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LED stage

ROE Visual Travels Along on the ABBA Voyage

Solotech Selects ROE Visual as Display Supplier

Leek, The Netherlands (June 21, 2022) – Taking many months of meticulous preparations, the highly anticipated ABBA Voyage concert premiered at the ABBA Arena on May 26 in London. The specially created digital versions of the famous ABBA personages come to life on a vast ROE Visual LED wall supplied by Solotech.

This eagerly anticipated live music event of the decade, ABBA Voyage, is performed in the purpose-built ABBA Arena, designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects in London, bringing the 70s supergroup back to the stage in a seamless blend of the virtual and physical worlds.

Picture by John Persson

The digital versions of ABBA were created following weeks and months of motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members, director Baillie Walsh and legendary VFX company Industrial Light & Magic, the company's first foray into music.

The ABBA avatars are realized through a vast 65-million-pixel ROE Visual LED screen, rendered life-size on stage and in photo-realistic close-ups, resulting in a breath-taking experience with the look and feel of a full-fledged live show.

Picture by John Persson

As the complete audio visual package supplier, including 20 lighting rigs, more than 500 moving lights, 291 speakers, and all the LED displays, Solotech delivered the technology and, foremost, its in-depth expertise to the show.

Solotech worked under the direction of director Baillie Walsh, working alongside Aniara's Technical Producer Nick Levitt and Technical Director Joe Frisina, and collaborating with concert producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM,) and TETRO and Greenwall's Fredrik Stormby to provide audio, lighting, and video solutions capable of pushing the boundaries for live productions. Scott Willsallen from Auditoria supervised the audio elements of the show, with VYV Photon servers specified and programmed by Anthony "Bez" Bezencon.

Working in close collaboration with ABBA's production team, Ian "Woody" Woodall, Solotech UK's Director of Special Projects, led the project, with Paul "Macca" McCauley overseeing the installation of the rental equipment in the venue, and serving as the host to technical demos of the system in the many months leading up to the show. Solotech's Robin Conway oversaw audio, Oli James handled lighting, and Alex Mulrenan managed video and cameras.

State-of-the-art equipment was chosen from leading manufacturers, including ROE Visual, VYV, Robe, L-Acoustics and others, to augment the filmed performance footage with the technology used throughout the venue. The show features one of the largest installations of ROE Visual Black Pearl BP2V2 LED screens, driven by Brompton 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors. It is one of the tallest installations of Black Pearl screens, standing 19 panels high. Next to the Black Pearl LED wall, the ABBA Voyage is decorated with over 4200 ROE LED strips.

Picture by John Persson

The Black Pearl LED panels were selected based on their immaculate track record in virtual production technology. With the panels' performance being so stable, the technical team could focus on bringing all technologies together without unnecessary distraction.

"When you embark on something as ground-breaking as this, most people think it's a crazy idea until it becomes a reality and then suddenly it's the best thing ever! ROE Visual has been very supportive throughout the whole process, supporting our 'crazy ideas'! We have pushed the product beyond its standard capabilities, and thanks to the reliability of Black Pearl BP2V2, it allowed us to bring so many different technologies together to achieve our goal", comments Woody.

Besides the Black Pearl, ROE Visual also supplied over 4200 pieces of ROE Strip in various lengths. The ROE Strip was used creatively to join the virtual and physical worlds together. They not only feature in the internal tunnels that transport the audience from the 'real outside world' to the inside of the ABBA Arena but feature prominently in the show across the stage, walls and even roof, where the vertical timber battens incorporate the iconic ABBA logo made of the ROE Strip LED lights.

Picture by Dirk Lindner

The ROE Strip is an elegant linear LED element suited for all sorts of creative applications. The multiple cover options and variable lengths make it an ideal LED element to accentuate set designs, structures or interior features. The LEDs are freely mappable so that any video content can be played on them.

Picture by Dirk Lindner

Woody says: "This project has been special as we've spent two years of our lives working on it. It is the most technically complicated and challenging project I have ever been involved in, underlined by the fact that everyone who has been there cannot find the words to describe it. The show's technical elements have been virtually flawless from the rehearsals through to opening night on a show that is breaking new ground. These are accomplishments that we are extremely proud of."

Discover ROE Strip

Discover Black Pearl

Products Used:
ROE Visual Black Pearl BP2V2 – 2262 pieces
ROE Visual Strip – 30cm – 2538 pieces, 60 cm 245 pieces, 120 cm 1385 pieces

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