It’s Day 4 of the build. The air of anticipation and energy is attaining a feverish pitch at the Gachibowli stadium. The scorching sun is beating down on us, but the crew is engrossed in work tinkering away the metallic mega structure.
It’s an impressive spectacle even at the very preliminary stages of the build. The signature white containers are scattered all over the stadium and its contents, the building blocks of the legendary Sensation stage, are slowly falling into the mammoth assemblage.
Aerial view of Sensation Build at Hyderabad
We caught up with Emraan Khan, the production head of the Sensation crew, for a behind-the-scenes look at the build. “This is the first time the Pleasuredome concept has happened outside the Amsterdam Arena. So, it’s quite challenging in that aspect. It’s technology on steroids,” said Emran with four cherrypickers, three 150-tonne cranes and 10 forklifts with a 50-member crew (International and Indian) that’s pulling 12-hour shifts to get the job done by D-Day. The pieces move like a well oiled engine, metallic forks lift prop after prop, cherry pickers hoisting determined crew members to their canvas, riggers and trussing structures tower over the ground, slowly pumping life into the ‘Pleasuredome’.
The nimble-footed crew is a seasoned lot and worked with Sunburn before on multiple stages including the CubeZoid stage (Sunburn 2013) an LED stage that got a lot of critical acclaim. However, the Sensation stage poses a unique challenge, especially with its focus on hydraulics and its multiple mobile pieces that are a challenge even for the most adept engineers.
Forklifts mount the revolving carousel in place
Shipra Venkatesh, the tech lead of the crew, gives us an idea of the demanding itinerary. The entire structure has to be in place by March 3 and another day of intensive testing. The crew is up against a deadline that’s coming closer every minute. She is working hard putting together the DJing console with its intricate LED displays and reflective panels, ‘The heart of the Sensation stage’. The entire revolving console will be fitted with a carousel and this ‘spinning structure’ will house some of the best DJs of the world for close to 6 hours including Laidback Luke, Axwell, Lost Frequencies and the Sensation resident Mr White.
Creating the Sensation stage is a momentous task even for the most experienced crew as the revolving carousels, consoles and arches are all powered with hydraulics and have to be in sync with one another with utmost precision. There are four days to go for the main event and the larger-than-life props, horses, inflatable sculptures, cages that make up the risqué ‘Pleasuredome’ lay next to their containers, waiting to be mounted onto the great skeletal structure.
The Road to Sensation (Pleasuredome: Amsterdam build) : Courtesy KLM
With less than 4 days to go it’s now or never.
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