Public music events aren’t new, but the concept behind Beck’s Fusions takes them into a different dimension. The brainchild of lager brand Beck’s and London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, this series of multimedia events, held in a temporary performance pod during September last year, combined music with visual art at prominent venues across the UK and Ireland.
The scene was set at the inaugural gig, held in London’s Trafalgar Square. Ten multimedia artists, including Erik van Lieshout, Graham Dolphin and Clare Langhan, created video artworks responding to songs played by well-known or local bands or singers.
For one night, the ‘pod’ – a free-standing circular structure using two 18m-wide ‘orbit’ stages joined together to form a dome – was reconfigured to create an open-air stage for a concert featuring The Chemical Brothers and UVA, among others.
The event was repeated in Dublin, Manchester and Glasgow, featuring Calvin Harris and Novak 3D Disco as headline acts.
There couldn’t be a better time for such a venture. Multimedia communication is everywhere and the cry for sound design to be recognised as a creative force is loud. Beck’s Fusions went some way to bringing the arts together and provided an extravaganza that was also great fun. The technology alone leaves the old 1960s combination of rock music and psychedelic light shows standing.