Engineering specialists WIcreations automated several large and spectacular scenic objects for Reverze 2016, Europe’s biggest hard-style dance indoor extravaganza, staged by Bass Events in the 20,000 capacity Antwerp Sportpalais. Known for its ambitious production values, this year’s event – titled “Deception” with reference to nothing appearing to be what it seems - was no exception!

The title alone offering huge scope for visual fun, and WI was commissioned by Bass Events under the technical production management of Kristof Devriese, to move and rotate two large trussing ‘cubes’ onstage, fly nine other objects above the stage and also fly 9 other large scale lighting pods … over the audience.

All of this, together with a highly talented and experienced team across all the technical disciplines, helped realise a simultaneously eye-catching and breath-taking hi-energy production design by Patrick Bellens and Kristof van Mensel from The Creative Factory (TCF)

WI’s project manager Geert Stockmans co-ordinated the supply of 47 vari-speed hoists and control, plus a custom WI floor tracking system.

The bespoke floor track system was used to drive two large truss frames 8 metres high and 5.5 metres wide which were onstage behind the DJ booth. These were clad with LED panels on one side and a matrix of moving lights on the other, with a requirement to move them smoothly and elegantly throughout the show including 360 degree rotation.

The frames were built by the event’s main lighting and technical supplier Phlippo Showlights, and WI’s expertise was energised for the tracking and rotation. They each weighed over 4 tonnes including the frame, lighting, LED panels and the rotator column that was located in the centre of the tracking carts.

Thirty-two metres of WI-track was used to move the objects side-to-side. The two sections of screen could join up to make one large surface or split apart to work as two independent screens, ensuring there was always something visually dynamic happening onstage

A central WI-rotator was positioned on each of the tracking carts, connected to the main frame structure via a central truss or ‘spine’ column, allowing the whole truss cube to turn around it.

The movement was controlled via a PC running Kinesys’ renowned Vector motion control software.

The same controller also moved motors flying another four trussing objects above the stage, some rigged with lights. A mirror set piece was flown on four 800Kg GIS hoists - also behind the DJ booth, that tilted down from a horizontal position, hidden in the celling, to vertical and in full view. This looked great with light bouncing off it from all directions.

Flown and tracked above the audience were another 9 objects each suspended from three 500Kg Lodestar hoists. These resembled 3D truss cubes but without a bottom piece, so effectively a square of truss with four legs, dubbed ‘claws’ by the production.

These had moving lights positioned all over and were outlined with LED strips. They were required to perform a series of 3D moves on multiple axes, coming in from the roof and pitching and tilting vigorously to the delight of the audience below.

The 27 hoists running these 9 objects were run via a separate Kinesys control system – this one with K2 software and another operator provided by WI.

The rotation of the LED screens onstage was the most challenging element of the event explained Geert.

To deal with the weight of the truss cubes and the specified 360° rotation they adapted some existing special WI tracking technology originally built to move large LED screens weighing over 9 tonnes for the 25 anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

“As always it was great to work with Bass Events as customer” comments Geert, “They push the envelope on their productions and aim to deliver the very best visual, sonic and sensory experiences to their fans. Everyone works hard to deliver to the standards of excellence that this attitude inspires. Besides that, they mostly stay loyal to their preferred suppliers, so their events feel almost like a family gathering!”

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WIcreations, stage automation and entertainment engineering experts

Antwerp, Belgium