Gerdon Design Details How It Led the Nukranox Hardstyle Festival

gerdon design nukranox festival

Gerdon Design, based in Mainz, Germany, specializes in show, content and lighting production. In late 2023, the team at Gerdon Design were approached to work together with client, Revolution Event, on the upcoming Nukranox Festival, a celebration of hardstyle music, which was to be held in December 2023 at an arena venue in Salzburg, Austria.

“Revolution Event had come up with an idea for an immersive festival experience,” recalls Marek Papke, CEO at Gerdon Design. “They wanted to take a holistic approach and provide a narrative for the upcoming show and future shows in the series. The concept for Nukranox was to create a realistic forest environment and tell an ever-evolving story throughout the night through visuals, special effects and, of course, music.”

Nukranox aimed to offer a unique and immersive experience to its 5,000-person audience. The only question was how best to approach the creation of this visual and sensory experience and how to control the various technologies involved.

“A huge 24-metre LED wall covering the entire back wall of the stage was the focal point of the design,” continues Papke. “On the screen we planned to synchronise the visuals, depicting a dynamic, constantly changing forest environment with lighting effects to mimic day, night and weather conditions such as fog, rain and snow.”

Gerdon Design went beyond traditional approaches by introducing a 360°-backdrop printed with the same forest scene as on the LED screen. They also incorporated scent machines emitting forest aromas and burning wood scents, along with snow machines, creating a multisensory experience, largely unprecedented in the world of music festivals.

To realise their vision, Gerdon Design harnessed the workflow control capabilities of SP by Stage Precision. “We were looking for a solution that would give us full control of what was happening on screen and monitor our render nodes and all of our systems,” explains Papke. “SP was the go-to solution.”

SP acted as the backbone of the system architecture. The team played real-time content from Unreal Engine on the LED walls, allowing for dynamic interaction during the show as different DJs played on stage. “Stage Precision’s Shield plug-in gave us the possibility of interacting with the visuals during the show,” recalls Papke. “With the forest environment inside of Unreal Engine, SP acted as the control cockpit for this content. We can manipulate everything through SP with a single button and also control the video switching inside the Barco E2 through the same user interface. We only need one computer to do this, rather than six.”

The Nukranox festival series will continue in 2024, and the Gerdon Design team look forward to expanding on the immersive experience with SP as a key component of their tool kit. “In an environment where you are in charge of lighting, visuals and special effects it is so critical to have the ability to connect things together through automatic triggering,” remarks Papke. “SP enabled us to make these connections and I can’t think of another control centre that can do what we did at Nukranox with SP.”