Advanced Systems Group Transforms the Iconic Miami Beach Bandshell into an Immersive Experience for The Rhythm Foundation
During a George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic concert in his hometown of Miami Beach, Advanced Systems Group (ASG) Director of Strategic Accounts Namdev Lisman, re-connected with an old friend at the Miami Beach Bandshell – Rene Pereda. Pereda is head of strategic partnerships for the Rhythm Foundation, which manages The Bandshell. In between sets, Pereda mentioned the Foundation was awarded a grant to update the venue’s video and immersive technology capabilities. Shortly after that conversation, Lisman was introduced to Rhythm Foundation Director James Quinlan and met with Quinlan and Pereda that week to discuss the project.
The Rhythm Foundation, well known for introducing both emerging and established world music acts, began its transformational journey when it received management of the bandshell in 2015. In 2021 when John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded the Rhythm Foundation a 1.5 million grant the vision was clear: to elevate the Miami Beach Bandshell from just a premier music venue to a world class, technologically advanced, immersive space catering to diverse events.
Transformation of the Miami Beach Bandshell, a national historic open-air amphitheater in the heart of North Beach, began with the completion of the solar-powered architectural canopy in 2020. The architectural canopy, which has been a unique feature of the bandshell, will be transformed into a dynamic digital canvas by Miami’s best visual artists with the new Panasonic projectors.
After a very competitive bid, ASG was selected to guide the Rhythm Foundation through its video upgrade and determine the best technologies to implement within the bandshell.
ASG oversees the entire video infrastructure build-out and creating a multi-purpose, multi-digital experience at The Bandshell. One of the first tasks for ASG was adding software that enables the Rhythm Foundation production crew to project 3D video mapping onto the underside of the canopy and throughout the facility. “The mapping is perfect,” reports Lisman. “It transforms the entire place into a canvas. With Rhythm Foundation’s new initiative, Bandshell Laboratories, they will forge collaborations with talented visual artists and musicians who will create truly unique experiences here.
“We can not only do this, but we can also really make this place look phenomenal.”
Rhythm Foundation Director James Quinlan, after the first demonstration of the new projection mapping software during the Aqua Garden Flow performance in late May.
“We’ve increased their production capacity so that seeing a live concert becomes more of an experiential event,” Lisman continues. “With their previous projection system, they couldn’t do the proper blending of the video. The experience was much more limited. Now, visitors are immersed in visuals as well as music.”
Previously when promoters booked the venue, they had to hire their own production company and bring in any gear required. Now, they have pristine projection mapping and upgraded video capacity that can be offered as a service, which expands the foundation’s offering.
The Rhythm Foundation recently launched Bandshell Studios, the audio-visual production arm of the iconic venue. Bandshell Studios produces high-quality media that captures the essence of live performance in the space. The new project aims to give the world a fresh look at Miami’s unique cultural scene and share the same sense of discovery they feel meeting the amazing artists who grace the Bandshell stage.
While ASG was hired initially for all video production aspects of the upgrade, they’ve also moved the network infrastructure to an all-IP network and are redesigning security and surveillance systems at The Bandshell. “This is a big lift for the Rhythm Foundation,” says Lisman. “We’re redesigning all of their network infrastructure to take them from a dedicated SDI environment to an all-IP network that enables them to be really flexible in terms of production.”
Director of Strategic Accounts
Advanced Systems Group
When the entire upgrade is complete, The Bandshell will be not only an unparalleled, experiential A/V venue but also a destination concert hall. After the first demonstration of the new projection mapping software during the Aqua Garden Flow performance in late May, Rhythm Foundation Director James Quinlan said, “We can not only do this, but we can also really make this place look phenomenal.”
The work continues through November when the full, multi-dimensional visual experience will be revealed during the foundation’s annual gala event.