F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival
Day 7 - Monday August
9 - Show day 4
The day dawned with an annoyingly
steady cold, miserable rain. During the night, the scrim flown from the
Opera House had been ripped from it's wire by the wind and had to be rescued
from the water and dried out. The rescuers jokingly complained that there
were no fish caught in it!
When Jan and Adela arrived on the site, they discovered
that the scaffolding provided by the festival was leaking and there were a
couple of centimeters of water in the DSP computer. The system had to be
disassembled, dried with towels and then put in a hastily constructed
"drying chamber". This consisted of the inverted lid from one of
the laser road cases covered with towels and a tarp and equipped with a
small electrical space heater.
The hastily constructed drying
chamber full of control equipment.
A larger heater was brought in to dry
out the master control area. Jan had to spend some time with a screwdriver
and hairdryer disassembling the DSP and drying out the boards. He jokingly
suggested that future models should be made waterproof.
Jan applies a hairdryer to the
The crew all worked double time to
cover everything within the supposedly waterproof scaffolding with extra
tarps and plastic sheets. A second layer of tarps was installed under the
roof tarps provided by the festival and crew members had to take turns going
around the area and lifting the tarps to drain the puddles that formed every
The time code cable to the beam laser position was tediously tested section
by section and it was discovered that the local production company providing
it had secured it to the barge without any slack. The Movement of the barge
on the water had ripped the XLR connector from the cable, and the cable had
fallen into the water.
Adela, Arvid and myself then formed a brigade to lay a
new cable in the drizzle and cold winds. While Adela paid out each new
section along the bridge, Arvid tested it and I followed up securing the
cable to the railings with cable ties and taping the connections in an
attempt to keep the water out of them. The time code was now working
properly to the relief of all.
During the afternoon, the drizzle changed to a sudden,
wind driven cloudburst drenching everyone and leading to further frantic
scrambling to keep water off the equipment. Everyone is wet cold and
miserable and it seems we are at an "underwater festival" today.
Arvid checks for rain damage
after the downpour.
Nobody with the guts to ride the
basket had been found to replace Adela. A meeting with Jan, Adela and the
festival producers ensued in which they convinced Adela to continue her
nightly daredevil act over the water and agreed to pay her for her services.
By 21:30 the skies had started to clear and the crew was
in full prep mode even though the festival organisers had told us that a
go/no-go decision would not be made until 22:00. The wind dropped but pools
of water were everywhere and a dry spot to sit and have a coffee was at a
premium. Adela was concerned about the basket as it was very slippery when
wet. She had to spend some time dangling by a safety harness with towels and
a hairdryer to make sure it was safe to be used. The optics in the two
MicroYAG projectors had become contaminated with moisture and the projectors
had to be opened and cleaned.
A view of the 3D stereoscopic
laser projection system just before show time.
The show went ahead flawlessly and
was the best to date. The breeze co-operated and we had plenty of smoke. The
cloud cover was so low that we could see the laser dots at the endpoints of
the beams on the clouds. The smaller than usual audience was very
appreciative although the maroons at the end of the show failed to fire as
the ignitors had become damp.
Quick Links to Report
Water Festival Report
and Stockholm -
Background and general information
Site - Orientation
to the show area and the challenges it presented
Crew - The people
who put it all together
Specs - The
equipment used in the presentation
Music - An
interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
on the water -
Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
Show - A
description with many pictures
Gifs - Gifs
showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
- Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Diary - Day-to-day
coverage of the trials and triumphs
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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