A fleet of sci-fi dirty robots landed at the Basspod Stage at EDC Las Vegas 2015. Basspod, also known as Bassrush Stage, featured stage design by Heather Shaw and her team at Vita Motus and lighting design by VT Pro Design. Visions Lighting supplied all lighting, video, trussing, and rigging. Basspod stage saw the world premiere of PK Sound’s new line array system Trinity.
When Shaw and her team at Vita Motus began brainstorming concept ideas for the stage design of Basspod stage, they wanted to give Insomniac something they had not seen before. “We can all agree that Insomniac has set a bar in terms of production value,” says creative director Shaw, “and one of our goals was to really give them something they could see as an evolution of their production.”
Since the festival culture is so strong with the audience banding together like a tribe committed to the music, Vita Motus selected the concept of a fleet of dirty robots, returned from their travels through space. Representative of the audience and its culture, the robots were not given particular faces with definite emotions, but rather “a blank canvas of expression,” explains Shaw. “The faces were made of 7mm LED so we could change the media in the face giving an array of expressive moments depending on the music.” VT Pro Design created the custom content for the robots.
To further unify the audience, Vita Motus arranged the seven robots in a radius, creating a 360° immersive experience. Standing 32' tall, the four house robots lined the edges of the audience, while two 38' robots angled into the audience on either side of the 54' central robot on the Basspod Stage. “We really wanted to create a character that was still very geometric and one that had a futuristic tone without being an actual animation character,” Shaw says. Constructed from 100% aluminum, each robot had two antennae that safely spouted fire and fog; the stage robots spurted pyrotechnics as well. A 50 watt RGB laser was also assigned to each robot. The fleet could either act as a group or individually, using their lighting and effects in sync or independently. “We were able to make it look like the robots were marking each other with lasers,” explains Shaw, “and it would fire back and forth as if the robots were at play.”
The house robots, although small, were complex and built with two sides, both featuring lighting, media, and effects to better interact with the audience. LED surfaces were incorporated on the front and sides of the robots for 360° visibility. Each wall required its own custom fabricated frame that would hold the position. Element Labs Versa Tubes lined the edges, pulsing with color and patterns, to animate the robots. “It gave them attitude from inside the space as well as from afar,” Shaw says. The central robot—the largest and most mature of the fleet—had a pair of legs between which the DJ performed.
LA Weekly would agree that Vita Motus’ design was out of this world, voting that Basspod was the best stage at EDC Las Vegas 2015. Stay tuned for more about the Basspod.