H20 Music Festival 2012

Stefan Beese and his team at RE:BE Design had six weeks to complete the full production design for the inaugural H2O Music Festival in 2012. The team worked with Univision Radio to build a festival identity and graphics that represented second generation Hispanics and established the festival as the premiere bilingual and multicultural musical experience in North America. The team produced an aesthetic that was sensitive to the mission of H2O with an innovative approach to sponsor branding, stage design, and digital content that gave the festival a cohesive identity and communicated across diverse Hispanic audiences.

RE:BE worked with headlining acts, such as Weezer and Gym Class Heros, to generate animated content with their logos incorporated into the fully digital stage instead of relying on physical backdrops. Two 50'x30' Go Vision Daktronics tiled sidescreens with custom masks for floating IMAG kept the performances dynamic and unique to each artist. The vertical format of the screens allowed for a larger artist presence during close-ups than the typical horizontal ‘letterbox' format. The upstage screen was customized to divide it into two parts, hidden from the audience until the final headline artist, Tiesto, performed. During his act, the screens moved apart and allowed a special lighting truss to move into the void to provide a dazzling, custom lighting element.

To achieve cohesiveness between the stage and festival grounds Beese developed a concept of "Swiss Army Knife" like tower structures that could accommodate multiple functions: branding for the festival promoter and sponsors, seating, cell-phone charging, shading, misting, and lighting. This "city of towers" integrated sponsor branding and functionality with cutting edge fabrication, using CNC technology to route logos into aluminum Signabond panels that cladded the truss structures. These towers scattered across the sites created a "cityscape" inside the Cotton Bowl and an extension of the L.A skyline in Los Angeles. By using the vertical screens and intelligent lighting in the towers the cityscape was visually connected with the main stage making for a dynamic lightshow at night that engulfed the entire festival grounds.

For the main sponsor, Mio, an interactive mobile app was designed that featured the Mio color splash via text messaging on the main stage video walls. The pavilion for Mio exemplified Beese's strategy of combining branding and functionality. It consisted of a lounge, deck, staircase tower, and 360 degree bar illuminated by a custom chandelier made from vertical LED bright stripes synced to main stage performances. The 8' by 40' lounge featured a second story DJ deck that kept the momentum going between acts. The cladding of the pavilion utilized the Mio logo cut-out for lighting effects and ventilation. A second Mio tower provided a sampling station, seating, and custom recycling receptacles accessible on the outside.

A cohesive, signatures look for the festival was achieved with a uniform material palette and branding language that made a big impact for all brands and sponsors. This progressive approach to a signature H2O look eliminated the "free-for-all" signage and "tent-and-booth" scenario that can damage the identity of a festival.

Equipment List:

  • 2 Daktronics PST 12HD Modular LED 38.4'x 27.6' Side Screens
  • 1 Daktronics PST 12HD Modular LED 29.5'x47.2' Upstage Screen
  • 40 Philips Vari-Lite VL3000 Spot
  • 38 Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash
  • 20 Martin Professional MAC 2000 Profile
  • 15 Martin Professional MAC 2000 Wash
  • 60 Martin Professional MAC 301 LED Wash
  • 8 High End Systems Showgun Spot
  • 3 Syncrolite SXL 7K Spot
  • 31 Martin Professional Atomic 3000 Strobe
  • 26 Martin Professional Atomic Color Scroller
  • 14 ETC Source Four Elliposoidal
  • 8 Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlaze 72 LED
  • 4 Lycian M2 2500W Long Throw Followspot
  • 12 2-Light Molefay
  • 12 8-Light Molefay
  • 36 PAR 64, 1K


Design Team:

  • Production Designer: Stefan Beese, RE:BE Design
  • RE:BE Design Team: Jensen Killen, Seyavash Zohoori, Chris Berends, Daniela Nelke,
  • Brooke Warrington, Martha Pearson, Gary Hansen, Melinda Cohen, Renee Billiot
  • Visual Media Programmer: Matt Webb
  • System Designer: Cameron Yeary
  • Video Director: Stephen Bowels
  • Lighting Programmer: Nick Deel
  • Video Vendor: GoVision
  • Lighting Vendor: Gemini Lighting (Clarke Richter)


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