Arcadia Spectacular

The idea behind the creation of Arcadia is to create a 360-degree, timeless story that is told through a monumental sensory experience. The show is brought to life through a fusion of elements that range from engineering, aerial performances, to bespoke special effects, and cutting-edge technology. That’s all before those elements come together in an unleashed freestyle jam, featuring live guest musicians, all put together to create an unreal experience.

Three fundamental storytelling mediums

There are three core themes that interconnect to tell the story of Arcadia. The first is the visceral experience of energy, second is the engagement with anthropomorphic characters (such as the as the giant spider) and third is the use of geometry to shape space.

Photo credits to Ben Daure

The unique characteristics of Arcadia

One of the unique characteristics of Arcadia’s shows is the multi-sensory nature. This is where audience can re-imagine two-dimensional event dynamics by watching the stage like it’s a giant screen, they’re given a 360-degree view of the environments, as well as the 3-dimensional sculptural installations at their center, which will invite the audience to interact with the space in a unique and immersive way.

Photo credits Charlie Raven Photography

This opens a broad, yet challenging range of omni-directional sensory elements – from an inward facing Ambisonic sound field playing music from behind the crowd, to 7-meter-long robotic spiders that crawl on wires above the crowd, and lasers that face multiple directions.

The shock wave from Arcadia’s signature flames hard wires the experience of thermal and explosive energy to our most primal circuits while show moments like the Lords of Lightning fires multi-million volts of electricity, that are felt on a physical as well as a visual level.

Photo credits Shotaway Photography

Lasers bring energy to life

Lasers are brought into the mix to create “energy”, that is then brought to life in a completely futuristic way. Precise laser beams are used to symbolize intense power to the changing nature. While both laser and Tesla coils work with a principle of amplification – simulating minimum inputs to create spectacular results. That concept also ties into the ethos of resourcefulness, which saw the spider built from recycled materials to create a maximum impact while leaving a small footprint.

Arcadia uses 3 main lasers on the spider, one for each face of the creature, each covers approximately 90-degrees. Since there is so many different special effects already being performed in the sky, the lasers are positioned to sit above head height, bringing the “belly of the beast” into play. This expands on the vertical visual spectrum, which creates a vivid counterpoint to the sound and fury of flames.

Photo credits Shotaway Photography

The lasers are positioned in a way that they will cross under the spider, thus creating a detailed lattice pattern or a spider’s web. That web sits above the epicenter of the dance floor in a visual metaphor, allowing for connections to be created on the dance floor and directly beneath a cloth spider’s web given to the crew by an Aboriginal nation, whom Arcadia collaborated with on an ancient spider song. The juxtaposition of those two webs – ancient and tangible next to futuristic and intangible is a profoundly powerful symbol.

Photo credits Sarah Ginn

The Reactor, creating architecture through light

Last year saw the development of an experimental indoor venue called the “Reactor”, and one of the driving concepts was to create architecture through light. A physical central spire was replaced with a laser cage that helped visualize the futuristic idea of a metaphysical rather than purely physical monuments. Acting as a central totem, it was a mesmerizing remix of a tower and by placing performers inside the laser cage, a human element was brought to an alien concept, offering a glimpse of a hyper evolved future.

Arcadia giant reactor with lasers

Photo credits Sarah Ginn

The Reactor also saw lasers dominate the outer edges of the 360-degree arena, facing inwards to create an extraordinary geometric canvas. Creating both art and architecture from patterns in motion, they sculpted the space above the audience’s heads – something Arcadia has always done with pyrotechnics, performances, and kinetic sculptures. It was the company’s first iteration of an indoor immersive experience – one inspired by the digital future and driven by a theme of interconnection where multiple lasers facing in to create vivid geometries no one laser alone could produce. It was a superb example of how technology can bring storytelling themes to life.

2019 will be become the dawn of an intensely creative year for Arcadia, with the start of a huge new project at Glastonbury and the development of a new indoor show – both of which have ground breaking new laser installations woven into their DNA.

Laser Show Technology

ClubMAX 10 with FB4, click here to learn more
ClubMAX 10 with FB4 Kvant Laser

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Pangolin FB4 laser hardware controller

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