The Arcadia Spider made its North American debut as the Resistance stage at this year’s Ultra Music Festival and Vero by Funktion-One supplied the sound for the sensory spectacular. We caught up with director of Arcadia, Bertie Cole, about the event and why Vero was the number one choice.
This was Arcadia’s North American debut, how was it?
Yes, Miami was our first show in the US with the Spider and it exceeded all of our expectations. We were really excited about stepping into Ultra with all its history, identity and extraordinary production, and we were delighted to see how well it was received both by the crowd and the Ultra team. It felt like we helped add a whole new dimension to an already amazing event and the first time reactions from the crowd were just electric.
The Landing show was a real highlight of the night where all of the elements converged to blow the socks off of the crowd and seeing the Spider come to life against the the Miami skyline was an unforgettable moment. And with Metamorphosis still to hit Ultra and the final show in the trilogy currently under development, there’s so much more to come.
Did you have a theme or a particular direction for Ultra Miami?
We worked closely with the Ultra team to create the ‘Resistance’ arena – a brand new concept that sought to showcase underground music and ideas in the most dynamic possible way at a festival perhaps more known for big EDM headliners. Bringing together some of the finest house and techno DJs in the scene with our sculpture, show and production felt like a very powerful marriage with the kind of synergy that can really drive a scene forwards and open eyes on a global scale.
Context is also key to each show having its own identity and the combination of a palm strewn waterfront on one side and towering skyscrapers on the other with playparks, statues and trees woven into the arena was a real joy to work with.
From a sound perspective, what did you want to achieve?
We wanted the audio aspect of the show to work symbiotically with the other elements and help deliver a truly immersive experience for the crowd. The underground style of music needs absolute true audio definition, depth and clarity and it is of the utmost importance for us to make sure this was as good at it could be.
Arcadia and Tony and his team go back years and they were our first port of call to come on board and deliver a bespoke audio solution to compliment the rest of our unique production. The Vero was our first choice, in my opinion it is the clearest and most powerful system out there and is very well suited to our environment.
As a visual spectacle, how important is sound to the Arcadia experience?
The Arcadia experience is a huge melting pot of very powerful elements which when combined carefully, create a truly immersive experience. Audio is a very significant part of this and when it’s as good as the Vero, some real magic happens. We’re always looking for ways to keep pushing the audio envelope and are currently experimenting with aspects of surround sound to accentuate key moments in the new show.
What was it like working with Funktion-One again?
Lovely. It has always been a pleasure. The best thing is the pure passion, professionalism and pure dedication to producing next level audio experiences from the team and the equipment. Big thanks to John from Funktion-One who dedicated his whole time to us and kept things pumping.
How did Vero perform?
Perfectly, we all loved working with it, especially in a location with much more reasonable noise levels than we are used to in Europe.. The Vero stepped up and blew us away.
What can we expect from Arcadia at Glastonbury in June?
We reinvest everything we can into new ideas, new technologies, and new forms of expression. With the third show in the trilogy deep in development, we will be showcasing some new performance elements at this year’s Glastonbury ready for its full launch in 2017. So keep your eyes peeled late into the night for what’s new.