E y e D i a l o g u e

Pravda Lounge Ice Bar
Pravda Ice Bar

 Design | Build
 • Installation
 • Rental Catalogue
 About Us  

 In the News
 Press Releases
 • Picture Book '12
 • Picture Book '11
 • Picture Book '10
 • Picture Book '09
 • Picture Book '08
 • Picture Book '07
 • Picture Book '06
 • Picture Book '05
 Light Jockey

Designing High Impact Booths for Charlotte's Bartenders Ball

High Impact Mobile Bar Design
Designing the Stage and Bars for Charlotte's Bartenders Ball 2008
Design Dialogue by Jack Kelly
February 17, 2008 | Adam's Mark Hotel | Charlotte NC

As featured in Nightclub & Bar Magazine, August 2008

Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Alleycat
2 Global Truss 12" Box Truss System
1 Global Truss 12" Box Goalie System
4 Chauvet Colorado 1
3 American DJ Enferno
2 Chauvet Q-Spot 300
2 Elation Opti 30
5 Color Kinetics Colorcast 14
4 American DJ H2O 250
1 Elation Wireless DMX System
1 Kramer S-Video DA
2 Vizio 42" LCD
1 Color Changing Bar
2 Speaker Box

Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Pravda at the Forum
2 Chauvet Q-Spot 300
4 Chauvet Colorado 1
2 Global Truss 12" Box Truss System
4 Altman Pipe and Base System
2 Antari S-200 Snow Machine
4 Elation Opti 30
1 Elation DP-415 Dimmer Pack
8 Color Kinetics Colorcast 14
1 Elation Wireless DMX System
16 Bags of Buffalo Snow
1 Ice Bar
16 9' Flocked Garland
White Curtain

Pravda at the Forum Booth
Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008

The bartenders bar is worldwide institution. One day a year, nearly every city throws the party for the pros, those that can drink enough to kill a man. A year's worth of party favors in pocket, Bartenders blitz themselves while designated drivers and taxi’s wait outside. Most major cities add to the fun by giving their bartenders the opportunity to express themselves. The "Best Booth" is a coveted honor . . . I can’t seem to win. But I will tell you what I can do, leave an impression no one can forget.

I love the bartender’s ball. I seldom get the opportunity to show off in front of that many potential clients at the same time. This year I designed the booth for the Alleycat and Pravda. The theme was TV land. Unfortunately my client seldom lets me stick to the theme. They are more interested in impressing the guest. How do you impress bartenders and guests? The professional drinker and bar owner isn’t impressed with excessive expense. Unnecessarily spending on a booth means expensive drinks and amateur nights. What they are impressed with is style and creativity within a budget.

Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Pravda is Charlotte’s only ice bar; the chill zone of Charlotte’s most famous dance club, the Forum. Literally meaning “Truth,” Pravda is a reference to the infamous Russian newspaper of the Communist party. So we decided to go Siberian. Huskies and the snow man aside we had to make a statement without being cheesy. We decided to use an ice bar as a center piece uplit in bright color changing LED’s. It was a great choice but everyone has seen an ice bar these days. In fact, the bartender’s ball had at least a half dozen. We had to improve the delivery to get the impact we wanted. So we created Siberian packaging.

In a crowded room full of booths, venders will try about anything to get noticed. Although this next trick is used at almost every major event from sports to concerts, most bar owners overlook the obvious for the bartender’s ball: sky trackers. Taking it to the next level, we used two moving heads with custom gobos to scan the ceiling above in pure white light. The prism of snow flake gobos swirled overhead bringing attention to the bar. As an extra step, we added a literal effect: snow machines. These bad boys filled the 16 feet of ceiling overhead with gently falling snow for 20 seconds every 5 minutes. If they didn’t notice the snowflake gobos, they noticed the snow. A much bigger success than anticipated, the snow machines created a buzz unrivaled at the bartenders’ ball.

Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Between the movers, the snow machines, and the ice bar, we had a recipe for Siberian success. Now we needed packaging. Erin Olsovky created a 12x10 shimmering white curtain to put behind the booth which I promptly uplit with 10 LED cove fixtures. The color changing LEDs sparkled with baby blue flicks over a rich blue landscape. A snow bank of Buffalo Snow was placed in front of the cove fixtures, concealing the mysterious origin of the blue hues. The snow bank was extended around the ice bar and base of the two truss towers holding the moving lights. The Buffalo Snow covered all the myth busters: drain pans for the ice sculpture, power cables, base plates, wireless DMX receivers, etc. Moving from the ground, we wrapped the truss towers in flocked garland. To hang the snow machines, we created a goalie post out of 1 ½” schedule 40 pipe on 50lb base plates. The goalie system was approximately 10’ x 10.’ Nesting both snow machines and 4 Par 30s, the wiring disappeared under the garland wrapped around the poles.

Nearly perfect, the scene is missing the key ingredient: the bartenders. Dara and Jackie, Pravda’s hottest bartenders, gracefully worked our booth. Lined with polar white fur, their tastefully exposed skin teased the guest as they approached the bar. All this planning and alluring was to gratefully serve a deserving patron a single shot of vodka on ice. Like a fine martini, Pravda’s booth demonstrated balance, confidence, and class.

Alleycat Booth
Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008

Now to the polar opposite side of the room, we set the Alleycat on fire. I decided to create contrast in order to bring more attention to both booths. The Alleycat is a fusion venue melding live music, food, and DJs. With more bar space per square foot than any bar in Charlotte, the Alleycat brings rock & roll to downtown. Pushing the envelope of the dance club and the live music venue, the Alleycat is creating a unique path through Charlotte’s nightlife. We needed a booth to state just that.

Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008First we need to attract the guest's attention. Two TV’s with video advertisements for their new Wii gaming night were anchored to a goalie system built from 12” box truss. Above the TV’s, three enfernos simulated massive flames. In front of the bar, two scanners atop of 8’ box truss scanned the room, again advertising for their Wii Sin Night on Mondays. Spinning out of control the dominate yellow light from the movers contrasted against the red water effects oozing like hot lava across the back wall, stretching up into the ceiling behind the booth.

At the base of each truss surrounding the bar, a Chauvet Colorado 1 pushed fiery flicks of yellow orange and red. Expanding from the truss bars abstract shadows danced on the ceiling overhead. The warm hues and the dance of light created a height and depth unmatched at the ball. The bar itself was made of solid wood with rectangular stretches of Lycra concealing LED fixtures. The color changing panels mimicked the lighting effects of the surrounding fire towers. Traditional and sturdy, the bar could easily hold anyone who wished to stand a top and dance.

Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008The final touches carried this bar to the final levels of rock and roll hell. Two giant subwoofers were used as dance boxes to host charlotte’s hottest go-go dancers (GoGirl! Entertainment). Splitting it, ripping it, and shaking it. These girls mesmerized every man and woman in the building. Just before the guest went blind, three of the Alleycat’s vixens offer them a drink on the house. Of course every drink at the Bartenders Ball is free but with this kind of presentation who wouldn’t be grateful. Guys could barely speak when finally making it through the lines to get their favorite elixir.

Everyone thought Pravda would win but alas I didn’t even notice the booth that actually did win. The judges hated the Alleycat’s booth, and then they had the audacity to ask for theme relevance. I say the theme is f*** the theme this is rock and roll b****. I may not have won the competition but I sure got noticed competing. By the end of the event, everyone that mattered noticed. The contrast between the booths captured everyone’s attention. No patron left without the Alleycat and Pravda stuck in their mind, and no bar owner left without wondering if they need to upgrade the lighting in their bar. Everybody wins! Now that's what I call that a cold day in hell.

Additional Pictures . . .
Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008
Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008
Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008
Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008Charlotte's Bar Tenders Ball 2008