Nature One, one of Europe’s largest festivals for electronic music, celebrated its 25th anniversary between 2-4 August. Consequently, the event, which has been based on the former Pydna rocket base in the Hunsrück mountain region since the second year, was simply dubbed ‘The Twenty Five’.
As always, at the centre of the festival site was the huge dancefloor, named ‘Open Air Floor’ and as in previous years, Gerdon design was responsible for the entire production design. Here dancing takes place in the open air, while the majority of lighting technology—as in a real club—is above the heads of the audience, attached to an impressive 26 x 26 metre truss construction which was raised to a height of 15 meters.
Although Nature One does not rely on a lush and decorative backdrop construction like many other EDM festivals, the stage, which measures 46 meters wide, 18 meters high and 16 meters deep, was extremely impressive, as DJs took their place under the stage roof, renowned from Genesis’ 2007 Turn It On Again tour.
While the aim of creating something new every year has been upheld in recent years, the organisers of Nature One decided in this special anniversary year to develop a new design template, with a value that will be further developed in subsequent years. An essential design element this year was the creation of 48 sheet metal pyramids (in 2 x 2 meter sections), which were directly attached to the Layher stage construction. These were clad with 25 x 100cm LED panels and equipped in the centre of each with a GLP KNV Cube.
“This gave the stage, which previously consisted only of LED screens and occasional banners, a truly three-dimensional look for the first time,” says Thomas Gerdon, Managing Director of Gerdon design, and lighting designer of Nature One.
The KNV modular LED system is an absolute benefit for the project. “The KNV systems are waterproof, which is crucial on the Open Air Floor,” he said. “If it rains, lamps will get it full on. This is not least a question of economics, as without IP-rated devices, weather protection must be included in the calculation. It has to be paid, installed, derigged and maintained, which of course has a noticeable effect on the costs. Although IP devices are slightly more expensive, the bottom line is that it is still cheaper than ordinary lamps with conventional weather protection.
“Apart from that, I do not know of anything that is as incredibly bright in the stroboscope area as the KNV system, and particularly in the field of techno it is the perfect thing,” added the designer. And yet, KNV can do so much more than just deliver brightness.
“In fact, the system is enormously versatile,” confirmed Gerdon. “Because we had lots of LED screens around the pyramids, we managed to take full advantage of the KNV’s flexibility by using the high-power white light LED from the light console, and all the RGB elements of the KNV Cube via pixel mapping from the media server. That’s how we were able to add width to the available LED surfaces.”
24 KNV Dot as a scaled strobe/wash solution in the stage roof A total of 24 KNV Dot, the smallest model in the KNV family, with just a single high-power pixel, were featured by the designer in the stage roof, and steered from the lighting desk. Here, the RGB pixels were deployed predominantly as washlight and for ‘camera flair’ effects, while the white light LED in the centre served as a strobe.
“When GLP introduced the new KNV Line and Dot models, in addition to the KNV Cube and Arc at the beginning of the year, I first wondered if it was really necessary,” laughed Gerdon. “Now I can say ‘Yes, it is!’ In Nature One, the use of these smaller modules has proven to be really useful. On the one hand, we had the big stage on which I really wanted to go to town. On the other hand, there was this relatively small stage roof with a net area of about 8 x 14 meters, which is still quite low with only four meters in height.
“Again, we needed strobes, but not the size and power of a KNV Cube. Being able to scale the system down there was a big win. So we had the same device, the same library, the same response and so on but all one size smaller. With the KNV Dot we were able to accommodate small strobes all across the stage, which worked wonderfully here. ”
The KNV Lines, each with five power pixels in a row, were featured above the dancefloor. “Again, I did not need the power of a KNV Cube or Arc. Instead, we distributed 32 KNV Lines on the ground support system, and again used only the power we really needed to effectively light that area. The fact that we did not have to go oversize here, of course, was reflected in the budget.”
Thomas Gerdon has already gained a lot of experience with the KNV system in recent months and emphasises that this is by no means a pure ‘technology lamp’. “We have used KNV very successfully in various TV projects, in a hip-hop festival and it’s even been in action at a corporate event. Sure, at techno events you can drive it full throttle, but the system is so versatile that it basically finds its place everywhere.”
In view of the enormous output of the KNV modules, Gerdon concluded: “It’s just the brightest thing you can get on the market at the moment. At Nature One, all guest LDs were shocked—in a positive sense—by the brightness of the systems. Whenever I need a big effect—and thanks to KNV Line and Dot now a small one as well—the KNV series is my tool of choice.”
Lighting designer Thomas Gerdon was supported at Nature One by his lighting director Rando Lorenz and lighting operator Tobias Reinartz, while Marek Papke and Artur Kechter operated the media servers. Jens Diefenbach was Technical Director and Oliver Reis from schoko pro was on-site as Project Manager. The lasers were supervised by the Laserfabrik.