The Voodoo Music and Art Festivalis a three-day festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, taking place under the City Park’s old oak trees and has been host to over 450 of some of the most recognized artists in the industry.

Adding to the distinctive setting are the Eco-Shipping Container Lounges, a concept both unique and eco-friendly. Created as a temporary structure to house the VIP lounge and to establish a border from the public area, the Container Lounge functioned as concession stand for both the public and VIP areas while boasting a remarkable viewing platform.

The challenge was to create something inspiring, prefabricated with quick assembly onsite, incorporating the originality of the art installations yet unifying the natural surrounds of the City Park—something more than the usual scaffold structure with its vinyl banner façade. A secondary challenge was to design a structure from widely available resources that could double in function, become festival inventory, yet surpass being a temporary construction, while developing into a focal point that coexisted with main stage performances.

The use of 40’-long shipping containers was novel and held endless design potential by stacking to create the grandstand and VIP lounge with two illuminated bars in its two upper containers, chandeliered out 9’ on each side to create two balconies in close proximity to the Main Stage and elegant club seating in the four bottom lounge containers. Two set of stairs and a 10’ ADA lift led up to the top deck. A enhancing detail was each container was perforated with silhouette cutouts to spell the word “VOODOO,” which acted as branding while affording different vantage points and attractive service area openings as well. The beauty was the openings themselves became the signage; no additional materials or energy were needed to create banners, posters, or digital billboards.

Adding color-changing LEDs to backlight the cutouts of the silver shining containers produced a variety of dramatic visual aesthetics allowing the lighting effects to sync up with artist performances to either intensify or reduce lighting. The container structure became a part of the performance. Sixteen Chauvet Colorado 1 fixtures were used to illuminate the interior ground container lounges with its club seating. The stage sides were lit with 18 Colorados and programmed to fade with color schemes. A purple wash was accomplished over the top deck using 16 PAR 64 fixtures, and visual interest was added by using ten Martin MAC 250 fixtures. An Avolites Pearl Expert controlled all fixtures.

The LOA lounge became a place to view live performances by as Ozzy Osborne, Muse, My Morning Jacket, Kiss, and Lenny Kravitz, and served as the venue of choice for the Jane’s Addiction DVD because of the shots featuring the glowing containers.

The success of the concept of Eco Shipping Container Lounge significantly met the design challenges put forth by environment, the event itself, superseding expectations with storage, cost-effectiveness, and the cargo-tecture elements will continue to be recycled for events in coming years.

Creative Team

Stefan Beese of REBE Design, Designer/Project Management
Stephen Rehage of Rehage Entertainment & RE:BE Design/
Voodoo Festival Founder/Partner
Seyavash Zohoori, 3D Design
2009 & 2010 Voodoo Music and Art Experience, Rehage Entertainment. Inc, Client
Reed Ingram and Bev Inc., Project Execution and Container Construction
See-Hear Productions Inc., Lighting
Patrick Theriot, Programmer
Andy Ragan, Jackie Johnson, Andrew Castile, System Technicians
Revitaliztion.LLC, Container Build Out
Bev Inc., Operation & Services

Equipment

Container Deck
1 Avolites Pearl Expert
10 Martin MAC 250 Wash
30 Philips Color Kinetics Color Blast
18 Chauvet Colorado
16 Chauvet Colorado 1
16 PAR 64 fixtures

Materials Used
6 40’ Sea Cargo Containers
Shipping Pallets from The Green Project for Sub Flooring
Plywood & Lumber Recycled from 2009
Chainlink Fence and Posts
10’ ADA Lift from Mobility Systems, Inc.