Spring Festival Gala

Do Spectacular Better

The fast-paced annual cultural celebration, Spring Festival Gala, is a variety-based event broadcast on the eve of China’s Lunar New Year. The Spring Festival Gala is a beloved tradition throughout mainland China attracting the largest viewing audience of any entertainment program in the world—more than 900 million viewers annually. We guided our client in producing a never-before-seen entertainment experience and setting a new standard of technical innovation and ambition that continues to influence the Gala to this day.

Project Type

Televised annual cultural celebration production

Location

China

Client

CCTV (China Central Television)

The
Challenge

CCTV sought innovative stage design solutions for cultural and entertainment acts in the Spring Gala Festival, the most-watched television entertainment event in the world with over 900 million viewers annually. The Spring Gala Festival is both China’s biggest televised event and one of its most prestigious social occasions, with a studio audience composed of celebrities, dignitaries, and cultural luminaries. Audiences had come to have an expectation of large-scale spectacle and pageantry, so it was crucial that our solutions were visually impressive, innovative, and possessed a major wow factor—to both the home viewing and in-person venue audiences.

The
Approach

As the show is a fast paced variety celebration subject to many levels of government review, and we were not delivering the creative narrative or show concepts, we needed to develop complex creative platforms for narrative storytelling that culturally appropriate entertainers, directors, choreographers, media teams, and community members could be inspired by and a world-build on top of. It was our intent to push the technical envelope to deliver WOW moments that creators could discover, incorporate, and integrate with their vision. Our job was to enable nearly limitless avenues for creative expression, whether for a high-energy performance, touching children’s interaction, or deeply introspective and emotive historical song.

The
Solution​

Multiple groundbreaking uses of theatrical multimedia and robotic technology to bring a new dimensions of kineticism, kaleidoscopic visual power, and escalating surprise to the performance space.

  • Option 1 involved: Moving LED screens of varying sizes are mounted onto KUKA robotic arms to activate the stage set with surface movement, large scale motion, and media.
  • Option 2 involved: Geospatially located vehicle platforms transporting guests around a moving stage surfaced in LED panels in choreographed patterns.
  • Option 3 involved: Moving vehicle-mounted KUKA arms and LED screens, a multi-story elevator system, and trackless moving guest vehicles interacting in a complex choreographed multimedia dance, elevating the show experience for live and viewing audiences.

The Results

CCTV pushed the boundaries of their Spring Festival Gala, producing a never-before-seen entertainment experience and setting a new standard of technical innovation and ambition that continues to influence the Gala to this day.

Unique
Features

The combined use of media screen, KUKA arm technology, and trackless vehicles was a first for China.

Our
Scope

  • Executive consulting
  • Concept development
  • Technical design and advisement
  • Ride vehicle design
  • Industry manufacturer and supplier introductions
  • Experiential recommendations
  • Preliminary choreography
  • Preliminary programming
  • Previsualization
  • Team building

More Work

Silent for almost a decade, the sprawling Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing’s Shijingshan district was once the home to one of China’s largest steel manufacturers. The massive century-old steel and iron-making complex was selected as the ambitious centerpiece of Beijing’s urban renewal project. Covering an area of several square kilometers–a vacant city of industry within a city– the complex encompasses protected monumental industrial structures, protected cultural assets, and wetlands.

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