A Cobra of Epic Proportions for the City of New York: Electric Zoo Festival Stage Causes Furor

A Cobra of Epic Proportions for the City of New York: Electric Zoo Festival Stage Causes Furor

Spectacular stages are sweeping the globe. The last few years alone have seen a veritable boom in impressive stage constructions, with hardly a big-name festival forgoing the chance to show off its spectacular main stage. NUSSLI stages at Mysterland in Bethel Woods, USA, Electric Love in Austria, and the Frauenfeld Openair in Switzerland already caused a sensation in 2016. The Electric Zoo festival in Randall's Island in New York City presented yet another opportunity for a sophisticated stage construction from NUSSLI to serve as the crown jewel of a major music event — in the form of a gigantic cobra head.

October 2016

NUSSLI was once again able to flex its strengths when it comes to stage construction. An international band of experts—headed by project leader Jan Poneß and consisting of the NUSSLI Germany team, the NUSSLI USA team and the NUSSLI production department from Switzerland—worked closely to realize the project. Poneß' work was nothing short of an organizational masterpiece. He ensured that planning, design, project management, engineering, logistics, as well as assembly and dismantling combined to form a single, smooth process. The result was four festival stages, a VIP platform, and several auxiliary structures for the FOHs and info towers. "In the end it was our holistic solution that won the client over," says Poneß. "We were able to provide the system material for all event constructions, as well as the wooden stage design for the cobra head, ourselves." NUSSLI's excellent festival work in the past—events such as City Fox and Mysterland—was also largely responsible for its consideration for Electric Zoo.

The wooden snake head—the crowning highlight of the production which sat 23 meters above the impressive main stage—was produced in Hüttwilen, Switzerland and shipped to the United States. It was then partly preassembled at the NUSSLI branch in Montgomery, NY before being transported to New York City by truck.   As expected, the biggest project challenges were timing and construction. The snake head was supported by a steel structure measuring 23 meters tall, 50 meters wide and 25 meters deep. The very same structure served as a substructure for a massive LED screen, lights and pyrotechnic platforms.

Assembly, which was serviced by 16 materials trucks driven in from the NUSSLI branches in New York, Indy and Mexico, began on the 22nd of August and ended as planned on the 2nd of September as over 100 DJs (including headliners such as Hardwell, Steve Aoki and Tiësto) took the stage for the three-day musical extravaganza.

Electric Zoo is held annually on Labor Day Weekend. The next big event for NUSSLI constructions, "The Meadows," took place October 2016 in Flushing Meadows Park in New York.

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Marike van der Ben

Marike van der Ben

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