On behalf of the Telekom & Live Nation Brand Partnership & Media in cooperation with the Wacken organisers, PRG supplied the appropriate technology for this year’s Wacken Festival, which was implemented as a streaming event on an xR stage due to the corona situation. Under the name of “Wacken World Wide”, the world’s largest virtual festival was streamed from a mixed reality stage and metal fans were able to follow the metal spectacle live on MagentaMusik 360 and MagentaTV from 29th July to 1st August 2020. Afterwards, all performances will be available for several months. Bands such as “In Extremo”, “Blind Guardian” or “Sabaton” put their foot down on the xR-Stage and gave their fans a good warm up online. So far there have been over eleven million live content views worldwide – a complete success all round!
Impressive light shows and engaging stage effects created a unique Wacken feeling for this livestream. The musicians couldn't see the audience, but thanks to the digital stage, the audience got the full portion of metal at home. How was that made possible? Through a creative, innovative concept, a motivated team and selecting the appropriate, high-quality event technology.
With a floor space of around 80 square meters, the stage is the largest mixed reality stage and an absolute novelty for the festival and concert industry. On this stage, reality is mixed with virtual reality and thus made tangible online, for fans all over the world. PRG was responsible for the lighting, video, audio and streaming technology for this elaborate production. A team of experts set everything in motion to make ‘Wacken World Wide’ an unforgettable experience for the fans, the festival organisers and offer the metal bands a unique online stage.
Holger Hübner, one of the Wacken Open Air Co-Founders, offered praise in an interview with MagentaMusik360:
“Sabaton couldn't even rehearse properly. They were all thrown into the cold water and used it to their advantage to show that they were still here as a band. You could really feel the gratitude of the bands towards the crew, because they all did a great job! Our service provider PRG from Hamburg, did a fantastic job and served the bands in the most optimal way.“
The stage backdrop, a "curved" LED wall of 10.5m width by 5m height was composed of ROE Black Onyx 2 modules. The curvature ensured that there was enough space for a drum riser in the background. The stage floor, which was developed by PRG Projects, is a PRG proprietary product. The "Domino" is a modular LED floor that can be joined together seamlessly; it was frosted to eliminate reflections that would disturb the virtual environment. With the help of Brompton processors, the colour corrections of both LED products could easily be adjusted for xR use.
The lighting technology and the monitors in the foreground of the stage were positioned for the ‘real world’, the area where the band is located, was separate from the virtual world. This delimitation was especially advantageous for the artists in order to position themselves and know which areas of the stage they could use. In order to achieve very realistic light movements and effects, the virtual lamps were programmed to light on and above the stage and be transferred identically from the virtual to the real world.
The broadcast technology should also be emphasized: Grass Valley LDX broadcast cameras were used as the basic setup at the Wacken streaming festival: two cameras on cranes and two manned cameras for cutaway close-ups. The video master control coordinated all video and audio signals to create the final program stream. Alongside through Cinegate, a PRG company, we have access to a large stock of state-of-the-art film and large format cameras, lenses and grip technology, which can be supplied if desired.
Thanks to the perfect cooperation of all areas and trades and the many innovative ideas the Wacken fans did not have to miss their favourite festival this year. An online world premiere that shows what is possible in the music world despite Covid-19. If you are also interested in a streaming event and need detailed information, please contact our experts: www.prg.com/live-streaming
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