INDIO, CA – With 163 acts serving up an array of great music from rap to pop to EDM to classic rock and a plethora of other styles, Coachella has aptly been described as a “forest of festivals.” Dedicated techno house heads and dance music fans had no trouble finding their way through this musical forest at the 2015 version of the festival. They headed straight for the Yuma Tent, where house bumping heavyweights chugged away for hours on end in an eye-popping DJ Booth set off by a swarm of pixel mapped Nexus Aw 7×7 LED panels from CHAUVET Professional.
Lighting designer Steve Lieberman of SJ Lighting arranged 47 of the Nexus Aw 7×7 panels in front of the DJ booth to create a video surface that lent a club look to the performance area. The LD also deployed over 100 other high output fixtures throughout the tent, positioning moving beams in the upper sections of the ceiling and strobes along its rim. He also placed six giant mirror balls across the spine of the tent ceiling and a disco shark designed by Kevin McHugh in the center. The end result was a tent interior that had all of the mind searing energy of a Las Vegas nightclub.
“We gave the tent the look and feel of a club, which made it a unique spot in the festival,” said Lieberman, who has designed many of the most famous and critically acclaimed nightclubs in the world. This made sense, since the Yuma Tent has been a paradise for club fans since it was introduced to Coachella in 2013.
For much of the time during the festival, Lieberman ran his own lighting rig at the Yuma Tent with a grandMA Series 2 console. “I love this music and I love being involved on a hands-on level in lighting it,” he said. “I enjoyed working with the Nexus Aw 7×7 because of its output and super sharp beams. It also allowed me to get the kind of incandescent glowing look that contributes to a club atmosphere, but at the same time it’s an LED fixture with all the good stuff that entails. Plus it’s very versatile when you pixel map it.”
This versatility was very much on display at the Yuma Tent. Lieberman used the panels to display breakout video patterns at key points during the different performances, in addition to having panels work as lighting effects and as marquee tickers to display text. “Versatility is key in an event like this, because you have so many artists taking their performances in so many different directions,” said Lieberman.
Indeed, the renowned LD navigated his lighting rig through some astounding musical twists and turns at Coachella as a full array of club music artistry was on display inside the Yuma Tent, including old-school three-hour back-to-back sets from icons Danny Tenaglia and Carl Craig, who dropped an unforgettable remix of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. On the other side of the spectrum was the hard mechanical experimental house chugging of the UK’s Jon Hopkins. Through it all Lieberman’s rig kept pace, providing the crowd with a complete club experience in the middle of Coachella.