If you can dream it we can bring it to life. We’re very fortunate to be able to work on some pretty extreme and down right cool projects in Las Vegas, and when we got the call for sound and lighting for a floating stage in the middle of the Bellagio Fountains on the Las Vegas Strip….. well it was on! You’re probably thinking to yourselves…. all of that electrical equipment in the middle of a body of water…are they crazy? Maybe a little.
Every activation comes with it’s unique needs but add to that the challenge of a LIVE performance to take place in the middle of a body of water and the fact the surprise performance by “Panic At The Disco” was top secret… and was only announced a few hours in advance this project was unique in the extreme.
Like the Vegas Golden Knights AV Vegas is Vegas Born and having the opportunity to work with local entertainers and artists to create an elevated fan experience says so much about our community.
How it went down… What many do not know is that behind the scenes an in the depth of inner workings of nearly every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip lies a labyrinth of tunnels and passageways.
Upon our arrival the day before the show we were lead to “the cave” where we were taken to a rectangular barge that was moored to a walkway along the channel to the main pool. The barge was a mere 8’X12′ vessel, topped with steel, and handrails on 3 sides, with trolling motors on either end. Stepping on, it felt stable enough to trust, however as we loaded the gear on, it listed a bit too the side, making the first trip a nervous one. With the gear loaded, we set off from the dock.
The pilots from the Bellagio had clearly played this game before, expertly steering away from the dock, and into the main pool. They brought us around the extensive banks of fountain nozzles, and to the stage, gracefully setting the open side of the barge against the decks, and using the motors to hold position.
After a few excessively firm steps around the stage, we found it was surprising firm, and went to work setting up. Once the gear was set, and after a little tweaking, PK got to programming. Bellagio gave us a few test runs, perfectly successful. We covered the lights with tarps and left that night with complete confidence for the coming day.
Photo: Nevada Film Commission
The next morning, we came in, ready to rock, we boarded the barge out to the stage and found the tarps mostly dry from the fountains regular operation, securing our faith, that we had nothing to fear of the over spray of the fountains during the show. A few practice runs later, and we ready for showtime.
The band arrived that afternoon for a relaxed walk through, then went for wardrobe. When they returned, it was go time. Tracks started, the band was on it, lights were on their mark, and the fountain burst exactly on cue…and silence.
Now for those of you that might not be familiar with the weather here in fabulous Las Vegas the wind is our nemesis and sure enough it kicked up… The wind (had taken) the spray from the fountain and caused all kinds of problems on stage.
The AV Vegas team shines in times of adversity and instances like this is what sets us apart from the rest… Having professional techs on site can be the difference between success and disaster.
The spray from the fountains drenched a few of the fixtures causing the stage lighting to stop working, our techs are always on site, Chris the lead on this event, quickly boarded a boat to the stage and with a little bit of tech work and salvage lights were back up in about 5 minutes finishing the day with categorical success!
Featured Getty Images:
2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final – Game Five
LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 07: Singer Brendon Urie and Panic! At The Disco perform near the fountain at the Bellagio Hotel ahead of Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)