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On a festival tour with Sportfreunde Stiller

Sportfreunde Stiller toured Germany, Austria, and Switzerland from June to September to promote the band’s new album, ‘New York, Rio, Rosenheim’. The three rockers from the Munich suburb of Germering played various festivals, including Rock am Ring, Deichbrand, and the Open Flair Festival, where they stood out with an impressive stage and light show masterminded by Bertil Mark and JoJo Tillmann, the band’s lighting designers and co-founders of Les Urban Progressives—a collective of artists.

The designers brought satis&fy AG (satis&fy) on board to translate their fantastic ideas into realities. Ultimately, the company set out on the 2013 Festival Tour with two special props in tow—the band’s name spelled out by twelve made-to-order LED frames and a 20-millimeter LED screen consisting of 150 Sound Paky Mirage modules.

Looking to come up with a compelling concept for this tour, Bertil Mark and show designer JoJo Tillmann revisited much the same formula—LED technology paired with video—which proved so successful in previous outings. Mark controlled the light show and videos from the FOH desk using a GrandMa 2 light console, while Tillmann relied on a Catalyst media server, also driven by a GrandMa 2 light, to mix the live and video footage. At Tillmann’s request, some of the latter images were provided by three GoPros and four finger cameras sourced from satis&fy’s equipment pool.

satis&fy also furnished consoles, cameras and a video rack alongside the LED wall and LED frames. The real challenge, however, was building the twelve LED frames. “They had to be transparent, yet able to stand alone and be flown. What’s more, each frame had to accommodate a letter of the band’s name as well as four Sunstrips for additional lighting effects,” explains satis&fy project leader Lui Helmig. “This took some serious brainstorming,” says satis&fy’s Frank Simon, who was in on the planning from day one. Joining forces with the Custom Builds, Video and Lighting support units, the team installed four 20-millimeter Mirage modules, four Showtech Active Sunstrips and custom-built, 22-cm-deep steel letters, one each per frame. “The band co-headlined three tour dates, which severely limited the time available for setup. There was no margin for error, especially with the headliner breathing down your neck,” says Simon.

Audiences everywhere applauded the dynamic setup, while bloggers praised the impressive light show. “We were pleased to support the band on its 2013 Festival Tour. It was great to see that the three lads can still get crowds hopping even after a long break from recording and touring,” says Simon in closing.

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