WEKA Named U2’s Official Technology Partner
WEKA, a data platform provider for performance-intensive workloads, has been named U2’s official technology partner for the production of their upcoming U2:UV Achtung Baby shows at Sphere in Las Vegas, kicking off September 29th. The WEKA Data Platform is helping to bring the band’s vision for the immersive video production elements of the show to life.
U2 has always—since their earliest days, including the ZOO TV Tour in 1991—consistently pushed the boundaries of live performance with stage shows that embrace the latest in technology and innovation and the band is widely acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the world.
“With every show of the last 30 years, U2 has consistently raised the bar for the live music concert experience,” U2’s tour director Ciaran Flaherty said. “This time around, the band’s U2:UV Achtung Baby show will also launch Sphere, the one-of-a-kind brand-new state-of-the art venue in Las Vegas. It’s been a huge undertaking for the entire team, and it’s been great to have WEKA on board.”
Stefan “Smasher” Desmedt, technical director and video Ddrector for U2, added: “This is a whole new level of rock and roll. Once again, U2 is breaking new ground, pushing the limits of what’s possible in live entertainment and setting trends that people will emulate for years to come. The sheer scale of the Sphere is extraordinary—it’s like a spaceship in here, with 16K x 16K pixel screens that require that we move 200-300 gigabytes of video data every minute. In the past, we used 4K video—this is uncharted territory. We needed to find a storage server technology partner that could meet both the band’s vision and the production’s extreme scale and performance requirements and deliver flawlessly in real time. WEKA quickly became the clear choice.”
Desmedt and his team needed to find a way to migrate more than 500 terabytes of archival video footage rendered in the United Kingdom to the venue’s servers in Las Vegas. The WEKA Data Platform provided a seamless way for them to render, load, and migrate large video files via the cloud to its local WEKA cluster at Sphere.
WEKA claims the company has been a dominant force in the media and entertainment industry for several years, helping the world’s top production houses and creative studios fast-track film, advertising, and special effects projects; accelerate post-production pipelines; and streamline the transition to 8K in the cloud. With U2, the company is extending its expertise to live entertainment at mega scale.
The U2:UV Achtung Baby shows begin at Sphere in Las Vegas on September 29th. For more information, click here.