As part of a show to celebrate the Fourth of July, Sphere’s 580,000ft² fully programmable LED exterior was completely illuminated with dynamic, animated content. The Las Vegas venue is due to open in September.
The exterior, called the Exosphere, is a core feature of the venue, and will be used to showcase a wide range of artistic and branded content that will not only be seen by guests and visitors to Las Vegas, but shared around the world on social media.
The Fourth of July show started with a welcome – “Hello World” – and was followed by fireworks and stars and stripes animations, before transitioning through a wide array of visual content, from underwater scenes to performances to vividly textured lunar surfaces, putting on full display the versatility of the canvas.
“The Exosphere is more than a screen or a billboard – it is living architecture, and unlike anything that exists anywhere in the world,” said Guy Barnett, SVP brand strategy and creative development. “Last night’s show provided a glimpse of the Exosphere’s captivating power, and the possibilities for artists, partners and brands to create compelling and impactful stories to connect with audiences in new ways.”
David Hopkinson, president and chief operating officer of MSG Sports, who oversees global marketing and brand partnerships across Sphere Entertainment and the MSG family of companies, said: “Sphere’s Exosphere is a 360° canvas for brand storytelling that will be seen around the world, offering our partners an unparalleled opportunity to become part of the greatest show on Earth. There’s nothing comparable to the impact from displaying innovative brand and immersive content on the world’s largest video screen. The extraordinary experiences we can create are only limited by imagination, and we’re thrilled to finally share with the world the spectacular potential of the Exosphere.”
The Exosphere consists of approximately 1.2 million LED pucks, spaced 8in apart. Each puck contains 48 individual LED diodes, with each diode capable of displaying 256 million different colours.
The Fourth of July production was just the beginning for the Exosphere, as it will continue to display creative activations in coordination with major events in Las Vegas. Later this year, the Exosphere will be featured prominently as part of Sphere’s opening in September with U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere, as well as during the first Sphere Experience, Postcard from Earth, directed by Darren Aronofsky, in October. In November, during the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, Sphere will have a prime position along the circuit, showcasing the Exosphere to a global audience, and there will be exposure through planned takeovers of the Exosphere for race-related content, activations and advertising. Eventually, the Exosphere will display a wide range of artistic and branded content daily, from rituals such as sunrise and sunset, to brand campaigns, to “delightful moments” running at set times.
The Exosphere was developed by an interdisciplinary team of creative, production, technology and software experts at Sphere Studios – the immersive content studio dedicated to creating live entertainment experiences exclusively for Sphere. Sphere Studios partnered with Montreal-based SACO Technologies, a specialist in solid-state LED video lighting and media solutions, to design and manufacture the Exosphere’s LED display. The Studios team also worked with 7thSense, a creative software and technology company specialising in high-profile media-based attractions, to deliver programming onto the Exosphere using its media server, pixel processing and show control technologies, in continuation of a decade-long partnership with MSG. The content for the Fourth of July show was designed and developed by Sphere Studios’ experienced in-house Creative Services team.