The fifth annual Elements Music and Arts Festival took place at a new site less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan, adjacent to the NASCAR Pocono Raceway, but as far as fans at this three-day event were concerned, it could have taken place a million miles from anywhere. Nestled within the region’s Northern Hardwood Forest with its sugar maples and yellow birch trees, the festival immersed fans in a beautiful natural canopy that transcended time and place.
In keeping with its setting, Elements drew power from an onsite solar panel farm and was fed with locally sourced organic foods. The light shows that supported the acts, a group that included Liquid Stranger, Rezz, Kaskade, Duke Dumont, and Big Gigantic, among others, reflected the natural setting and spirit of the festival. Aerial effects accentuated the tree lines of the woods, and in place of conventional strobes, there was pixelated, colourful light from CHAUVET Professional Color STRIKE M fixtures to engage fans with crowd lighting.
“Making sure the designs adhered to an artistic concept where the technology met the philosophy of the festival was our key goal when providing all the equipment rigging, cabling and certifications for this event,” said Spencer Lavoie, of 4Life Entertainment and Technology. “Our CHAUVET fixtures became the cornerstone for nearly every design we had at the festival — and for good reason. From the Maverick MK3 Spots creating unique aerial effects for bands like Twiddle, to evoking ‘God Looks’ for EDM acts like Liquid Stronger, they gave visiting LDs a versatile toolbox.”
At the festival’s Earth Stage, where bass music, psychedelic, world sounds, and jam bands reigned, Lavoie and Alex Van Roon of VR Lighting, created mesmerising looks with help from eight Maverick MK Pyxis fixtures. “They were great eye candy with their pixel mappable ring and sharp centre source, for both daytime and night shows,” Lavoie said of the fixture. “We also had 26 Rogue R2 Beams taking over the air above the stage while they highlighted three disco balls hanging 12-feet high. This created a forest of light as the reflected beams stroked their colour palettes onto the trees and crowds danced to the Digifunk custom HSD and Funktion one sound system.”
Among the more distinctive looks that blended harmoniously with their surroundings were those created by the festival’s 24 Color STRIKE M motorised strobe/washes. “Central to our design concept was the decision to replace historical strobe choices with the brighter more colourful footprint of the Color STRIKE fixtures,” said Lavoie. “We used them to bring the massive Fire Stage art to life. Our amazing lighting designer, Edward (“Hazy”) Stallworth kept surprising the massive crowds in front of the Fire Stage by introducing new elements of these pixel mapped fixtures, almost like a story telling portions of the script with light.
“Hazy, along with the rest of our design team: Ben Newell, Alex Van Roon, and John Loughlin all contributed to making this something special,” continued Lavoie. “Watching the lasers, pyro, lights, and projections all unify for key moments was personally my highlight of the festival.”