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A Whole Lot More Than the Bear Necessities

satis&fy again got the nod to stage this year’s Atonal Festival in late August at Berlin’s Kraftwerk, just ahead of the ŠKODA KODIAQ show. It takes painstaking planning to orchestrate two major events concurrently and a lot of time to unload eleven trailers teeming with cargo. The crew started setting up for the ŠKODA production four days before the festival commenced and worked on the lighting rig while it was underway. Call it what you will—art, science or exercise in organized chaos—this was quite the logistical feat. Berlin’s heraldic beast was not the only ursine in town last fall.

A bigger, badder breed of bear was spotted in Germany’s capital, prowling the stage on the evening of September 1, 2016,. Named for a subspecies of grizzly, this beast’s first public showing took place in a fittingly imposing venue, the Kraftwerk. The Kodiak brown bear is a magnificent creature, and it would take a stunning showcase to present its no less impressive automotive namesake.

The unveiling of the ŠKODA KODIAQ was to kick off a major campaign for the Czech brand’s new line of SUVs, so the global premiere was staged on a suitably epic scale. Some 800 guests, including 600 journalists from 31 countries, heeded the call. VIPs such as the Czech Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek, Ambassador to Germany Tomáš Jan Podivínský, and Karel Gott, the golden throat of Prague, as well as many TV and movie celebrities experienced a rousing extravaganza. The spine-tingling multimedia mix of elaborately choreographed video clips, music, live performances and spectacular lighting conjured an electric atmosphere. It wasn’t just the audience in the hall that was awed; thousands more around the world watched in amazement as the show was streamed live to their locations. The Kraftwerk has been a preferred partner location of satis&fy’s for many years, but this was the company’s biggest ever one-off event in Berlin. It took a gung-ho effort and creativity galore to pull this gig off. Size was a recurring issue: How do you put up and stretch out a 70-by-10-meter screen weighing half a metric ton? Project manager Jürgen Mertens came up with a brilliant idea for ironing out the kinks in the backdrop. “We’d never done this before, so it was a true experiment. In fact, it was our only option, so I was ever so slightly relieved when it actually worked!” The crew first cleared the entire floor to lay out the canvas, which was then folded over lengthwise, attached directly to the truss frame, and stretched tight.

The concept worked out by Stagg & Friends and the plans drafted by Feinplan GmbH put the lighting, rigging, and AV crews’ ingenuity to the test in many more ways. Jürgen Mertens says the in-house planning service’s impeccable detailing was a huge help: “The collaboration was excellent, with no delays or mishaps. It’s a beautiful thing when it’s all comes together and the customer is satisfied after six to eight weeks of planning. That’s why I do this job.” After a rip-roaring show that set the tone for the unveiling, it was finally time for the beast to bellow. A formidable foursome of SUVs named for the world’s largest land carnivore rolled out onto the panorama screen for a global audience to behold.

With its smart design, spacious interior (it’s a 4.7 meter seven-seater), groundbreaking tech and claw-like traction, the ŠKODA KODIAQ was built to blaze new trials and explore far horizons. This launch echoed those sentiments. ŠKODA CEO Bernhard Maier says Berlin was chosen for the presentation because it’s such a vibrant, young and multicultural city that attracts interesting people from around the world. And then there’s the kinship between the bear in Berlin’s coat of arms and Ursa Major in the flag of Alaska, where the real bear lives on the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago. Smart stuff, indeed. ŠKODA’s slogan is ‘Simply Clever’ and satis&fy is happy to second that notion.

 

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