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Ayreon shows

Ayreon " 01011001 - Live Beneath the Waves" live shows
Stage Design
Tilburg, The Netherlands, 2023


In 2022, two years after execution of stage for Ayreon "Into the Electric Castle" shows I was given a chance to do that again. What a joy to be involved in new journey of design a stage for my favorite Ayreon album. But this time the concept was totally different.

The show was based on 01011001 album that tells the story of outer space civilizations that created humans on planet Earth and gave them technology that led their existence to destruction. Therefore, the stage setup had to reflect the heavy, industrial topic of the album. I was provided by the sketch with an initial idea from the main artist Arjen and based my concept on it. I wanted to create the Sci-fi city on the stage. With scaffolding platforms on the different levels, LED towers resembling skyscrapers as well as suspending floating objects. This was supposed to be BIG!"

Inspirational sketches

3d model

The design process

For over a year I was working closely with Arjen, the managers, the producers and the lighting designer and technician Pim that had huge involvement in stage shape as well. The overall stage shape was changing constantly as we had some challenges regarding the space. The biggest issues I was facing was the back staircase that allowed singers to come up on the scaffolding structure. My task was to ensure that no object collide and there is a free and safe way to move around on the stage. Given the fact that the shows are timed to the second and that there are more than 16 singers coming in and off the stage, I had to make this complicated structure as easy as possible to use.

The side banners

As usual we wanted to fill up the empty space on the side of the stage with some kind of banners. My idea was to create the massive city shields using the shape of the LED towers and rotate it 180 degrees.  For that we have rented out 1mx1m metal plates in two different forms. I wanted to arrange them that each form represent 0 and 1 digit (as indicated in the album title), but unfortunately we didn’t get the right amounts of each form. Anyway I think they looked epic! 

The build up process

The buildup of the stage took over 4 days. Scaffolding company was working simultaneously with LED company rushing up to have stage ready for dress rehearsals. One of the interesting facts is that huge LED towers were in fact suspended from the ceiling and not standing on the ground as it might seem. This way we saved a lot of space - smart isn´t it? After that the implementation of lighting on the stage on the backdrop, on the scaffolding railings, audio, lasers, CO2 machines and pyros took place.