The 2009 Essence Music Festival in the Louisiana Superdome and Louis Armstrong Convention Center was the hottest ticket in town, and the annual three-day African-American music and empowerment event drew the largest attendance in its 15-year history. RE:BE Design, New Orleans, La., tied the educational and entertainment venues together on the main stage with a ceiling treatment of red and burgundy spandex that mimicked the angles and turns of the convention center.
The stage design by Stefan Beese was based on a large circuit board look, with light traveling through curved LED walls from left to right, and vertically from top to bottom. The goal was to incorporate this theme into the convention center hosting the daytime panels and market events. The ceiling treatment was fabricated using 450 yards of Crimson Party Knit and another 450 yards of Red Party Knit, culminating in a total of 2750 feet of ribbon running through the convention center ceiling.
The ceiling, matched to the brand color and ribbon design on the main stage, was installed by Mardi Gras Productions, and served as backdrop to superstars Beyonce, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker and John Legend, among others. RE:BE Design and Rehage Entertainment Inc. had to incorporate other graphic treatments previously established in the Convention Center into the company’s design. The total effect left the audience seeing red and celebrating the festival’s music, message and solidarity in style.