LEAD harnesses Robe to Hack the Galaxy

Robe MegaPointes, BMFL Blades & Spots, Spiiders and LEDBeam 100s to illuminate Hack the Galaxy at Berlin’s Kraftwerk venue for Israeli FinTech enterprise, Rapyd. Photo: Eclipse Media

OTD Global called upon Israeli-based creative visual design practice, LEAD, headed by Omer Israeli and Dor Aichner to engineer lighting and atmospherics for a ‘Hack the Galaxy’ – a special event that was staged in Berlin’s Kraftwerk venue for Israeli FinTech enterprise, Rapyd. 

Israeli and Aichner put Robe moving lights – MegaPointes, BMFL Blades & Spots, Spiiders and LEDBeam 100s – at the centre of the lighting design in the main performance space, once the towering turbine hall and core of the former power station. During the evening, Tiesto entertained over 2,000 guests with a DJ set.

This was the first of three Hack the Galaxy parties in Europe delivered by Rapyd’s experience brand “The Moment” and part of a recruiting drive to attract developers and programmers to the company. 

Hack the Galaxy comprises a series of challenges, puzzles, hackathons and events with the chance to win tickets for a real space ride in a private Space Perspective capsule launching in 2026. Participants must join the Raypd developer Community and then solve a current Hack the Galaxy puzzle. The answer to each puzzle is a password that unlocks one or more entries into the next draw for tickets to space and other prizes.

The Berlin party followed two similar events in Israel earlier in the year, Moment 1 and Moment 2, also with DJ sets from Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Alleso, Tiesto, Martin Garrix and Swedish House Mafia. 

Israeli and Aichner’s brief covered ambient lighting for the periphery areas including the lounge and seating as well as food stations and chill zones, where they collaborated with scenic and décor designer Shlomi Illani. 

As the epicentre of the experience were Robe fixtures. The starting point for all lighting was the triangular shape inspired by ‘The Moment’. This geometric concept underpinned the spectacular tunnel-of-beams – a perspective shifting trick of the light reinforced with a large triangular shaped LED screen upstage of the DJ booth and a long central ‘spine’ truss running the length of the room rigged with 48 MegaPointes. This was intersected by light beams from 46 BMFLs.

According to Israeli, these two types of lights were chosen for this element of light art for all the usual reasons – power, versatility, reliability. “We absolutely love the MegaPointe,” he enthused. “It is such an ultimately useful fixture, you can do so much with them, and we try to source them wherever possible for our projects!”

Further LEDBeam 100s and Spiiders were positioned above and behind the DJ on two triangular trusses over the stage, and blasted effects and beams into the audience, ramping up the energy exchange between the DJs and the crowd. “It’s a simple idea but it works brilliantly with very bright and fast-moving lights when everything is peaking on the stage and dance floor,” noted Aichner.

The main challenge with lighting Hack the Galaxy Berlin was integrating Kraftwerk’s architecture into the lighting design and maintaining a triangular influence – however subtle – throughout the evening’s storytelling. “It is vital to us when working in an impressive and inspiring venue like this to maintain the architectural integrity and merge it with the bigger visual picture,” Israeli explained.

They took a similar approach when illuminating the buffet, bar and ambient areas with approximately 100 assorted fixtures, embracing the scale and legacy of the building, which once supplied electricity and heating to the central districts of East Berlin, and was a major energy supplier for former East Germany. 

Israeli and Aichner programmed and operated the main room lighting on a grandMA2 full size console with a grandMA3 light for backup, spending three days finessing on site, preceded by some intense pre-programming in Syncronorm Depence² and Vectorworks in Tel Aviv.

Tiesto’s operator for the event was Josh Gregoire from US-based lighting practice Bending Lite, leaving Israeli and Aichner to light the other artists – Skazi, Vintage Culture and Israel’s top DJ and hugely popular music producer, Itay Galo.

The duo created a bespoke timecoded show for Vintage Culture and operated fully live for the others, working closely with VJ, Guy Romem. Lighting equipment was supplied by Croatia’s IVAS Group with lasers from KVANT Europe. The event’s main producer was Liron Merker, the technical director was Avishay Giladie and everything onstage was kept running to time by stage manager Itay Harpaz.