Constellations – Frankfurt celebrates ‘Altstadt’ inauguration with first drone show
A media production with 110 LED quadcopters writes poetic images in the night sky above Frankfurt.
As part of the inauguration celebrations (28-30 September 2018) for the new Altstadt (Old Town), drones will play the lead role in the production ‘Constellations – A Symphony for the Frankfurt Altstadt’ on September 29 at 9.45pm. The multimedia drone choreography combines light displays, specially composed music and spoken passages to pay homage to Frankfurt.
The spectacular event will be held between the two bridges ‘Eiserner Steg’ and ‘Untermainbrücke’. It was presented to the public at a press conference by Peter Feldmann (Frankfurt am Main’s Lord Mayor), Thomas Feda (CEO at organiser Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt or TCF) and Stefan Weil (CEO at Atelier Markgraph, the creative agency behind the design).
Mayor Peter Feldmann: ‘Frankfurt carries an ongoing dialogue between past and future in its DNA. This also manifests in the city’s architecture – it’s the only place where skyscrapers tower behind the facades of mediaeval timbered buildings. The latest example is the reconstruction of the Old Town (Altstadt), which we want to inaugurate with a production that does justice to history using forward-looking technology.’
Thomas Feda: ‘Today as in the past, the Main riverbank, the adjacent Römerberg and the cathedral are central hubs of life in Frankfurt. This is where kings were elected, food was traded and celebrations held. The opening of the new quarter will revitalise the town centre. We want to celebrate that with a spectacular event.’
A city of diversity and contrasts: paying homage to Frankfurt
The ‘Constellations’ narrative centres on prominent personalities and figures from the city, as well as historical milestones and landmarks.
Stefan Weil on the creative process: ‘Frankfurt is a place of diversity and contrast that has lived, and celebrated, a spirit of self-assured dialogue for centuries. You can find traces of this richly contrasting urban identity throughout the new Altstadt too. Using next-generation technology, we created an iconographic performance that honours Frankfurt’s cosmopolitan approach in a series of poetic images. As the city’s main artery, the river Main makes the ideal stage.’
Against the nocturnal backdrop of the river Main, sculptural light effects from different coloured Sky Beams will accompany the drones’ formation flights. The production soundtrack reprises the concept of dialogue with a bespoke fusion of classical and electronic music created by Sebastian Hohberg and Jan Mayerhofer (Hoerfeld). Their composition includes a fresh take on music by Georg Philipp Telemann, the influential baroque composer who lived in Frankfurt’s Old Town periodically. The embedded quotes stem from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Altstadt’s most prominent former resident and a passionate proponent of diversity.
Complex planning and a dash of good luck
The event will be one of the world’s most innovative air shows, and is an absolute first for Frankfurt. The sophisticated concept and organisation was created and executed by an international team. The design concept for ‘Constellations’ stems from Frankfurt design agency Atelier Markgraph, which also handled the execution together with the lighting designers bright! and the drone experts from SKYMAGIC. The drone choreography was particularly challenging because the constellations their flight positions marked out had to be identifiable from as many different viewpoints as possible.
One thing you can’t plan is the weather! If it’s stormy or rainy, the drones will stay on the ground. However, there will be a ‘Plan B’ in the form of a replacement date at short notice.
The production ‘Constellations – A Symphony for the Frankfurt Altstadt’ is sponsored by Mainova AG, Lufthansa AG and Frankfurt’s public transport provider VGF.
Drone Show: Saturday 29 September 2018, 9.45pm
Public dress rehearsal: Friday 29 September, 9.45pm
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