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Samsung stages world’s first vertical gig with Universal Pixels

The official opening of Samsung KX, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s new ‘digital playground’ in London’s Kings Cross, featured the world’s first vertical gig.

The event has made history, revolutionising how gig-goers experience concerts.

Responding to research that shows 79% of smartphone users prefer portrait videos – a trend driven by the upright configuration of ‘Stories’ on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat – Samsung staged the spectacular vertical gig with R&B artist Mabel performing tracks from her smash-hit back catalogue.

The concept was devised by Iris Experience’s Creative Director Henry Scotland, and realised with support from award-winning video rental house, Universal Pixels.

The multitiered performance space – located at the famous ‘kissing point’ of London’s Coal Drops Yard – was erected as part of the launch of Samsung’s new multi-sensory experience which is set to “inspire people to push their limits, discover and learn.”

The structure itself was fabricated by Star Live using three shipping containers to create a 9:16 format.

The finished stage was an impressive 9.1m tall, showing 3 stories of tech and performance space to the 2,000-capacity crowd.

UP provided the vertical 4.5m wide x 7.5m high portrait Leyard CLM6 LED screen with a custom rigging solution and a disguise GX2 media server playback package.

UP’s Roly Oliver stated: “The genius thing about this gig is its simplicity. It’s bold yet not particularly complex, and it seems almost strange that it’s never been done before. Video is a blank canvas and as we work in a consumer-led market, the ticket-buying public has made it clear that they want to view the world in portrait. I think we’ll be seeing this a lot more in the future.”

Henry Scotland said: “We hadn’t worked with UP before, so were keen to give them a shot at slotting into a fairly ambitious bespoke design. The team worked super hard alongside Star Live to devise a plan which maximised the screen real estate in each aperture, without compromising the performance space or the impact of the product; having Coldplay’s live Video Director [Ben Farrey] running the server was a bonus. The final look delivered beyond expectation, and we look forward to posing the next challenge.”

Images by Andrew Whitton