the waterfronts. For the programming and control of the complex show two grandMA 2 full-size and one grandMA light 2 were used. Since there was no rehearsal time on location the whole show was pre-programmed with Marc Brunk Hardt in wysiwyg at Björn Hermann lichtdesign’s studio in Berlin.

PRG placed two 50m2 LED Trucks in front of the grandstands and open spaces to make the many show and creative video elements as visible as possible for the audience – and these elements included Musicians, Flyboard pilots, and boat racing on the water. The live images were captured by 5 Grass Valley LDX80 cameras. Two of those signals were also transmitted wirelessly to the fully equipped mobile video directors. For the playback of video content, the team from PRG used Dataton Watchout media servers.

To have an equally perfect delivery of the acoustic experience, PRG placed 84 Panasonic RAMSA WS-LA3 passive Line-Array elements at seven locations along the river Danube. To creative powerful lower frequency audio the Line-Array speakers were paired with 14 HP-700 Subwoofers by Meyer Sound. All signals were mixed via Yamaha CL5 and QL1 digital live sound systems.

Quote Salvatore Vanasco:. "A successful performance, a nervous artist team, experienced people, engineers, planners, audio, video, lighting and always the next meeting and the next adjustment. Simon Rist and his team have empowered an unusual situation, unusual people at this very special event over and over for an intense, expressive and impressive show. As a director and producer of this year's Klangwolke I would like to share the merit of this success with Simon Rist and his team. Together we were something. Thank you so much for this extraordinary performance and being the calm in the storm. Great experience, great results with and through PRG!! PRG can do art! Thank you. "

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