Signs of the Times - September 2012 - (Page 8)

ST UPDATE By Steve Aus t News for a broader perspective Electronic Displays Help Essence Music Festival Rock Superdome Since 1995, the Essence Music Festival, held every summer at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, has featured scores of artists, such as Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole, among many others, whose repertoires link the African-American musical traditions of gospel, rhythm and blues, funk and hip-hop. Sponsored by Essence Magazine, a publication and media outlet that targets African-American women and provides style tips and personal advice, the festival, which complements the music with seminars and scores of diverse vendors, attracts more than 50,000 attendees for what the publication calls a “party with a purpose.” To create a festival stage that resembled a Broadway theater, event organizers hired GoVision, an LED videoscreen provider for large-scale stage and sporting events, to create several colossal displays for the main stage. Stefan Beese, who’s served as the Essence Festival’s production designer for five years, devised the program with a “big city lights” design aesthetic to reflect the Superdome’s enormity. He said, “The vertical expanse of the Superdome allows a much larger artist presence onscreen during close-ups than typical letterbox format.” GoVision constructed a 41 x 26-ft. display, which comprises thousands of Lighthouse 8mm-pitch display tiles, for each side of the main stage. These screens, which were run at 960 x 1,536-ppi resolution, primarily conveyed close-up shots of the performers. To create a compelling, center-stage backdrop, GoVision installed three, 42 x 20-ft. vertical screens, which comprise Daktronics PST-12HD, high-definition, 12mm-pixel-pitch LED tiles (which provided 480 x 1,008 resolution). The live content, which was filmed through an I-MAG video system, was shot vertically for the Lighthouse-module screens, and the recorded content involved graphic, video or sponsor playback that was run by the system’s MBox video server. The system was set up for each system to run independently, or for a single image to be depicted across all five screens. Chris Curtis, GoVision’s president, said operating at such high resolution required pushing the limits of the screens and their onboard processors. Also, he said maintaining consistent image quality, with sponsor-playback aspect ratios, artist content and live video elements, kept the crew “on their toes.” “This type of vertical set-up isn’t common for a live show, so we had to be prepared for anything,” Curtis said. “But, in the end, it worked seamlessly.” To accommodate Wal-Mart’s display needs – the big-box chain was an anchor sponsor – at the event, GoVision provided Event Producers, which handled the show’s set-up, with a 17 x 30-ft. EMC that comprises 10mm Lighthouse modules. 8 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / SEPTEMBER 2012 /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - September 2012

Signs of the Times - September 2012
ST Update
Possible Future for Digital Printing
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Design Matters
New Products
Show Yourself
Enter STs 2013 Intl. Sign Contest!
Looking Ahead
Pop Art
Neon: Green Again
Channel-letter Update
Industry News
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - September 2012