LarMac Projects produces UAE’s 50th National Day celebrations

LarMac Projects produces UAE’s 50th National Day celebrations
The United Arab Emirates marked 50 years as a nation with 50 days of celebrations, culminating in a live show from Dubai’s Hatta Water Dam in the Hajar Mountains featuring a floating stage and drone-launched fireworks, produced by LarMac Projects.

For the country’s Golden Jubilee, the creative team – led by Artistic Director and Designer Es Devlin and LarMac PROJECTS Executive Creative Producer Jo MacKay – knew that the boundaries of possibility needed to be pushed to their limit.

The initial show was live streamed on 2 December and followed by 10 additional special performances that took place between 3-12 December, featuring specially composed songs and poetry, drone-launched fireworks, a light show, exciting water displays and 5.1 surround sound to convey the relationship between people and nature, and the ties between Emiratis, their homeland, and the environment. 

This is the second time LarMac Projects has been engaged by the UAE National Projects Office to deliver the prestigious National Day event. The company, again under Es Devlin’s creative direction and design, also produced the 49th National Day in 2020, which began as a single, socially distanced show in Abu Dhabi, and evolved into a six-week long art installation, with its kinetic sculpture centrepiece gaining must-see attraction status in the country.

“This year, Es’s creativity was the most technically audacious and emotionally ambitious in order to deliver a country's attitude to its past and future,” says LarMac co-founder and executive creative producer, Jo MacKay.

LarMac enlisted a team of 650 creative, cast, technical and safety personnel from 100 countries to bring Devlin’s vivid designs to life, with 1.5 million hours of work necessary to build the floating stage alone.

"The whole show floats, the audience floats," explains Es. "We explored some new ways of using less pyrotechnics to elevate the fireworks into the air, using drones to lift them to a height, then a combination of drone and fireworks to create a new illusion that I certainly haven't worked with before.

"In addition, we created projections in mid-air through the use of water screens, as well as a huge sculptural element that, again, is floating. All of these things pushed engineering to its limits at the site in Hatta."

Wonder Works provided technical engineering, while Stage One oversaw the centrepiece rotating disc stage, PRG supplied lighting, and Creative Technology handled projection - utilising the impressive power of VYV Photon media servers. Industry veteran Bruno Poet was the show’s lighting designer and Luke Halls Studio created the detailed video content. 

This core creative team was completed by Groupe F (pyro and drone displays) and Auditoria Systems (audio design), whose goal was to create a listening experience that delivered a high-fidelity nearfield sound using individual 5.1 systems. 


Photo credits: Done & Dusted / Nicolas Chavance


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