SL11BCC: get ready to party

Loki Eliot's Main Stage at SL11BCC
Loki Eliot’s Cake Stage at SL11BCC – click any image for full size

Note: as per my usual policy, this article does not utilise the SL11B Community Celebration banner, indicating it is a personal piece, rather than any “official” communication on the event. 

The SL11B Community Celebrations get underway at midday SLT on Sunday June 22nd, kicking off a week of music, events, partying and more.

This year sees eleven regions (one for each year SL has been open to the public) full of exhibits, event stages, activities and  – shortly after midday – people!

For those wishing to jump to the quick and start enjoying things, here are the key landmarks, up front:

The Welcome Area, Live Stage and DJ Stage can be found in the southwest, northwest and northeast corners of the SL11BCC regions respectively, with the main stage occupying its traditional centre point, spanning half each of the two middle regions in the cluster.

These are all impressive builds – and kudos to their respective builders: Kazuhiro Aridian (DJ Stage), Aki Shichiroji (Live Stage), Loki Eliot (Main Stage) and Donpatchy Dagostino (Welcome Area, with the time capsule display below it).

Pygar Bu designed the SL11BCC Auditorium, located in SL11B Facilitate, which is a further eye-catching build.

Kaz Aridian’s stunning DJ Stage

Given the theme for this year’s event: The Empires of the Future are the Empires of the Mind, all three stages have a decidedly futuristic / sci-fi feel to them. When visiting Kaz Aridian as he was working on the DJ Stage, for example, I felt I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see Luke Skywalker passing by on his way fix a Moisture Vaporator on the orders of his Uncle Owen. Not that the stage is in any way directly modelled on Star Wars, it’s actually an entirely unique build; it’s just that it put me in that general mindset as I chatted with Kaz.

Aki’s Live stage also left me with an impression of other-worldliness. In the centre is a huge metallic head-and-shoulders statue of a gigantic helmeted figure, hands held outward and palms up to form the stage area. Around this are tall structures with a slightly industrial aspect around them, somehow suggestive of a city on a distant world.

Aki’s brilliant Live Stage – the giant robot android literally has performers in the palms of its hands

However, there is no mistaking the inspiration for Loki’s Main Stage (calling it the “Cake Stage” this year somehow doesn’t seem to do it justice): dominating the SL11BCC regions sits none other than Tron’s MCP.

It’s an astonishing tour de force of mesh, materials and more – this is one where you’re going to want to enable ALM in your viewer if you can (remember, you don’t also need to enable shadows as well, so the performance hit shouldn’t be too great – allowing for the numbers of people there and your GPU!). It’s also worth having a little play with your windlight settings as well, as the entire build can look even more astonishing under various lighting conditions.

Elevated information highways span the width of the SL11B regions, their arrow-straight lines leading directly into the huge cylinder of the Main Stage as ribbons of data twirl and twist in the air around it.  Step into the Great cylinder and more awaits, as lights play across material surfaces, the central round stage glittering in reflected light. Make sure you look up as well; there’s a remarkable light / data show going on overhead – complete with suspended platforms over the main dance area for the more intrepid dancers. Keep an eye out, as well, for the hidden gifts. After all, a Program isn’t anything without his  / her Identity Disk …

I admit to loving the imagery Loki’s Main Stage evokes when seeing it; so much so that I couldn’t resist having a little fun … :).

If I could insert my Identity Disk into the data stream, would my user get my message? - Having a little fun at Loki's Main Stage
If I could insert my Identity Disk into the data stream, would my User get my message? – Having a little fun at Loki’s Cake Stage

The full list of performances throughout the week can be found in the main SL11BCC performance schedule, together with details of events at the Auditorium. Direct links to the schedules for each stage and the Auditorium are as follows:

You can also find a list of exhibitors at SL11BCC starting here (use the menu to display exhibitors by SL11B region). Oh, and don’t forget the Big Hunt taking place throughout the celebrations.

Should you feel in need of a break from all the hustle and bustle and dancing, many of the individual exhibits in the regions offer places to sit, rest, and contemplate. So too, does the SL11BCC Auditorium, which sits amidst trees and flowers and features winding paths, water and, of course, plenty of seating for the events which will be staged here. In this, Pygar’s design strongly counterpoints the general “busy-ness” of the rest of the regions, forming something of an oasis within the crowds, so to speak.

The SL11B CC Auditorium by Pygar Bu
A part of the SL11B CC Auditorium by Pygar Bu

While 11 regions may well sound a lot smaller than the previous SLB events, it doesn’t mean there is necessarily less to see in terms of creativity and diversity of exhibit builds. I’ve barely had a chance to scratch the surface of things (and I’ve been sort-of helping-out “backstage”, so have had many opportunities to drop in on the regions!). I will say, however, that I’ve already found one or two personal favourites, and  – time allowing – I hope that over the coming days I can bring you shots of the builds I’ve particularly liked, and why they appealed to me.

So, with things ready for the off from midday on the 22nd, and running through until Sunday June 29th (although the regions will be around after that date, just without any performances, etc.), it only leaves me to wish Second Life a happy 11th anniversary, and to leave you with a brilliant preview video by Pallina60 Loon.

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