Main stage - Voodoo Village

We had the opportunity to talk with Rene Van Dijk founder of rene.studio, about their last works at Voodoo Village in Belgium, the main stage and the Shelter Stage.

The brief for this year's stage & show design at Voodoo Village (BE) originated from specific parameters set to accommodate a Live A/V show. The task for rene.studio was to create a stage and concept design within these constraints while ensuring a unique and inspiring visual experience for the audience. The challenge was to design something innovative and distinctive, deviating from the conventional approach to live performances. The goal was not only to meet the given brief but also to push creative boundaries, enhancing the overall visual impact of the event and providing a one-of-a-kind experience for the audience.

The vision was to create and present an integrated solution that would maximize the synergy between machinery, light, and visuals to enhance the audience's experience. More specifically, it all began with a straightforward question, said Rene: How can we blend genuine lighting sources seamlessly with artificial-digital sources in real-time to give the impression of continuity between the digital-virtual and the physical space?

The answer to the previous question included a semi-transparent LED screen with four movable heads positioned behind it. These heads were attached in pairs to trusses and could be repositioned in space along the X and Y axes by a motor system. This setup offered additional degrees of freedom when considering Tilt and Pan, which were built into the design.

As a result, the moving head lights could consistently align with the desired direction, follow the virtual lights, and interact with the visual content by casting shadows, colliding with objects, and engaging with particle systems. This contributed to the overall visual experience both in a comprehensive and symbolic manner.

The reaction to the finished product was diverse and multifaceted, said Rene. 

On a personal level, the team at rene.studio found the project to be highly intriguing, considering it one of their most engaging endeavors and achieving a profoundly satisfying result. Professionals within the live event industry responded overwhelmingly positively, appreciating the complexity and technical finesse required to synchronize real-time visuals with motors and moving lights.

However, the reception among the general audience was more varied. While not negative, there was a sense of misunderstanding regarding the intricacies involved in aligning real-time visuals with dynamic lighting setups. From an artistic perspective, some viewers felt a lack of easily recognizable moments that typically evoke strong reactions, such as large 3D faces with lights emanating from their eyes. The experience was akin to dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant and receiving a beautifully intricate plate of food without fully comprehending all the ingredients that went into its creation. The complexity of the production, while appreciated by industry professionals, might have led to a more nuanced reaction from the general crowd, highlighting the challenge of balancing technical sophistication with audience accessibility and emotional resonance.

rene.studio designed also the Shelter stage, an incredible set. This what Rene said about it:

Our approach to set design is rooted in pushing the boundaries of conventional techniques. We've shifted our focus towards using video/LED screens not just as a medium for displaying content, but as dynamic moving light sources.

What intrigues us most is the interplay between the location and the design process itself—whether the video seamlessly blends into the surroundings or stands out as a bold, iconic statement within the space. We have a penchant for peculiar and unconventional LED screen setups, exploring the realm of the weird and unusual.

When we were presented with the challenge of designing for an area featuring a skyroof—a massive steel structure covered with black foil roof fabric—it opened up a world of possibilities. Unlike traditional open-air festival stages, this unique setup allowed us to think beyond the confines of the stage space. Our goal was to create a 360-degree immersive experience that utilized the entire area. The creation process was a journey of exploration and experimentation. We delved into numerous in-house variations and sketches, seeking the perfect concept that would enhance the space's inherent characteristics. The vision crystallized into three exceptionally long LED structures, each suspended at specific angles. These structures not only complemented the skyroof but also transformed the space into a dynamic and visually captivating environment.

What sets this project apart is our commitment to challenging norms and embracing innovation. We meticulously considered the interplay of light, space, and technology to craft a design that captivates the audience from every angle. It's not merely about the visuals; it's about the experience, the emotions, and the immersive journey we invite the audience to embark upon.

Thank you Rene!


Client: Voodoo Village 

Set Design: rene.Studio

Show control : rene.Studio

Technical production : Bart De Cleene

Shelter Stage - Voodoo Village

Shelter Stage - Voodoo Village

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