The Gramophone at the Upstream Music Festival

Venue: Upstream Music Festival – Seattle, Washington
Services Provided: Custom pattern design
Client: R90 Lighting

The first annual Upstream Music Festival and Summit was held in Pioneer Square in Seattle, Washington. Part of the event included “The Summit,” presented by Amazon Web Services, which hosted emerging artists, industry experts, and creative collaborators to come together and discuss various challenges facing the music industry. Keynote speakers included Macklemore, Quincy Jones, Portia Sabin, and Ron Jones.

The goal was to have a giant gramophone in bright pink directly above the presenters. The opening of the gramophone housed large monitors that would give the audience a visual of what was on stage from all four sides.

The client was able to provide nearly everything needed to complete the custom design, including exact dimensions of the custom truss structure used to support the setup. Using our hot pink stock color stretch fabric, and instructions from the client, we were able to create a custom pattern that was easy to install and looked amazing above the stage.

In the end, we were able to make their wild designs a reality. So whatever creative and new ideas you’re dreaming up, be sure to check out our Custom Projects page to see how we can help bring your ideas to life! Keep reading below for a Q&A with the Event Designers at R90 Lighting!

What was the inspiration behind the design?

One of the early graphic designs for the festival included an old gramophone. We had just completed the build-out of another large fabric structure of an Umbrella in that same space, so the concept of turning it inside out to create a giant gramophone sort of came naturally. I’m guessing somewhere along the way that dog from RCA Records was involved in the inspiration chain.

How was your experience working with the Stretch Shapes creative team during the design process of the Gramophone?

As with the prior projects we’ve done with Stretch Shapes, it was great. We supplied concept, rough drawings, and a few details. The Stretch Shapes team had the experience and knowledge to fill in the gaps — creating the exact sizing with the materials so that the final product fit like a glove.

How was set up and strike?

Every time I build something wild and new that nobody has ever seen it always comes with a fair share of local crew members who tell us we’re doomed. At the end of the day, we did our due diligence. The Stretch Shapes team did their part, and despite a few naysayers, it all came together perfectly. I think the only challenge we had was at some point I miscalculated how tall of a ladder was needed to reach the inner top circle.

Any fun quotes or last words you would like to add about your overall experience working with Stretch Shapes?

“You want a what?”