Stage design has gone beyond a simple elevated platform and attractive backdrop. Click through to get inspired by these modern twists on stage design.
The second Girlboss Rally business conference was held in New York in November, bringing together more than 600 attendees and 30 speakers to discuss the meaning of success. The event featured a feminine, cheery color palette of pinks, reds, oranges, and whites. The stage design by the Gathery offered a simple—yet stylish—backdrop of curved shapes that picked up the same colors and styles as the rest of the conference.
Photo: Chris Swoszowski
MTV created its most ambitious stage design yet for the 2017 Video Music Awards, held in Los Angeles in August. Stufish Entertainment Architects rigged 340,000 pounds of equipment to 560 individual points at the Forum. Six individual stages—including two main stages, a far stage, a “mosh” stage, and a central stage with a catwalk—allowed performers to connect with audience members. Overall, the reflective, metallic set used more than 8,200 feet of LED lines and 100,000 individual LEDs.
Courtesy of Stufish Entertainment Architects
Every two years, Hampton by Hilton hosts its hotels’ general managers for three days of learning, networking, community-building, and immersion into the brand’s culture. For the November 2016 event in Orlando, the company worked with AgencyEA to weave the concept of happiness throughout the entire experience. In addition to highlights such as a vending machine that only worked when the guest was smiling and a hexagon-shape swing set, the conference’s 17 general session speakers delivered remarks on a custom stage designed to look like a wink and a smile.
Photo: Courtesy of Hampton by Hilton
For the 89th annual Academy Awards, held in Los Angeles in February 2017, returning sponsor Swarovski partnered with production designer Derek McLane to illuminate the stage. The design—the brand’s 10th collaboration with the show—featured more than 300,000 crystals, the largest number ever used for the ceremony. Eleven Oscar-shaped figures featuring nearly 150,000 crystals served as a focal point.
Photo: Valerie Durant / ©A.M.P.A.S
For a kickoff event for New York Comic Con in October, Clickspring Design transformed a nightclub into a futuristic world featuring a “cyberpunk, neon-noir” look meant to evoke Blade Runner 2049, one of the movies being promoted at the convention. Designers used reflective finishes, LED video displays, glowing neon, and materials such as corrugated polycarbonate to create an eye-catching stage design. The event was produced by CAA and ReedPop.
Photo: Courtesy of Clickspring Design
Bulgari unveiled its newest property, the Bulgari Resort Dubai, in December with an over-the-top opening gala featuring live music, ballet performances, and pyrotechnic shows. A glamorous, star-shape stage was set up in front of the new resort, and Italian jazz singer Matteo Brancaleoni performed.
Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Bulgari
City of Hope, a nonprofit cancer treatment and research center, held its Spirit of Life award gala in November in Los Angeles. The event, which was produced and designed by Namevents, had a sunset beach theme with blue, yellow, and pink tones. Rising from the stage was a series of oversize panels hung from the ceiling, creating the overall effect of a setting sun.
Photo: Courtesy of City of Hope
Sometimes, an interesting stage design can be as simple as choosing the right props and decor. For the inaugural In Good Company conference, a female-friendly event held in San Francisco in September, the main stage featured a plush green sofa, a patterned rug, and greenery by Natalie Bowen Designs. Bright Event Rentals provided furniture.
Photo: Kara Brodgesell
For its annual Hip Hop Honors event, held in Los Angeles in September, VH1 transformed a Paramount Studios street into 1990s-era Brooklyn. Julio Himede Design created a main stage with custom-designed graffiti meant to evoke the era; the artwork was temporarily attached to buildings with vinyl stickers. Himede also installed LED video screens in every window of the main building behind the stage. Ever-changing content created a dynamic look while the artists performed.
Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images for VH1/Viacom
At the ASU GSV Summit, held in Salt Lake City in May, the main stage had an interesting three-dimensional design. Pieces of vinyl-wrapped foam hung from the ceiling and were mounted to the flat vinyl backdrop to give it the effect. AgencyEA designed and produced the event.
Photo: Courtesy of AgencyEA
Pandora hosted its fifth annual Sounds Like You: Summer concert in Los Angeles in July. The main stage, located on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s south sideline, was built by hand to comply with the venue’s regulations. Built into the stage were more than 110 moving intelligent lights, and the backdrop featured a 12- by 10-foot version of Pandora’s “P” logo that was lined with blue neon. Six custom-built geometric set pieces completed the look, with more than 70 square feet of mirror and 200 square feet of dichroic glass. The event was produced by Pandora’s in-house experiential team, with help from NVE Experience Agency.
Photo: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Pandora
For Basser Center for BRCA’s “Jean Bash” benefit—which took place in November in New York—David Stark Design & Production showcased a massive wall of folded jeans that served as the stage backdrop. The jeans, which were donated from Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green program, also were folded inside a red number 5, in celebration of the Basser Center’s fifth anniversary.
Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com