A Heads Up with von | BERG – Flo Erdmann and Dominik Doehler
With Covid-19 lockdowns worldwide and health authorities urging people to self-isolate and practice social distancing on a massive scale as part of an enormous effort to #FlattenTheCurve of this global pandemic … we are reaching out to industry friends, colleagues, associates, partners, etc., and asking them to share their #StayAtHome and #QuarantineAndChill activities with us during this extraordinary time.
Dominik Doehler is a touring and special events lighting designer and has been on the road worldwide with various artists of different genres for 22 years. He also works as a programmer for TV shows and corporate events from time to time.
Flo Erdmann works as an LD for industrial shows, trade fairs, theatre, special events and concerts. He has been on the road in business for 11 years.
Together the two men recently founded the Raumwerkstatt "von | BERG", where they work as "3D craftsmen".
Robe: Where are you right now?
Flo and Dominik: We are currently in our hometown of Solingen in the Bergisches Land and are enjoying the regulated "working hours".
Robe: How are things emerging from the lockdown in your region / country?
Flo and Dominik: Public life has been brought back to a more or less regular level in many parts.
Shortened day-care centre times and the like require a bit more planning than usual if you have children, but apart from that there are no great restrictions in private life.
As far as the situation in our industry is concerned, it is fair to say that we are all at pretty much the same level worldwide. For now, no live events and no large crowds allowed to gather.
Robe: How did you spend your time during lockdown?
Flo and Dominik: We finally had enough time for our families and all the things that usually always remain ‘lying around’. We also used the time to combine forces and found “von | BERG” our “3D workshop for space and architecture”.
Robe: What are your biggest concerns / considerations as lockdowns ease worldwide?
Flo and Dominik: Basically, an easing of the lockdown is an indicator that the infection rates are dropping, and the chance of normality is increasing.
All this is only possible if the population acts responsibly. We sincerely hope that people will do this and be sensible to defeat this pandemic as soon as possible.
Robe: Do you have any thoughts / predictions about how and when live events and the industry will re-start?
Flo and Dominik: We try to think optimistically and motivate ourselves every day anew and not to lose courage, even if it is difficult from time to time.
It will still take some time until we reach the pre-pandemic status we enjoyed and probably that will not happen until there is an effective remedy or vaccine.
Robe: Going forward, how do you think live events and the entertainment technology industry will change in a post-Covid 19 world before there is a vaccine widely available?
Flo and Dominik: We can see that a new market branch is emerging, which was created out of necessity – live streaming is on everyone's lips and is carried out in the most diverse ways.
We are also getting a lot of requests for it and in visualization where we spend a lot of time experimenting in virtual space.
There are some advantages in streaming events, new concepts make them tangible and in parts also noticeable. However, the component of ‘shared experience’ and community is often missing and cannot be experienced through a monitor or 3D glasses.
But we believe that there will be a rethinking in some areas of the event industry.
Robe: How sustainable do you think these changes will be?
Flo and Dominik: Many companies in Germany have discovered that home office is a concept that offers many advantages to everyone involved. We believe that many workflows will change in this respect. Also, people will certainly take advantage of the benefits of streaming events.
Robe: Has anyone / anything particularly inspired you since this crisis started?
Flo and Dominik: Many people and organisations have made a lasting impression on us and also inspired us.
We are in a lively exchange with many colleagues who have launched initiatives to give the event industry a voice among politicians and business representatives. A crisis welds people together and, as they say, brings out the best and the worst in people.
This helps you to find out what is and isn’t good for you!
Robe: Own question / answer / message of solidarity or something you’d like to say?
Flo and Dominik: Don't give up!
We are probably all at the limit of what is mentally and financially bearable and as we all realize, politics can only be relied on to a limited extent! At the end of the day, we must see for ourselves how we get along and must draw conclusions for the future.
But what you can clearly see is the fighting spirit and team spirit that drives the event industry and the passion that unites us all.