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Congratulations on Fanta4’s silver jubilee from satis&fy

It all goes back to the day four boys presented a rather eclectic mix of music on euro pallets they had stacked to build a stage at a defunct kindergarten in Stuttgart-Wangen. Although posterity has every right to ask about humble beginnings, the less said about the remainder of equipment at this ‘gig,’ the better. A quarter of century has since passed and those boys are now full-grown and fathers in their own right. No longer exotic, their musical genre has gone mainstream. German hip-hop is on steady rotation on millions of fans’ playlists. The other fab four’s expectations of gigging equipment have also grown a tad more discriminating. For their celebratory ‘Rekord’ anniversary tour, the combo called on the trusted support of satis&fy and CUE Design. Both companies have served Fanta4 well, staging many such jaunts over the years. The hip-hop act also hones its chops at satis&fy’s rehearsal studios in Werne. 

Of course, the silver jubilee set would have to be something special. The Werne (lighting, sound, rigging and staging) and Karben (AV direction, cameras and LED imagery) crews joined forces to stage a phat show, to put it in 1990s hip-hop patois. Gunther Hecker of CUE Design certainly contributed a whale of a set piece, a four-ton LED video cube spanning four meters a side. It’s no mean feat to fly a monster screen of that size. This leviathan was assembled right there where it would later be hoisted to the venue’s ceiling. Alas, this was also where the stage was to go. Even satis&fy can’t defy the laws of physics, so a huge LED cube and a sizable stage can’t be set up in the same place at the same time without catastrophic consequences such as black holes, space-time distortion, dark matter explosions and other bad things happening. So the crew erected the stage in the middle of the hall, assembled the cube in place, and slid 

the stage in below the flown screen. The effort was worth it. The video images shown simultaneously on six sides wowed the crowds. The stage’s backdrop, which had been field-tested at last summer’s festivals, enhanced the effect. Some 200 square meters of panels covered in gold foil reflected both the lights and the cube’s video sequences, serving up the kind of eye-candy worthy of an anniversary show. 

The cube is too heavy for many venues; only very large, modern arenas can handle that kind of load. A stripped-down ‘featherweight’ version weighing just 1.5 tons was built for upcoming gigs on open-air stages and in halls where four tons just won’t fly. The streamlined variant is a double-faced video screen that’s just as wondrously reflective as the cube. But in Fanta4’s native Stuttgart, the lads pulled out all the stops for their anniversary three-night residency in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle attended by 46,500 people. The shows were captured on DVD and broadcast live in HD Ultra for Sky Germany (with additional lighting, of course), so those who couldn’t make it there could still see how phat German hip-hop and stunning visuals á la satis&fy can be.

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