Making a Festival

Behind the Scenes with the Build Team
At Quest 2017, as you made your way from the bustling Main Stage to the intimate vibe of the Khong Sao Commune you stumbled upon the open arches of the Thuy Tinh Stage. A vision of bamboo, the Thuy Tinh Stage of 2017 featured minimal arches curved upward to a large open circle and a DJ booth that blended into the build seamlessly.

Looking to the left and right, the lake glittered with sunlight and strobe lights. Looking up, you saw the blue sky filtered through the trees in the day which then reflected a rainbow of lights once the sun had set.

The bamboo dome was open and sociable, encouraging a flow of bodies and vibes through the centre of the festival.

“The goal of the design was to pull the main dance floor away from the front of the DJ booth to make it feel like you where in the front row of the crowed no matter where you where in the structure,” says Holland, Resident Designer and Artist. “Stages have a strong ability to control the flow and density of their crowd. We wanted to pull away from the traditional stage front concept with crowds pushing to the front and make all dancers feel equally involved in the space even if they were dancing on the fringes.”

Thuy Tinh Stage during Day time – Quest 2017

Thuy Tinh Stage during Night time – Quest 2017

Of course, as with every aspect of Quest festival, there is always room for improvement and Holland and the build team are constantly trying to push themselves to be more creative.

And, with the Eco Quest at the forefront of everyone’s mind this year, how could they improve on the Thuy Tinh Stage in a sustainable way? Well, we’ve been given exclusive access to the Quest drawing board to show you guys behind the scenes with ideas for the 2018 Thuy Tinh Stage.

The plans for the 2017 edition looked a little something like this:

The Thuy Tinh Stage was built with the design of a medieval vaulted church in mind, with arches creating the main structure in a beautiful dome shape. It was created to be a space to worship the music and the free vibe of Quest.

The open, sociable design was a big pro and the team were able to dismantle the DJ booth and main structure to use again. However, there was little rain cover or shade. The practical aspects of stage design are equally important as creative innovation and with such a minimal design, there is plenty of room for change.

Focusing on keeping the main structure from last year – using the hand-bent bamboo poles as the main element – the build team, led by Holland, have sketched out a few ideas.

2018 Festival Stage Ideas

The first design flexes the team’s creative muscles and flair for the dramatic with a giant image of Thuy Tinh overlooking the stage.

The team loved the design so much they got straight into the workshop to create the giant head out of reclaimed wood.

After seeing it ‘in the flesh’ they decided it was a little grander than the down n’ dirty Thuy Tinh Stage, so we may be seeing this pop up somewhere else at Quest 2018…

The next festival stage design gives the bamboo structure a beautiful fabric roof.
This addition would provide shade and light rain cover while keeping the open design that is so perfect for audience movement. It also scales up the structure and can be reused again in a number of ways.

The final stage design idea focuses on both the practical aspects of stage design and the festival experience with the addition of a tunnel extension.

With or without the fabric roof, this tunnel adds a little extra shade to the area and provides a dramatic entrance to this popular musical arena. The open, sociable concept is still there, but there is a new element for the audience to experience and play with. The build team have used tunnels and pathways in the past to make movement through the festival fun and engaging. The dragon tunnel at Quest 2017 was really popular, as was the lake walkway, which suggests this could be a hit.

It’s early days, but there is plenty of exciting stuff coming out of the Hanoi build headquarters…

Each and every stage at Quest 2018 will go through this same creative design process, with the build team aiming to make each space more elaborate, more comfortable and more interactive than ever before. With the theme for this year focusing on the incredible story of Than Tru Troi and the epic separation of sky from earth, there is plenty of inspiration bubbling up in the Quest workshop. We’ll be looking deeper at the myth and its meaning in a later post, so keep a lookout for more behind the scenes of Quest 2018 and learn a little about how the magic of Quest is created.

Read on!

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