Video ‘wall’ at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater brings new perspective to fans on the lawn |

Video ‘wall’ at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater brings new perspective to fans on the lawn

Krista Driscoll
The new 23-by-9-foot LED video "wall" allows fans on the lawn of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater a close-up view of Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters on Tuesday, June 19.
John-Ryan Lockman, courtesy of Vail Valley Foundation

The wall

Here are the specs on the new LED wall at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater:

• Pixels: 1,248 by 520 pixels, with a 2.4:1 aspect ratio

• Dimensions: 23 feet, 7.464 inches wide by 9 feet, 10.08 inches tall

• Weight: 1,885 pounds estimated total including mounting frame

• Power: 16,022.5 watts at maximum load

• Current: Approximately 100 amps at maximum load

Source: Creative Technology

VAIL — If you’ve attended a concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail this summer, then you’ve likely noticed the latest addition to the venue: a massive LED video screen that was installed in May.

Despite its size — the company that made it, Creative Technology, calls it a “wall,” rather than a screen — its location in the rafters at the rear of the pavilion means it enhances, rather than obstructs, views of the stage from the lawn.

Joe Kania, lead video tech for the amphitheater, said performers have been intrigued by the tech team placing cameras around the stage to capture the action, but the biggest positive response has come from spectators.

“People think it’s awesome,” Kania said. “We check and look back to see if anyone is paying attention, and we see a lot of people holding their phones up to the screen. It’s the close-up they couldn’t get a ticket for.”

For the GoPro Mountain Games earlier in June, Kania’s team recorded two shows with strictly GoPro cameras at the sponsor’s request but since then has been using professional-grade cameras, allowing more control over the video-capture process, leading to a highly polished finished product.

“We are placing some static cameras really close to the keyboards and the drums to get some very interesting angles: drumsticks hitting the drumhead, fingers on the keyboard,” he said. “In video, we love those close-up shots. It adds a lot of flavor.”

Displayed on the 23-by-9-foot video wall, those larger-than-life close-ups help each person on the lawn feel a closer connection to the performer, Kania said, enhancing the overall energy of the venue.

“It’s not the kind of thing, sitting on a lawn, you would ever expect to see with your own eyes,” Kania said.

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