An Interview With Sugar Rush Production

  1. Every IllumiNaughty we see a completely new theme, what was the inspiration for Sugar Rush?

We wanted to do something that contrasted the last theme of Shamanic Tales, which was a dramatic interpretation of our story through a neon jungle. The world of Sugar Rush is set in a surreal candyland, that is packed with bright colours and larger-than-life installations. Its vibe is about freedom and being fun-loving, and inspired by the funky sounds of our artists’ new releases. It merges real life elements into a dream-like landscape, as artwork by psytrance artists has re-imagined over and over. This setting will be a new perspective that will melt together with the sounds of Neelix, Ace Ventura, Talamasca, Liquid Ross and our DJs.



  1. How is the concept brought to life from just an idea?

After we decide on an initial concept, we start to make sketches of ideas around the theme, and how it can possibly translate to a flyer graphic. With this fundamental idea in mind, we then design the central stage concepts using 3D rendering software, which let us see a 360 degree view of each installation as it would appear in real life on the stage. At this point, we can alter and adjust each piece to look exactly how the experience was imagined. All of the decor then goes into production at our on-site facilities, which create a brand new theme from scratch for every event. A combination of robotics and hand-finishing creates a realistic world with all the character from human touches.



  1. How does the venue Troxy help to make each theme so immersive?

Troxy is a theatrical building, with grade II listed features and cascading walls of 1930’s grandeur. Its wide stage has been recently expanded, giving us enough room to make a theme large enough to feel fully immersive. The high ceilings and maneuverable covering let us elevate a canopy over the audience, full of lights, patterns, inflatables and hanging elements, to make it feel as if the setting was truly real. Troxy has a second floor of seating, with a balcony that reaches from wall-to-wall, to let us see the setting from far above the stage and relax with a view. The interior space has enough room for us to include interactive features and stalls which offer everything from trades to tarot reading and makeup artists, to let us become fully lost in an alternate world.



  1. What equipment is used to create all of the installations?

At our on-site production facilities, we create each piece of decor with a combination of robotic machinery, high temperature sealing and hand painting and finishing. Our 7 axis robot rotates on seven free-rotating axes, letting us create complex installations that wouldn’t be possible with other methods. Our CNC machine creates designs exactly to renders, chiselling them from a large variety of materials, to give depth, texture and realism to all of our themes. Internal frameworks are welded together, sealed in 50 degrees Celsius, and hand painted with all of the character of the story.



  1. How long does it take to design and produce the entire theme?

The design process can last for months, as we map out the theme and create the story and characters. Once the imagery has been rendered by our software, the production process itself typically lasts about a month, to build and paint each installation. All of the large elements must be sealed, sanded and painted repeatedly until they are finished, which results in a long production time.



  1. What challenges in the production of the Sugar Rush world are there?

For this lively and colourful theme, one of the main challenges is to create a setting that appears as if candy was coming to life, with shiny rock candy shells and realistic edible treats. This look requires a distinct production process which has not yet been undertaken, for which we are utilising a new range of high gloss car paints and finishes, to give that ultimate candy appearance. This production requires more time to finalise, as more imperfections are visible in shinier finishes, for which items must be re-glazed until they are perfect.



  1. How long does it take to set up the full theme in Troxy?

The stage must be built and secured in place, to be safe for performers and dancers. Additionally, a canopy must be installed and raised above the audience, to hang in its ideal formation. A large amount of decor is transferred to Troxy days before the show, and our riggers work all day to set up the theme, starting at 7am.



  1. What types of performers and characters will be at this edition?

Sugar Rush is a fun and free adventure into a surreal candyland, inhabited by wild characters that live for the rush. We are choreographing brand new dance acts, which use colour and light in its most vivid form. Aerial, artistic, acrobatic and gravity-defying acts will join the stage as characters who have fused with candyland themselves, and are just as irresistible as the setting.



  1. Can we have any ideas for costumes?

Want to look as good as cotton candy? Pastel colours, fluffy accessories, glossy items and even a glint of hair colour can be assembled into a Sugar Rush character. Jewels, rhinestones and sequins can be attached to any items of clothing or accessories, for a low-cost way to heighten the glamour. For guys, we can envision Miami Vice suits, mad professors or perhaps a radical boss of candyland…



See you at Sugar Rush on the 5th March, at Troxy in London, for another edition of IllumiNaughty with a custom Candyland theme with Neelix, Ace Ventura, Talamasca, Liquid Ross, Neutrino, Montez and DJane Anastazja. Step through the doors of a brand new world, where everything is seen from a different perspective.

Tickets available here: