Wolves for UNTOLD Festival
3D inflatable wolves for UNTOLD's Mainstage!
The rise of electronic music in Eastern Europe over the last few years caused the exponential growth of the dance festival culture.The UNTOLD Festival in Cluj-Napoca, in the heart of Transylvania is one of those promising young festivals. The founders attach great importance to local mythology and folklore.
Every year a tale from the region is chosen as the main theme for the festival.
For the 2018 edition, “Wolf Spirit” was the common thread throughout the festival, referring to the wolf cult in Transylvanian legends. As the festival had grown into massive proportions the organization decided to take the main stage experience to a next level. The UNTOLD team got in touch with Leisure Expert Group, consultants in stage and festival design. LEG involved the fellow Dutchmen of 250K, who started designing an enormous construction, including 2 giant 3D wolves.
The only cost-effective, safe and feasible way to recreate the shapes as massive 3D volumes at such height in the stage, was to make them as giant inflatables. When X-Treme got invited in Eindhoven for coffee with LEG and 250K, 6 weeks before the festival, the customer still had to be convinced to use inflatables in a stage for the very first time. Credits to Maarten and Joey to exert a gentle amount of pressure on the end customer: The “Wolf project” kicked off.
As the shapes and artwork appeared to be rather complex, 6 weeks for production and installation on site was not the most comfortable time schedule in history of inflatability and the 3D shapes had to be integrated seamlessly with the scaffolding by 4Light and the 2D decoration by Gaaf. This resulted in an almost permanent hotline between Romania, The Netherlands and Belgium.
It seems like the people of Cluj love some extra fireworks with their shows, so a fire retardant polyester fabric was selected as the wolfskin of choice.
All the parts were dye sub printed and cut out on short notice so the challenge for the stitching department could begin.
The X-Treme wolfpack travelled to Romania with the inflatables to coordinate the installation together with the Dutch stage production company and a local team. The 4 inflatable parts were installed on a truss frame on the ground before being lifted sky-high to their position in the scene.
Because of the high placement, above the closed body of the stadium, extra safety measures were taken to guarantee a safe festival experience, even in unpredictable Romanian weather conditions.
The heads got LED illumination in the eyes being controlled from the FOH as a nice extra, so the wolves could blink an eye at the crowd they were watching over during the nighttime. 250K created video mapping effects on the fly, evolving every festival night, bringing the enormous predators to life.
For over 300.000 visitors , the mainstage in the Cluj Arena was the place to be during the 4 festival days.
Especially when Armin Van Buuren, who appears to be particularly popular in Romania, was scheduled for the last day of the Festival, the arena reached its maximum capacity, hours before the performance already. When the Dutch superstar appeared on stage in a Romanian football jersey, backed by an over-the-top pyrotechnics show, every move he made was followed on video screens, smartphone cameras and instagram stories across the world. The stage is the canvas where the Untold story is written, and memories are made.
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