For the closing party of their 2017 re:Invent conference, Amazon Web Services asked for an event that would give 22,000 guests a unique 4-hour entertainment experience rooted in technology. We responded with a theme-park-inspired space offering areas for gaming, eating, and lounging, as well as a complete electronic music mini-festival on site featuring DJ sets by DJ Snake, Team EZY, and Jen Lasher.
Housed mainly in three interconnected ‘megastructures’ labeled Red, Green, and Blue, with additional courtyard, VIP, sponsor, and open spaces, AWS re:Play 2017 was designed to comfortably accommodate 25,000 guests. A 50% increase over AWS re:Play 2016 in attendance and scale, that demanded extreme attention to attendee flow, comfort, safety, and of course party quality for all guests. The theme park-like layout spreads guests through a labyrinthine play space, with the main-stage concert structure acting as a central hub.
Attendees enjoyed complimentary dinner and open bars, through 3 distinct environments: The Red Structure featured high energy and playful activities, the Green Structure held the main concert featuring DJ sets by DJ Snake, Team EZY, and Jen Lasher, and finally the Blue structure contained technology based activations.
Harmony was achieved through a shared visual language implemented across all three megastructures. Physical and digital interpretations of the data flow visual theme of the AWS re:Invent conference were featured inside and out, beginning from the initial view of the three megastructure endcaps, to the design and execution of the activities, main-stage, signage, and performance visuals through the entire night. Wrapped truss in each of the megastructures provided spacial awareness and filled the background sight lines while reinforcing the data flow visual theme of the conference and party. Furniture designs and layouts brought the data visual to the ground level.
The Green Structure was centrally located and featured a complete electronic music festival venue built with a custom stage design, hours of custom visuals, and various automation looks. The stage featured over 300 lighting fixtures, 10 lasers, and columns of truss wrapped in LED video, playing off the data flow concept prevalent throughout the production design. Over the stage and audience were automated trusses, panning and tilting to create various unique looks within the whole structure. The data flow concept was further incorporated into an entry sculpture that connected to the stage, by sending visuals streaming 70 feet up, and then through the structure over guests heads, raining down into the stage design and vice versa.
Physical Activity Design
Activities were divided across the other 2 megastructures: To the west we designed a red megastructure with a focus on physical competition and achievement. Here we encouraged high energy activities including 2 custom designed inflatables: a castle accompanied by a 250,000 ball pit moat and an inflatable wall climb and slide race. Competitive team games included arena style arrow tag, dodgeball, and bubble soccer fueled by surrounding crowds cheering every shot and close call.
Digital Activity Design
To the east was the blue megastructure designed for digital experiences. Attractions included a musically choreographed laser dome, oversized and custom built video games, data flow inspired lounge, and a curated retro arcade. The structure also featured the Intel sponsored light cube, an interactive installation that we designed, programmed, and engineered custom software to power.
Planning & Execution
Coming in at over 220 trucks of production and a year of concept, design, development, and planning, AWS re:Play is a multi-faceted project requiring a meticulous level of detail. Additional behind the scenes challenges managed by Production Club include city planning and permitting, safety and security, construction, event operations, talent buying, staffing, and the open bar and dinner for 25,000 guests.
Photos by Olav Stubberud & Rukes