The Santa Monica Pier is working toward a new custom-built stage for its summer concerts.
Stereo.Bot, a technology company led by an architect that does many of the displays for Coachella and other events, has designed a colorful, alien-looking platform to be used for this summer‚Äôs Twilight Concert Series and other events on the pier.
The current stage has lasted for a decade ‚Äî its projected life expectancy ‚Äî but needed a major cable replaced in late 2013, according to Jim Harris of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation. At the time of the replacement, the pier corporation was told that the other major cables would soon need replacing, too.
Instead of renting a stage for the summer, overhauling the old one, or buying a new or used one, the pier corporation is opting to have Stereo.Bot build a custom stage.
Earlier this month, the Pier Corporation Board voted unanimously to enter contract negotiations with the company for the production of the stage.
The proposed stage has a spider-like canopy over it ‚Äî five legs joining at an apex. It‚Äôs open and will allow for visibility from all sides.
“We saw this image many times, which is a shot of people from the audience looking into the artists and the canopy above it,” Stereo.Bot‚Äôs architect Alexis Rochas told the pier board. “We thought that this was a pretty interesting point of view to think about it from designing a stage. The idea of how do you start creating a space for the artist and the audience to engage with one another.”
The front of the stage juts out into the audience at a point, allowing performers to walk closer to the audience. The open spaces between the spider legs (our words, not theirs) allows the audience to see ‚Äîdepending on where they‚Äôre standing ‚Äî the sunset-drenched sky, the carousel, of the Ferris Wheel behind the artists.
“If you think about a stage, there’s usually a front, and then there’s everything else that you don’t want to see,” Rochas said. “We’re interested in developing a full three-dimensional experience. Something that you can walk around when it’s not in action and something that you can see, admire, and potentially use during the day for different uses and different types of presentation.”
The stage will be made of many lightweight aluminum trusses that can be broken down for easier storage. It may have a removable skin, allowing for designs or advertising to be changed depending on the event. It will likely be cloaked in sound blankets to shield the neighbors from loud noises. Video could be projected onto these curtains.
Pier board members were happy with the designs, praising the fact that it showcases the surrounding area and allows for a good view of the stage from all angles.
Pier officials said they are shooting to have the stage ready by July, for the start of this summer‚Äôs Twilight Concert Series.