On Sunday 10 December 2023, TikTok hosted its first ever live global music event entitled In the Mix. Taking place in Sloan Park, Arizona, In the Mix is TikTok’s first venture into the live music space is led by a stacked line-up, featuring Cardi B, Niall Horan, Anitta, Peso Pluma and Charlie Puth as well as a handful of other rising new artists and surprise guests.

We had the opportunity to talk with the director of the New York design firm  Yellow Studio, the set designer Julio Himede that founded the Studio in 2006. The talented team reimagined the live music space for the TikTok era and brought the digital experience of social media into the physical realm. 

Julio Himede said:

“Fueled by the connectivity of social media and Tik Tok ability to bring fans closer to their favorite artists, we positioned the TIK TOK IN THE MIX stage at the center of the arena. This setup crafted a distinctive and fully immersive music experience for both artists and fans. Surrounding the main stage were four double-sided towering video structures designed exclusively for TikTok’s unique vertical format, enhancing the physical manifestation of the TikTok experience.”

In fact, Yellow Studio erected four monolithic video towers designed specifically for TikTok’s unique vertical format. The architectural structures have been designed in the same TikTok aspect ratio of 9:16, the default size for nearly every smartphone. A very specific design choice, said Himede, thought also for live footage of the concert. In their approach to designing TikTok In the Mix, Yellow Studio adapted social media as a fundamental design tool, meaning the design must look good not just for the fans in the arena, but the millions experiencing it vicariously on their phones. Show design is now seen through the camera lens and the salience of social media imagery is central to the design process. 

Yellow Studio’s design represents a new major shift in the world of show design. The dominance of social media and the smartphone's ever-more sophisticated functionality has profoundly affected how audiences experience events. The dominance of TikTok and other social media platforms has domesticated the cinematic experience of live performances and has changed the way live shows are created.  Today’s biggest artists are delivering shows designed to be shared on social media, with clips and content from their shows inescapable on TikTok.

Yellow Studio is the world’s leading design studio specializing in production design, creative direction and art direction for television and live events. Over the past two decades, Yellow Studio and its team of creatives have worked on some of the biggest televised events that have left a lasting impression on millions of audiences across the globe. Yellow Studio has been responsible for creating some of the biggest moments in live entertainment this year alone, serving as the stage designer for The 64th Annual Grammy Awards, Disney’s hybrid live aminated special - ‘Beauty and The Beast: A 30th Celebration, the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. 

A special thanks to MOTIF PR

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