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Creating a Scene at Cannes Lions

Creating a Scene at Cannes Lions

France – DesignScene, a UK- and US-based creative design and production specialist in live events, was recently commissioned by Lighthouse Creative Works, NYC, to design, realise and deliver an innovative and technical production for an exclusive party for Live Nation at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The Lions’ event is an all-action global event renowned as the largest gathering of worldwide advertising professionals, designers, digital innovators and marketers.

The DesignScene team of 21, led by Attila Keskin, true to their hashtag #creatingascene delivered an amazing environment for key influencers and movers-and-shakers who were in town for the Lions.

The party event culminated in a special acoustic performance by Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl in a truly magical setting.

DesignScene also created two different innovative and highly visual ‘cabana’ meeting environments for Live Nation (also for Lighthouse Creative Works) and Hulu and one hotel suite fit-out for Yahoo at the Carlton Hotel incorporating layout, décor and technology for the week-long event.

DesignScene brought vision and flair to the equation, producing a refreshing new alternative party concept for this event staged at a beautiful hillside villa with breath-taking views over the city of Cannes and the Mediterranean Sea.

A blend of visual themes merged the Balinese style of the venue with an elegant open-air southern French barbeque social gathering to create a beautifully atmospheric setting offering exceptional food and outstanding musical entertainment, fully focused on the ‘guest experience’.

DesignScene and Lighthouse Creative Works sourced and partnered with a high end caterer to produce mouth-watering edible artworks while their client secured the high profile artist.

The presentation and aesthetics of the whole event was evolved from the essence of the venue – private, peaceful and serene – with panoramic views and a great vantage point to observe the hustle and freneticism of the city below.

Custom split level food and beverage stations were designed and built on site and comfortable, uber cool branded banquette seating was installed around the pool area, so good that the property’s owner now wants to keep it installed!

A circular stage was constructed in the villa’s infinity pool to maintain the uninterrupted view as a backdrop to Dave Grohl’s incendiary performance.

In keeping with the quality levels throughout and given the high value of the artists, top production values were key to the delivery, another area in which DesignScene excels.

The technical elements – including set and scenic – were all supplied from UK-based partners, complete with their experienced crews, with an L-Acoustics sound system installed for the performance stage with a MIDAS PRO2C mixing console.

Tastefully designed stage lighting included a selection of Clay Paky moving lights: 34 Mythos, eight K10s fitted with B-EYE lenses, plus 12 DF50 hazer and two 1200W followspots, all controlled from a grandMA full size console operated by Muly Yechezkel.

Twenty-four of the Mythos were used along the rear edge of the infinity pool, behind the stage to create a light wall shooting beams up into the night sky, with the B-EYEs positioned around the back of the stage in a semi-circle, closing down the actual performance space emphasising the highly intimate nature of the performance.

Combined with some recessed lighting in the stage and the stunning backdrop of the city and sea beyond, this also created the impression of the stage floating in air.

Other areas to receive lighting treatment included the driveway which was torch lit; guests were shuttled to the main event space on golf buggies.

The villa living room which opened out onto the outdoor space, was simply enhanced with LED uplighters positioned all around grazing up the walls for a streamlined look and suspended carbon lamps were scattered throughout the gardens, bringing a magical feel to the whole environment.

A large feature wall integrated with an existing structure in the grounds was created from laser cut client logos and vertical floral arrangements flown on catenary wires, finished with dry ice arising around a water feature.

There was a natural synergy between the DesignScene team and Lighthouse Creative Works who united to produce this very unique event. Challenges like access to the villa which is on a steep hillside location with a small twisty road restricted to vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes and a long push to the production areas were dealt with efficiently and with many smiles.

DesignScene was again asked to create Yahoo’s marketing space for the Lions’ event following two previous years, which were a great success.

Freshness and innovation were again key triggers. Yahoo was located in its regular space in two top floor suites at the Carlton Hotel. DesignScene created an interior scheme and layout, including digital media installations.

Yahoo’s graphic design creative, introducing bright, bold colours and mysterious connecting dots, were very impactful. While the overall feel of the graphics was abstract, they featured interesting and fun facts which had massive impact when printed on three metre high graphics walls.

The Carlton furniture was replaced with contemporary pieces including a mixture of clear vinyl ghost chairs with graphic applications to the backs and Pascha style armchairs with branded cushions. The scene was augmented with contemporary lamps, colourful potted plants and varying height vases linked to the overall colour scheme.

Ten large free-standing walls, populated with 70 touch-screens, were central to the space which guests could use to browse – or be shown – the highlights of Yahoo’s current range of products, tools and services.

To facilitate the smooth running of the busy meeting schedules, DesignScene provided two bilingual suite managers (French and English), to co-ordinate the room set up, assisting with the catering and providing solutions for impromptu guest requests.

The Hulu cabana was right on the famous Cannes Beach, where all the major Lions brand activations took place. Facilities included a conference meeting room, work area with charging stations, lounge area and terrace bar.

DesignScene’s interior specialists took Hulu’s vibrant green corporate colour, re-imagined and merged it with the cool beach location to produce a distinctive palm-leaf motif that was present throughout the creative in all dressing and print items.

Plants and greenery were prominently deployed around the space including subtle gold terrariums – for a flourish of Riviera glamour – palm tree ornaments and pineapples. The branding was prominent but fused with the creative thread and presented in some interesting formats like logos in gold-look frames or printed on scatter cushions.

A highlight of the space was a full height screen-wall installation playing clips of Hulu’s favourite TV shows, a statement piece that also recreated in their suite at the nearby Carlton Hotel.

This was a huge success and the space was utilised throughout the Lions event for business and social activities.

The brief for designing this cabana was to create a fully-functional space to facilitate networking, busy meeting schedules – with multiple zones to maximise efficiency and visibility – and an informal sunset happy-hour session each evening.

The cabana was dressed as a slick contemporary apartment space, light and airy with crisp white walls, charcoal grey sofas and chunky coffee tables and invigorated with bold red props throughout, ensuring the Live Nation brand ethos was highly visible from all viewing angles. Beautiful coffee table music books enhanced the music credentials of the client.

A striking photo wall full of iconic black and white performance images occupied one complete surface, with a plasma screen integrated into one of the frames showing looped content of Live Nation productions.

The terrace featured large solid wood lounging sofas, light grey parasols and an iced coffee bar, continuing the signature look, but tailored to the outdoor environment.

The design concept hit the spot of combining business and social activities in a lively, eye-catching and stimulating environment.

photos: Sting Media & DesignScene Ltd.

19th August 2016

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