iHeartRadio Music Festival 2017
iHeartRadio continues to be one the biggest radio stations in the world. Their concert and festivals are no different, featuring stacked lineups with A-level talent. Now in its sixth year, iHeartRadio Music Festival is their largest iHeart festival, hosted in the heart of Las Vegas. The acts can best be described as eclectic- spanning from EDM, Pop, to Rock.
“You’ll transition from David Guetta to Coldplay to The Weekend, back-to-back” said Tom Kenny, Lighting Designer for iHeartRadio Music Festival. Tom Charlie Cook, and Tom Mcphillips of Atomic Design are tasked with putting together iHeartRadio production design across all performances. All fifteen main stage performers play 20 minute sets, each bringing a distinctive look and feel.
“Each artist brought something unique to the show. Each with a different look. 30 Second To Mars brought a gospel choir, Coldplay has their Xyloband flashing wristbands, David Guetta brought in hundreds of lasers, and Pink (literally) flew over the crowd on an automated motion rig. It was incredible” commented Tom.
Using a revolving stage, each band was prepping their stage while the other was performing live for the audience. There was little room for error- gear had to work the first time otherwise the show would not go on. “We were fortunate to be working with true professionals across the entire production. Dan Parise and Dave Meyers, of DPS, are as professional as it gets when it comes to producing such a massive event. Also, we had an extraordinary gaffer, Jason Uchita. Communication was key. Everyone on the show had to make adaptations to their stage to fit [on the revolving stage]. Stage direction, lighting designers, coordinators and vendor teams all were organized and communicating constantly. It was truly stunning to see” Tom noted.
To streamline the variation between sets, Tom and team has moved the show over the years to a more video-centric stage design. “Every artist already has content they’ve created for their tour. Jason Rudolph, Screens Director working alongside VER’s LED and Media Server teams- were able to scale and format the content to make it match the LED screens beautifully.”
The scale of the lighting design is massive. “Each light is set to match the color of the video content, enhancing the experience, and broadening the scale of the entire stage,” commented Tom. All of the lighting is programmed by some of the industries top programmers during the previz, at VER, in the weeks leading up to the event. Previz helped production and artists preview animations of their stage design within the massive iHeartRadio main stage, using a CGI simulation. Tweaks are made to the set based on the preview, which help each artist optimize the experience of their set.
“VER’s Eddie Pearce, Todd Mertzel, Bryan Barry, Susan Tesh, David Perkins and their teams are such a massive reason this show is a success. I’ve worked with the biggest and the best and there is no one like them. From the smallest to the biggest band they treat everyone with respect.,” commented Tom. VER provided lighting, LED, rigging, creative screen control and previsualization services.
Tom Kenny is one of the most respected lighting designers in the industry. His career began with The Who, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and David Bowie. Thirty years later, Tom is considered one the biggest names in production, continuing to light some of the biggest tv and events in the world.
Dan Parise and Dave Meyers of DPS – Production Management
Tom Kenny – LIGHTING DESIGNER
Charlie Cook, and Tom Mcphillips of Atomic Design – Producton Design
Jason Rudolph – Screens Director
Lighting, LED, Projection, Rigging, Creative Screens Control and PreViz Services
Bryan Barry – VER Crew Manager
Eddie Pearce – VER Client Rep
Brian Ransom – LED Video Lead
Jason Uchita – TKLD Lighting Gaffer
Adam Hagin – TKLD Lighting Best Boy
Blair Korbel – TKLD Lighting Crew Chief
Kevin Parsley – VER Lighting Crew Chief
Tom Houston – Remote Follow Spot Operator
David Perkins – Lighting Previz
Todd Mertzel – VER Production
Helen Rojas – VER Production
Loren Barton – Server Programmer
Tim Nauss – Server Programmer
Duane Wright – E2 Operator
Emery Martin – Content Management
Stephan Hambsch – Server Engineer