The Sahara Tent Kicked Ass This Year

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Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM
click to enlarge COLIN YOUNG-WOLFF
  • Colin Young-Wolff

The EDM-focused Sahara tent is twice as tall this year, and much wider and longer too. It's now roughly the size of an airplane hangar. The arched mega-tent is not just a dubstep paradise, but a behemoth of truss and LED panels. The visuals are otherworldly, with kaleidoscopic light and graphic displays built on thousands of precisely orchestrated lasers, strobe lights and ADD graphics. They flash on the hexagonal visual displays hanging over the crowd and comprise a pyramid-shaped structure around the stage.

See also: Which Coachella Stages Have the Best (and Worst) Sound?

Forget the music -- the visuals are a show onto themselves, something akin to a lazer light show combined with an IMAX film combined with whatever ODB was smoking. We talked with the dude behind it, and we've got video and more pictures below if you're in the mood for some Sahara tent porn.

click to enlarge During Moby's set - COLIN YOUNG-WOLFF
  • Colin Young-Wolff
  • During Moby's set

Sahara 2013 was designed and built by AG Lighting and Sound with video art implemented by Los Angeles' V Squared Labs, the crew behind blow-your-mind projects including Amon Tobin's ISAM. (The lasers are by Nusalt Laser, and the lighting is the handiwork of Kyle Kegan and Andrew Gumper.) With a big bump in the amount of LED surface on which to play this year, V Squared executed visuals productions of their own (Moby, Dillon Francis) as well as those from other crews.

See also: The Man Behind Amon Tobin's Jaw-Dropping Live Show

click to enlarge Vello Virkhaus at work directing video - COLIN YOUNG-WOLFF
  • Colin Young-Wolff
  • Vello Virkhaus at work directing video

"It's increasing the entertainment value for the fans because they expect more," says V Squared's Vello Virkhaus, the Video Director of the Sahara for the past three years. (Virkhaus VJs his light and sound shows live same way the DJs do). "This year's Sahara tent is a sign of the popularity of dance music, and it's going to continue to get bigger."

Moby video below

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