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Nature One Festival dazzles with Hippotizer

More than 50,000 EDM fans descended on a former NATO missile base to experience the massive Nature One Festival, known for world-class DJs, multi-stage spectaculars and immersive visuals. Germany-based GERDON Design specified two Green Hippo Boreal+ media servers for the main floor, to power live IMAG feeds, Notch effects and pre-made content.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of Nature One, which is held near the western town of Kastellaun. Over the years, it’s grown into one of Europe’s biggest dance music festivals. GERDON Design has been involved with Nature One since 2011, responsible for the stage, lighting and video design as well as creating the concept, audio and visual design for the time-coded highlights show.

“We were responsible for the content playback of all acts – except for those who were travelling with a VJ – so we needed a powerful and easy-to-use solution,” explained GERDON Design’s Marek Papke.

“We really like the versatility of the Hippotizer software – it’s very quick to set up and get great results. We organized all of the custom content and the DJ-specific content before the show and used a GrandMA3 FullSize to sort and program all the content for later playback.”

In addition to the two main floor Boreal+ servers as main/backup, Papke and his team specified a third Boreal+ to manage a Barco S3 Switcher and to generate further Notch effects for IMAG.

“Hippo’s CITP integration helped us a lot, because it allows us to see previews of the content directly in the console,” said Papke.

“The quick and easy-to-use media manager was also great for adding content on the fly and sync’ing with all the machines, which was especially handy as we had 17 acts playing back-to-back over two days with only 30 seconds of changeover!

“Also, as we come from a lighting background, it is really easy to connect Hippotizers to a GrandMA system. Hippo features like the VideoMapper helped us a lot in creating unique looks on the LED setup.”

To celebrate its milestone anniversary, Nature One went even bigger for 2019, with headline acts including Paul van Dyk, Eric Prydz and Sven Väth. The main stage boasted a larger screen behind the DJs, measuring 12m x 10m, at 10mm pixel pitch. This was the centrepiece of four banner screens and custom-made pyramids which formed the stage, created by GERDON Design.

“A big challenge is always bringing the camera image into the show in a creative way,” said Papke.

“We used Hippotizer’s colorization, internal effects and Notch Block integration to create good-looking mixes between IMAG and show content. VideoMapper was very important to map 16:9 content to a wide-screen setup!”

He added, “We have been using Hippotizer media servers for two years now, in TV shows, corporate events, trade fairs and music festivals. We had a shootout with different media servers and Hippotizer really stood out for its usability and wide range of features.”