Inflatables as a sustainable event decoration

As consumers have become more demanding, events and festivals feel the pressure to stand out visually in order to create a full experience and leave a strong impression on visitors, and in the media. In the same time organizers are facing the need of lifting their event to a higher level of durability and sustainability. Combining these 2 aspects can be challenging, as it requires efficient, state of the art decoration solutions with a limited ecological footprint.

More and more event designers and stage builders are looking for an alternative for the use of polystyrene, foam and wood in their creations. The use of these traditional materials means a high material consumption, and unfortunately often a high amount of waste afterwards, as the vast objects can easily get damaged during dismantling or transport, or are simply too big to be stored.

Enter inflatables

Since 1994 Belgium based company X-Treme Creations has specialized in the production of tailor-made inflatable objects for festival stages, and event decoration. In 3 decades the technologies have advanced from handcrafted models to computer-aided design, from heavy PVC to light yet resistant polyester weaves, and from painting to dye-sub and LED printing, for stunning results. Thanks to years of experience and R&D, X-Treme keeps on raising the bar, and there are almost no limits in size and shapes. Festival pioneers like Tomorrowland have been using inflatables in their stages for many years, but the Belgians have been working all over Europe and as far as the US, Japan and New-Zealand.

The Gathering, Tomorrowland

Footprint

Air is available anywhere, and is free. As the main volume of inflatables is just the air that we breathe, the material use is as low as it can be. A single layer of textile, and some internal parts to define the shape are enough to build a massive centre piece for a festival main stage. X-Treme mainly uses a light polyester fabric without PVC and solvent free printing. The electrical fans to inflate these creations usually consume merely a few 100 Watts for the largest objects.

All the parts and accessories of this 18m high Robot at Electric Love Festival fit in just a small panel van.

Logistical advantage

When it comes to logistic efficiency, Inflatables are second to none. When deflated, even the biggest objects fit on a EURO pallet, or in the boot of a car. This makes the transport around the world, or storage until the next year feasible, affordable and flexible. Tomorrowland has been traveling with their ‘The Gathering’ stage to Brazil and Atlanta, using a 3 giant inflatables, combined with locally rented scaffolding and truss systems.

Flexible re-use

As most festivals aim to surprise their visitors with new stage designs for every edition, inflatable objects can easily be integrated in new designs. The Untold Festival in Romania is one of the best in class, moving their giant inflatable wolf heads from the main stage, to secondary stages, and even other small festivals they host.

Re-use of inflatable wolf heads at Untold Festival Romania


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