For over six months, Finnish artist Axel Thesleff consciously curated an audio-visual set for his debut performance at SXSW festival, scheduled for mid-March of 2020. Though the festival was among the first sweep of festival cancellations due to COVID-19, Thesleff was determined that the show must go on.
Persevering, Thesleff assembled a top-level production team in Finland, teaming up with event technology company Bright and working closely with esteemed visual artist Petri Ruikka to bring “the set that never happened” to fans in a striking way.
To capture the essence and atmosphere of a live performance, the set was shot by a 12-person film crew in the 8,200 seat, outdoor Helsinki Ice Hall using numerous camera angles and state-of-the-art production equipment for a cinematic and technicolored masterpiece titled “Arena Live 2020.”
Shifting from keytar to xylophone to drum kit in front of a stunning display of visuals choreography, Thesleff’s hour-long, trance-inducing performance dazzles as much as it delights, surpassing all standards of newly accustomed livestreams.
Watch “Arena Live” on Axel Thesleff’s Youtube channel.