ShowcasesPanik City, Germany
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Panik City rocks a new kind of multimedia experience

Welcome to a different kind of visitor attraction in Hamburg: PANIK CITY - Udo Lindenbergs Multimedia Experience. This privately-owned permanent exhibition occupies 700 m² in the Klubhaus St Pauli located in Hamburg's entertainment district. Using the latest experiential technology – including multiple WATCHOUT systems – the exhibition is a seamless, multi-sensory story tracing the musical, artistic and socio-political work of the German artist Udo Lindenberg.

“The goal was to make fans and fans-to-be experience Udo Lindenberg’s life in a completely new way – technology is not the main focus but is there to help tell the story in an entertaining style and is easy to use for people of all ages,” says Damian Rodgett, Managing Director of the exhibition. Damian is also MD of pilot Screentime, the Hamburg-based system innovator/integrator responsible for the conceptual development, technical and creative production of Panik City. The venue represents an investment of around 2.3 million Euros, in software, hardware, stage construction, content and technology.

WATCHOUT seven days a week

Panik City welcomed its first visitors in March 2018, just 10 months after the concept was developed. In those 10 months, the location’s interior was totally re-modelled to transform it into six zones, each with its own theme and technology, but integrated in the overall AV system. Tour guides lead visitors through the various stations of the popular rocker’s life in groups of up to 20 people – 7 days a week, 12 hours a day.

There are WATCHOUT systems installed in three zones. The first WATCHOUT system is connected to four NEC PA653UL projectors and a 6-channel audio system. The second system provides content on 6 different-sized screens with a 9-channel audio system. The third room has a system working with six NEC PA653UL projectors and a dual channel audio system. The WATCHOUT systems are fully autonomous and triggered by the guide with an RFID card.

The challenges

”The challenge was not only choosing the right technology for each of the six immersive spaces but integrating the triggering and monitoring technology that ensures Panik City is operational seven days a week without the need to have technical personnel at the location,” Damian Rodgett explains.

WATCHOUT was chosen for its ease of use and proven reliability. All technical support is offered remotely and only in the case of hardware failure is an onsite visit necessary. “Quick and easy solutions with long-lasting setups are what is needed in a time-sensitive entertainment experience such as Panik City,” Damian continues. 

Time – or the lack of it – was the most challenging aspect of the project, according to Damian Rodgett. “To build the rooms, stages, props, and develop and integrate technology and multimedia assets to function fully in just 10 months wasn’t easy. Coordinating the large team of around 150 people was a major logistical challenge. At the opening on March 19th, 2018, guests were amazed that it wasn’t a soft opening with limitations but the full experience.”

Ready to reinvent

Panik City mixes interactive storytelling with passive immersive experiences and engages the visitor with all their senses. In addition to Udo Lindenberg himself, the creative minds of the project are Corny Littmann and Axel Strehlitz, who developed the story and the script of Panik City together with the digital masterminds from pilot Screentime.

Panik City also relied on close cooperation with the Macromedia University in Hamburg. As part of a semester project, students developed ideas on how to turn a rock musician into a virtual reality experience.

“For the future, we plan to regularly optimize all rooms selectively and to develop and use new ideas and technologies. Just like the artist Udo Lindenberg himself PANIK CITY reinvents itself over and over again and integrates the latest technologies into the Udo story,” Damian Rodgett concludes.

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