Present Perfect Festival 2018

Since the beginning of 2018, VOLNA has worked on light and architectural projects for parties organized by Roots United. During this time, we collaborated with 2A Production to bring to life numerous scenographic ideas, including the Intergalactic FM stage, the main stages and several recreation areas for OFF events. The next phase in this collaboration was the Present Perfect Festival 2018, for which we designed all stages and event zones.

Held annually each summer in St. Petersburg, the Present Perfect Festival is the one of the largest electronic music festivals in Russia. The festival changed locations this year for the first time in its history, moving from the Street Art Museum to the former Sevkabel factory, which is now being transformed into the creative space. This year the lineup included more than 50 live acts and DJ sets by artists from all over the world. For the festival we occupied nearly all the space in this massive factory, creating five different stages, numerous chill-out zones with unique designs and themes, food courts and other recreational areas for more than 10,000 visitors.

Our role included general planning for the event, creating designs and lighting solutions for the main stage, the boiler room stage, the garden stage, an Afrofuturistic chill-out room and art direction for all other festival areas.

The idea of a perfect present, intuited from the festival’s title, became a reference point for our team while working on the festival’s design and inspired us to create a kind of time machine in the form of the audiovisual installation "Rotor"

Main stage

For the largest stage with the biggest audience, we created a transformable setup using 18 kinetic panels with reflective film on one side and an LED backlight on the other. These, along with three LED screens, a red theatrical curtain and the stage lights formed a dynamic scenography that was in operation for two days--at the opening concert and during the main day of the festival.

Boiler Room stage

The idea behind the scenography was to add several details to the venue’s existing architecture while playing on the farm aesthetics of rural America. The composition of spinning laser bars at the top of the stage and a newly-built white wooden wall that was halfway obscured in the background, along with ceiling windows and lights, created the look and feel of a stage located out of place inside a barn.

Garden stage

The day and night stage was situated along the water on the edge of factory’s territory. The traditional conceptions of what a festival stage looks like were reimagined as the garden of a southern Soviet villa. To create this atmosphere, we surrounded the DJ booth with various plants and a polygonal statue of Dionysus. Factoring in a total eclipse that took place on the weekend of the festival, we incorporated warm stage lighting that at night would be complemented by the glow of the impressively full and large moon.


The audiovisual installation "Rotor" was inspired by the idea of a time machine. While our creation does not transport people to the past or the future, it does something nearly as impossible in the information age: It helps viewers stay in and more fully experience the present moment, embedding them in a kind of permanent present, by watching the imaginary rotation of a light cylinder. Its shape is inspired by the so called Tipler cylinder time-machine concept, which is based on the assumption that an infinitely long cylindrical material volume rotating along its longitudinal axis could create certain space and time warps, making time travel possible.

Other zones

During the festival, the remaining spaces in the factory were filled with food courts, a skate ramp and the smaller stages. The most memorable and literally dazzling of these areas was an Afrofuturistic chill out zone discreetly located on the second floor of KPD club, which hosted one of the festival’s stages. Filled with warm neon lights, this zone allowed visitors to relax while immersing themselves in a slightly more subdued environment that incorporated curtain partitions made of Ghanaian fabrics, African masks, golden tables and fluorescent shields.

Official after-movie teaser


Event organizer: Roots United
Art direction: VOLNA
Production: 2A Production, VOLNA
After-movie teaser and video:
Photo: Ivan Chernov, Maxim Panfilov
Music (teaser): Skatebård - Why Not?
© VOLNA (2018), 2A Production (2018), Roots United (2018), (2018), Skatebård (2015)


Present Perfect Festival 2018
Roots United
2A Production