OFF event series 2018
OFF is a series of parties organized by the promotion group Roots United in the former Sevkabel factory in the harbor of Vasilievsky Island. As some of the largest and most widely attended parties in St. Petersburg, these events required a significant amount of planning and preparation. For the 2018 season, we collaborated with the team from 2A Production to develop the plans and logistics for the events, along with visitors zones, stages and light solutions. In implementing our designs, we prioritized the use of low-cost materials, secondary resources and rapid construction methods.
The port (i.e. a commercial maritime facility) was the core concept behind the first OFF party in 2018, which took place on February 23. The port, much like many rave parties, is itself a city within a city with its own independent infrastructure. It included two pavilions with dancefloors, four bars and several recreation areas and promenades.
Our main goal in designing the event’s temporary architecture was to create a space that represents the aesthetics of the port with its own peculiar "sovereignty." In order to complement the initial concept with details that could be put together on a minimal budget, we incorporated elements of the existing environment in the factory (cable reels, cranes, warehouse equipment, etc.). In one form or another, the images of the pier itself, boats, barges, sails, cranes, chains, containers, tackles, promenades and dark alleys were all present in the design, imbuing the entire party space with the port’s characteristic atmosphere.
The party was held on April 29, 2018 at the same site but in an older part of the factory. The aesthetics of the Russian avant-garde and constructivism were the two main reference points that inspired the look and feel of the party. The entry zone, dedicated to El Lissitzky’s “Proun” series, was made of simple modular wooden structures that made reference to the scenography of avant-garde theater.
The stage design for the showcase of the Intergalatiс FM radio station was conceived of as a response both to the station’s name and as an expression of universal love for everything unearthly. In incorporating the retro futuristic aesthetics of the Dutch radio station Intergalatiс FM, which first "landed" in St. Petersburg this year, we were inspired by “Aelita,” a silent Soviet film from the 1930s about space travel. With this in mind, we created our first planetary system consisting of 16 small satellites orbiting around a glowing Saturn, which was easily recognizable by its three flickering rings.
The concept behind the design of the party’s main dancefloor was a multilayered backstage that is commonly associated with community centers and workers’ clubs. Due to the nature of the scenery, the depth of both the stage and the dance floor can vary: Sometimes we see only one one or another part lit up, while at other times we see a movement of light along the entire length of the dance floor. At times the space narrows, while at other times it bursts open. In order to sharpen the effect of the changing scenic space, we used 18 controlled winches that drove the whole coulisse structure, consisting of 27 6-meter carton pieces.
Day OFF x Dekmantel
The party was made in the collaboration with the Dutch Dekmantel Festival and was included in the festival’s resident showcase on the main stage and the Roots United stage on the seaside. The event took place during the day, which meant we had take a different approach than usual in designing the light and architecture for the party. Instead of using stage lights as the key design element, we focused on logistics and venue planning to create a comfortable and diverse environment for an all-day party at the factory. The event was held on June 11, 2018.
Event organizer: Roots United
Stage design: VOLNA, 2A Production
Production: VOLNA, 2A Production
Video: VOLNA, Polina Korotaeva
Camera: Polina Korotaeva, Pavel Machikhin, VOLNA
Photo: VOLNA, Ivan Chernov
Music (OFF: Port documentation): Asmus Tietchens - In die Nacht
© VOLNA (2018), 2A Production (2018), Asmus Tietchens (1984)