Ultra’s Arcadia Landing: Secrets Revealed
The Arcadia is becoming a solid stage at Ultra since they’ve been providing quality music for now two years in a row. But sometimes it’s not only about the music….
The DJs have been performing from a DJ booth suspended in the middle of a giant spider. Three spider legs are controlled by a team of technicians and engineers who can throw fire whenever he wishes, add to this explosive mix some acrobats during the “Arcadia Landing Show” and you experience a show of a lifetime. We sat down with one of the members from the Arcadia show, “Pip Rush” to learn more about the tricks behind the show, we learned that while performing some of them have somebody else’s life in their hands and Pip also expressed his respect to Carl Cox for playing the Spider at Glastonbury…
“Everything we’ve done has been an evolutionary process rather than a new project in a vacuum”
I only saw the show on Saturday, was there any difference between Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
Great that you came down! The show was the same each night and while we have other shows – most notably Metamorphosis which is the sequel to the Landing show you saw – Landing is the introduction point to the Arcadia shows and the one we had in Miami.
Just as a theatrical or a circus performance will run the same show over a series of nights, it’s designed so that anyone who wants to can come and see it over the course of the weekend. There was fresh energy and an influx of people each day so it always feels like opening night.
What is the trick? how many hours or months of preparation for you to reach that magical atmosphere between the acrobats, the spider, etc?
Everything we’ve done has been an evolutionary process rather than a new project in a vacuum and I think that the magic comes with how the crew work together to create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
We have everything from welders to acrobats, from crane drivers to pyrotechnic experts and over the years we’ve very much become like a family. There’s a real sense of caring about every other department and not just wanting to perform your own role well, and there’s a huge degree of trust involved too, not least because of the safety aspects – when you have a life in your hands or your life is in someone else’s hands, that builds a profound bond.
When you’re trying to utilise so many different sensory elements, you realise how important the unified whole is – with everyone on a shared groove and on a shared instinct and when it all clicks into gear – you feel that spark of magic. And then the crowd amplify that spark into something really special.
I hear Carl Cox played last year but there was an issue with the fire, did he have a make up set this year?
He actually didn’t play last year (or this year at Ultra) as he was hosting a separate arena, though he did come down to meet the Spider and have a chat. One thing led to another and he played the Spider at Glastonbury last summer and then we did Burning Man together with one of our other structures – the Afterburner.
It was great to see the Resistance concept expanded this year and run across two arenas – ours and Carl’s and it’s been brilliant to see deeper music gain real momentum at Ultra.
Photo Credit: Giles Mayal