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Steve Lieberman Adds Edge To Beyond Wonderland's Looking Glass Stage with Chauvet Professional

Insomniac Productions' Beyond Wonderland festival

Magical things often happen at the 11th hour; that sometimes harrowing, mythical time when an unexpected turn of events can demand a sudden change of plans. It is at such moments, when (hopefully) inspiration and resolve kick in, resulting in an outcome that shines all the more brightly because of the circumstances surrounding its creation. Just ask Steve Lieberman.

The renowned LD was putting the finishing touches on his design for The Looking Glass stage at Insomniac Productions' Beyond Wonderland, when things suddenly changed just a few weeks before the festival opened. Instead of being outdoors, as originally planned, the stage was moved inside to the Nos Event Center's Orange Pavilion.

"Essentially, it was a full redesign at the 11th hour," says Lieberman. "Our office really stepped it up in terms of completing the revisions and getting them over to Insomniac and 4Wall to execute. All parties involved performed at the highest levels. The rig looked fantastic when I walked in."

The thousands of fans who came to The Looking Glass stage to see progressive techno and house artists like Joris Voorn, Len Faki, and Nox Vahn would readily agree with that assessment. Lieberman and his team turned the large clear span pavilion into a raw, brooding and palpably intense underground club evocative of a hot converted warehouse in Brooklyn or Detroit.

"Music at The Looking Glass is a bit darker and edgier, and this was reflected in our design," says Lieberman. "It's not about specific 'looks' here as much as it's about a 'style' of operation. When you're here you're immersed in that style. We had no video, and no guest technical staff, in keeping with the underground feel. Culturally, this genre of music lends itself to an edgy style, with sharp edges, precise angles, and monolithic features."

Helping Lieberman create this distinct mood was a collection of 46 Chauvet Professional Maverick MK3 Wash fixtures supplied by 4Wall Entertainment. Arranged in an A/B pattern throughout the entire site and over the stage, the RGBW fixtures trigged deeply evocative moods.

"The Mavericks were a great addition to the design," says Lieberman. "The pixel effects on the Macro channel added that extra bit to make them stand out. Their output really kept up with the rest of the system."

In keeping with the vibe of the room, Lieberman says the output of the Maverick fixtures was "actually throttled back quite a bit." This better reflected the starkly uncompromising mood he was after. However, when he wanted to create specials at strategic moments, the high output fixtures gave him "plenty of headroom for a big push."

Lieberman credits the production team with creating this immersive atmosphere. "Insomniac Productions is the backbone of what we do," he said, adding, "we're always ready to support each other to execute stages at the highest level."

And that's true anytime...even 11th hour!


(9 May 2022)

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