SAGA is a brand new festival experience in the city of Bucharest. An old airbase functioned as the unique location that hosted a mainstage and several different areas in old hangars. For this first edition, the Art of Light was involved early in the process of creating the right experience for people who love electronic music. As Alda’s lighting partner, we started creating the lighting designs as soon as the stage drawings were ready. Projects like these we love the most: making our lighting design - created in a virtual world in our own studio - come to life at an unique location with a totally wild audience!
The concept design of SAGA is all about the Icosahedron: a mysterious centerpiece object that absorbs and emits energy. For the audience, SAGA means exploring, expressing your uniqueness, becoming one with your surroundings and - last but certainly not least - staying energetic. This exchange of energy is feelable in every little detail. SAGA really strives for an unique atmosphere with colourful imagery. Craziness is the keyword.
SAGA festival starts in the late afternoon and lasts until 5 in the morning. With an outdoor mainstage and different areas in hangars, this means all decor has to look good in both daylight and darkness. Choosing the lights carefully is essential: too many lights in the decor will not look great by day. With our broad experience in big projects like these, we know exactly what to take into account.
Another challenge is balancing the branding of the festival and the individual wishes of the artists. Assisting all artist teams was a big part of our job at SAGA. Most of the artists bring their own designer into the project and at The Art of Light, we make sure that the unique style of every artist does not clash with the branding of the festival as a whole. The well thought-out decor must never be overshadowed. Luckily, we have enough experience and manpower to be professional and quickly adapt to changes. The fact that the festival changed location one month in advance was no problem for us.
After a few creative sessions with the SAGA team, we programmed the lighting design entirely on time code in our studio in Veghel, the Netherlands. We do this by creating a virtual world with the stage design so we can already see the result before the stage is even built. This way we only need to test and update the latest details of the show files at the location of the festival, a very efficient way of working.
To look great in both daylight and darkness we used a lot of LED strips, controlled by Hippotizer Media Servers. These strips function as eye candy during the day and really pop out at night. Our lighting design emphasized the contours of the stage, the shape of the Icosahedron and the exchange of energy all around.
Performing this live show was very special to us. Not only was this the first edition of SAGA festival, it was also the first large festival after a season of cancellations due to COVID. We love the concept of the SAGA festival, but what we loved even more was how the crowd went wild. Thank you SAGA!