Three Mills Island was to be home to two of the most exciting day music festivals in London throughout 2018 & 2019.
Arts House, a day festival run by producer/DJ Artwork.
Anjunadeep a day festival run by the Electronic / deep-house label Anjunadeep, an off-shoot of AnjunaBeats.
Taking place over the same weekend and sharing the same festival site infrastructure, the transition between the two events was going to be extremely challenging.
We were brought in, to design and build the main stage sets for both of the festivals.
It was clear that both stages needed to work together to allow for a smooth transition between events. While this was the case, we didn’t want to let this limit our creativity. We designed two unique stage designs that would be capable of sharing the same infrastructure.
For Arts House, following a collaborative design session with the client, we designed a stage front that paid homage to their humble beginnings holding raves in a stranger’s front room. The set would resemble a council estate house, complete with kitchen and the DJ’s playing from the middle of the living room.
Anjunadeep already had a very clear idea of their visual identity at events before reaching out to us, making the design process more streamlined. The route that was chosen for the design was heavily inspired by nature and natural elements. It was collectively decided that the basis of the stage design would be created out of wooden pallets, a technique that Anjuna had previously adopted.
Due to noise regulations on-site, we would not be allowed to operate any machinery after 11 pm on Saturday through until 8 am on Sunday morning. This meant that we would have a small window of time on Sunday to prepare the Anjunadeep set.
With this in mind, we designed the Anjunadeep to sit underneath the Arts House set throughout Saturday, so on Sunday it was a case of stripping off the first structural layer, with aesthetic touches added afterwards.
We attached over 40 wooden pallets to the stage infrastructure. The pallets were painted a dark brown with a fire retardant applied. Gaps within the pallets were filled in with a mixture of real and fake foliage. We used layered foliage to give the effect of different levels of thickness, achieving a textured result.
The Arts House set was attached to the front of the Anjunadeep set, by screwing the set flats into the wooden pallet backboard. This secured the stage front that made up our council house set and completely eclipsed the Anjunadeep set from view. The set included a range of props and detailing, such as upcycled doors, fencing, satellite dishes, and a burned-out motorbike.
Beneath both sets was a video wall that ran the length of the stage. Our team had a fun challenge to line up both sets in a way that the video wall could be used to show graphics through the windows of the Arts House set, while also coming through the pallets of the Anjunadeep set.
As Arts House festival drew to a close, our crew set to work dismantling what they could of the stage without heavy machinery. They returned to the site the next morning and had the three hours available to dismantle the Arts House set while adding the finishing touches to the Anjunadeep set. Finishing touches included installing Anjunadeep branding, additional plants and a circular light structure that would be a backdrop behind the DJs.
With a short amount of time to spare we successfully managed to deliver two completely contrasting set designs with outstanding results.