Leo McDowell-Benton, sales director at G-SMATT Europe, looks back on the screens utilised to tell the dystopian story of Boomtown Fair festival.
Tell us about the feature
At first sight, when seen across the site at Boomtown, a glass box is exactly what people may think they are looking at, but the basic shape is the only thing that boxes and G-Tainers have in common. A total of 13 G-Tainers, a combination of smart glass and a steel modular system, were used to form Bang Hai Technologies, the headquarters of the ‘in world’ Bang Hai Corporation and the hub for their digital innovations at this year’s Boomtown festival.
During the day, the structure functioned as a fully immersive interactive venue and a key component to the site-wide theatrical role play game. Located within the unique spaces created inside the G-Tainers were a series of immersive theatre scenarios manned by actors who were leading the audience through the narrative. At night, the glass became a beacon for all things Bang Hai and a showcase for the festival’s overarching narrative.
Why was it made?
Boomtown is world-renowned for delivering a spectacular and innovative theatre-based festival, and rightly so. The level of detail and thought that goes into the production is extraordinary and we knew from our earliest meetings that their vision of a dystopian, high-tech future presented as part of the ‘Metropolis’ district would provide us with an ideal means of showcasing our technology and its full creative capabilities. It was also an amazing opportunity for us to work with some of the most creative minds currently working in the festival and events sector. It allowed them to maximise the capabilities of our technology in new ways which we were thrilled to see and has given us more ideas for future installations.
What was the process of creating it?
The climax of Boomtown’s current story arc was to be a high-tech dystopian finale that would be revealed at the festival’s closing party.
When we started talking to the theatrical and production teams at Boomtown, it quickly became clear there was a real synergy between G-SMATT’s real-world technology and the fictional world of Boomtown’s Bang Hai industries and their AI avatar, AMI.
We were able to help them deliver the futuristic look and feel they had envisaged for their production in a far more realistic and dynamic manner than any other available event technology.
Creatively, the content creation for the screens was developed in partnership with Boomtown and their content teams. Because our screens are actually very easy to work with there were no real challenges on that front; it was a seamless process.
The physical install proved to be a little more challenging as a result of the uneven ground and varying soil conditions below the structure. However, our world-class engineering team worked in partnership with specialist event engineers and contractors to deliver a solid and robust groundworks solution under a platform structure that was constructed to the highest of safety standards.
Why do you consider it special?
This was our first festival and I think it’s fair to say that both Boomtown and our own team were really thrilled when we saw the finished structure completed and in action on that first night of the event.
It certainly exceeded our expectations and the reaction we witnessed from the crowds and the feedback we have had since has been fantastic.
We are now really excited about the undoubted opportunities that exist, and are keen to work with other brands, events and venues that are willing to embrace something new, be it for a music festival, exhibition pavilions, product launches or more diverse and creative pop-up experiences.
Having a flexible, interactive space that is also completely weatherproof provides event organisers with some new options and ideas for holding VIP receptions and hospitality, regardless of the season, and eliminates any concerns that may come with hosting within the confines of a damp and draughty tent, which has little appeal in an English winter!