I can’t remember the last time I noticed anything about a stage, versus the people performing on it. Had I been at this year’s Coachella, I certainly would have (mind-addling drugs aside) – the thing was a rumbling LED supernova.
Instead of the tired old “flat surface with some speakers and spotlights” approach (YAWN), Coachella teamed up with Vice’s Creators Project (itself a tag-team operation with Intel) to commission a gigantic festival setting that took a staggering five months to create, from conception to performance.
There’s nothing subtle about it. The stage, designed by United Visual Artists, looks designed to completely overwhelmed, essentially towering, rapidly-lit wall of 2m x 2m x 2m metal cubes, stacked atop each other into one massive 43m x 24m superstructure. And it moved. The super-stage could open and shut like a giant’s door, just in case 1.2km of LED strips weren’t enough to impress. On top of that, the stage was encrusted with 300 uplight beams, 80 overhead spotlights and 10 strobes.
All synchronised, pixel by pixel, to a central computer driven by unreleased Intel processing guts. At this point, pause and think about how many people in that audience were bombed out of their mind on at least two or three extremely powerful narcotics (from the faces in the video, you don’t really need to guess!). I’m sort surprised it didn’t just kill them all from a complete central nervous system overload.