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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival



     The task of replacing a popular fireworks display and entertaining and average of 35,000 people per night is a daunting one. Even more so when the space is outdoors and flanks a 350 X 300 meter area of water where the audience will be located all around the site.
     The site, in the heart of Stockholm, is flanked by the Royal Palace on one side, the Parliament building on another, the historic Opera house on the third with the fourth boundary a long bridge over the water.
     The elements of the show included massive 3D stereoscopic laser graphics projections in two locations, laser beam projections from multiple locations, smoke machines for the beam effects, fire effects from two towers, large scale architectural projections from Pani projectors, rigging to fly a laser and performer over the water and a PA system big enough to handle the crowds of up to 40,000 spectators on a weekend evening!

Aerial view of the site scanned from a tourist postcard
Aerial view of the site scanned from a tourist postcard and annotated with system locations

Detailed site diagram showing placement of show systems
Detailed site diagram showing placement of show systems


PA = Speaker stacks and amps for sound
S = Smoke machine location
S = Smoke machine location under bridge
R = Barge mounted restaurants installed for the Water festival
Not shown - Two giant scrims that were flown by wires over the site for graphics projections and the cables between the Fire tower and the White Tower used to fly a laser and performer over the water.


Panoramic Photos

    Two large panoramic photos of the site are available by clicking HERE. This will launch a new tab or new copy of your browser to view the large panoramic photos. You can use the scroll bar at the bottom of your browser to pan the photos. When you have finished viewing the panoramas, close the tab or copy of your browser.

Site panorma1
Site panorma1 - View from the top of the Fire Tower [265 kb]

Site panorama 2
Site panorama 2 - View from the Royal Palace [177 kb]

Show Elements

  • Master Control was located in a scaffolding on the embankment above the water on the Palace site of the site. It contained the head end for the audio, stereoscopic 3D laser graphics projectors and remote fiber driven scan heads for beam effects. Time code was sent from here by XLR cables to the beam projection position on the Opera side of the site and to the two Pani projector locations. It was the crew's "home" for the duration of the set-up and show. One of the two polarisation preserving screens for the 3D laser graphics was hung from the Royal Palace just across from the master control position.

  • The Banks of Pani projector were housed in two elevated containers with 4 projectors in each container. They projected images longer then a city block onto the main facade of the Royal Palace.

  • The "white Tower" was a steel navigation tower installed just for the event. It housed a smoke machine and a set of propane burners and flame thrower on the top for fire effects. It was also the termination point of the rigging that flew the "basket" with laser and live performer over the water from the "Fire Tower". It was initially intended to be the location of the main beam effect laser system but there was insufficient space to mount the laser there.

  • The facade of the Opera House was nightly covered with a giant polarisation preserving screen for the 3D laser projections.

  • The main beam laser system was located atop a container on a moored barge that formed part of the structure of a floating restaurant and VIP lounge on the Opera side of the site.

  • The "fire Tower" was a massive scaffolding that housed one of the four immense speaker stacks for the PA, a MicroYAG beam effect laser at the bottom of the tower, rigging and platforms for flying a laser and live performer over the water and was toped with a set of propane burners and flame thrower for fire effects.

  • Not shown in the diagram are two large scrims that fly on wires; one from the Royal palace to the Opera and the other from the Fire Tower to the Opera. These were used for 2D image projections during part of the show.


Quick Links to Report Pages

Stockholm Water Festival Report - Introduction
Sweden and Stockholm - Background and general information
The Site - Orientation to the show area and the challenges it presented
The Crew - The people who put it all together
Tech Specs - The equipment used in the presentation
The Music - An interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
Smoke on the water - Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
The Show - A description with many pictures
Animated Gifs - Gifs showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
Stadshuset - Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Show Diary - Day-to-day coverage of the trials and triumphs


DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area. 

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