Ultra Music Festival, billed as “the world’s premiere electronic music festival,” has grown over the last few years from a one-day event to a three-day electronic music extravaganza. It has also changed “venues,” always in Miami, and this year held in Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park, where a record 60,000 people attended each day. With production design by Stephen Lieberman, who also designed lighting and video, and served as lighting director, the many stages of Ultra Music Festival 2012 generated a veritable pulsating frenzy of visuals to accompany the DJs’ sets.

While the festival has sold out consistently for its last few incarnations, including this year, the 20 12 event had the added pressure of serving several million viewers as the event was streamed live online, complete with a helicopter cam feed to get every possible angle of the stage.

The main stage, 200'-plus wide, featured massive video elements—a combination of more than 8,000sq-ft. of 37mm LED for I-Mag and the upstage screen and an additional 1,700sq-ft. of 15mm LED, both supplied by Andrew Gumper’s AG Light and Sound—including a video roof, back walls, and legs. Because the festival accommodates several artists that bring in their own production teams, and sometimes their own VJs, each performer can bring or submit content to run live. For everyone else, Lieberman ran the lighting, and Vello Virkhaus of V-Squared Labs served content via his own custom VSL server setup, which is based around Derivative TouchDesigner.

Mountain Productions built the 2012 main stage, lighting for which included more than a hundred Clay Paky fixtures—Sharpys and Alpha Spot 1500 HPEs—as well as Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 and VL5 Wash units, Martin Professional MAC III Performance fixtures, Elation Professional Design LED 60 TriStrips, and Elation Professional Opti 30 Tri units. AG Light and Sound also supplied the lighting for the main stage. Two MA Lighting grandMA consoles ran the show, with one tracking backup.

AG Light and Sound built a separate mega-structure—referred to as “the beehive”—for a tent in which DJ Carl Cox was the headliner. Here, 68 hinged custom hexagon corner blocks, lined with pixel-controlled Barco VersaTubes, became the roof , which stretched out approximately 250' over the audience, and the DJ booth appeared to float on the stage. Lighting here comprised Coemar Infinity Spot and Wash XL units, as well as additional Sharpys and Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500s, and Martin Professional MAC 101s. AG Light and Sound also supplied the beehive tent’s stage decks and rigging.

Equipment List: Main Stage

  • 32 Clay Paky Alpha Spot 1500 HPE
  • 70 Clay Paky Sharpy
  • 32 Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash
  • 24 Philips Vari-Lite VL5 Wash
  • 4 Martin Professional MAC III Performance
  • 65 Elements Krypton 10 Strip Blinder
  • 61 Elation Professional Design LED 60 TriStrip
  • 220 Elation Professional Opti 30 Tri
  • V-Squared Labs VSL Custom Media Server
  • 8,070sq-ft. 37mm LED
  • 1,745sq-ft. 15mm LED
  • 2 MA Lighting grandMA

 

Equipment List: Carl Cox "Beehive" Tent

  • 90 Coemar Infinity Spot and Wash XL
  • 46 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500
  • 16 Clay Paky Sharpy
  • 192 Martin Professional MAC 101
  • 42 Elements Krypton 25 Blinder
  • 489 Barco Versa Tube
  • 12 Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlaze 72
  • 1,425sq-ft. 15mm LED
  • 2 MA Lighting grandMA

 

Design Team:

  • Stage Designer, Lighting Director, Programmer: Stephen Lieberman
  • Production Manager: Ray Steinman
  • Video Director: Vello Virkhaus
  • Mainstage Production Manager: James Watral
  • Mainstage Lighting: Marc “Chainsaw” Wuchter, Mike Mustica, Eric Kasprisin
  • Mainstage Video: Sondra Pozan, Andrew Sclafani
  • Carl Cox Production Manager: Andrew Gumper
  • Carl Cox Tent Rigging: John “Ugli” Bradshaw, Carlos Parra, Peter Metallo, Douglas Laico
  • Carl Cox Tent Lighting: Christopher Coyle, Mark Hodgman
  • Carl Cox Tent Video: Michael Wurtz, Rob Spehn
  • Midpark Stage Lighting: Felix Lighting
  • Midpark Stage Lighting: Large Screen Video
  • Bayfront Stage Lighting: Paradigm
  • Bayfront Stage Video: Global Trend Productions
  • VIP Tent: Brian Quinn, Michael Jordan

 

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