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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival



Day 9 - Wednesday August 11- Show day 6

    Today was bright, sunny and warm with no hint of the rain that had made our lives so miserable for the last two days
    The last solar eclipse of the 20th century was visible in a cloudless sky today from 12:30 to 12:45. The eclipse was only an 80% affair here in Stockholm but still a remarkable sight to behold. Fredric Förster flew home to Germany where the eclipse was at 100% just to witness the event.

Eclipse as seen using full zoom on a video camera

Eclipse as seen using full zoom on a video camera and using a pair of polarised sunglasses lenses with axis crossed in front of the lens (The dot to the left and the 'rays' are caused by lens flare).

    The crew arrived on the site at 16:00 but since there was little to do, we were told to come back at 20:00. I decided to climb the 'fire tower' and take photos of the site. 60 meters above the water, the wind is stronger and the scaffolding tower sways slowly as the wind hums through the wires suspending the 'basket' laser. Spending 15 minutes up here taking photos on a pleasant day gave me a new respect for the nightly trip, rain or shine, that Adela takes over the water in the basket (See Panorama photos page).
Today I had the first opportunity to do a little a little tourism - up till now all I had seen of Sweden was the Obscura Magica studios and the show site. I met up with Magnus Pihl, a local start-up laserist, and he took me on a walking tour of "Gamla Stan" the oldest part of Stockholm.
    Quaint, narrow, curving cobblestone streets flanked by tall houses wind through the district. Everywhere you look, photo opportunities abound.

Gamla Stan 1

Gamla Stan 2 Gamla Stan 3

    People sit at small outdoor cafes in some of the squares enjoying coffee and a chat or a meal. One of the streets is accessible through a small arch with an entry that is barely high enough for me to stand up in.

Gamla Stan 4

    We wandered over to a waterfront plaza behind the Swedish supreme court building to admire the huge 80 meter high fountain that is installed just for the water festival.

Swedish supreme court building
Swedish supreme court building

    Passing through the back courtyard of the Parliament building, there was a street musician playing beautiful classical music on a 12 string guitar in the natural acoustics of an old vaulted arch - a moment of serenity away form the bustle of the throngs that visit the water festival.
    We stopped by the large restaurant/bar/market sponsored by Konsum (a local chain of co-operatively owned food stores and one of the major sponsors of the Water Festival) and bought desert. "Wookad frukt med glass" - (fruit salad cooked in a wok with honey and cinnamon and served hot with a dollop of ice cream). We sat on the steps of one of the floating restaurants to eat and chatted about laser systems.
    On my return, we set to work preparing for the evening's performance. The fan on the smoke machine in the 'white tower' had failed again so we transported a new one there by boat and replaced it. The local production company had someone at work on the problematic smoke machine at the Parliament end of the site. After re-setting and testing the white tower machine, we took the boat over to the floating platform and set-up and tested the smoke machine there. The streets were especially crowded this evening as the good weather had brought out more people to see the show.

Beams from the fibre projectors
Beams from the fiber projectors on the Palace side during the finale.

    Just before 23:00, the centre of Stockholm was again enveloped in an expectant hush, then erupted into cheers and whistles as the first beams of the laser saga "Urström" pierced the night sky. The show was the best performance yet with a gentle NW breeze moving the smoke just fast enough to keep the beams visible. Loud cheering erupted from the massive audience after the finale of beams, fire and the loud explosion of the maroons.

Next Day - Thursday August 12 >
Day 1 - Tuesday August 3 - Set-up day 1 Day 8 - Tuesday August 10 - Show Day 5
Day 2 - Wednesday August 4 - Set-up day 2 Day 9- Wednesday August 11- Show day 6
Day 3 - Thursday August 5 - Set-up day 3 Day 10- Thursday August 12 - Show day 7
Day 4 - Friday August 6 - Show day 1 Day 11- Friday August 13 - Show day 8
Day 5 - Saturday August 7 - Show day 2 Day 12 - Saturday August 14 - Show day 9
Day 6 - Sunday August 8 - Show day 3 Day 13 - Sunday August 15
Day 7 - Monday August 9 - Show day 4  

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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