Swedish House Mafia’s production designer offers insight into Ultra Music Festival stage design
Swedish House Mafia‘s long awaited return to the big stage at Ultra Music Festival was truly something else. Their live show was a culmination of many months of planning and had to be executed on a strict schedule. Andy Hurst was the production designer in charge of constructing the stage for the closing act. He has lots of experience in the matter, having previously deployed the same GLP technology for years, working with other artists such as The Prodigy and Faithless.
It was almost a no brainer deciding who would handle the stage setup, as Hurst is also the show production designer for Axwell Λ Ingrosso. Speaking regarding some of the major challenges he and his team had to handle, Hurst explains:
“As the festival main stage design was changed one month before the show we had to work quickly to get a new SHM design signed off and ready in time.”
Time was a rather pressing roadblock throughout the whole preparation. Hurst also cites the strict time parameters they had to work within, even during the performance. He explains:
“We had to have our entire system set in 35 minutes. In that time we had to fly our back wall, set our custom DJ riser and roll in our lighting, laser and pyro package.”
The arsenal of equipment and technology incorporated into the show was rather impressive, Hurst acquired 60 JDC1 hybrid strobe lights and 96 impression X4 Bar 20. Swedish House Mafia command one of the largest stage presences out of any live act within the scene, so the bar was naturally going to be raised quite high for their 5 year reunion show. Speaking regarding the intricacies of the stage setup, Hurst explains:
“I had seen the JDC1 at LDI and was impressed with the brightness and ability to provide lots of different effects. We ran them in full 68-channel mode using all the attributes. The strobe effects were used to drive beats and nuances within the tracks, which they did perfectly.”
A truly historic set, the process seemed to run flawlessly from an outside perspective. With great execution through both audio and visuals, it is clear how one of the most historic live shows in the history of electronic music involved the creative efforts of those from all corners of the production process.
Relive the iconic performance below.