Before the event ...

HAMBURG – AIDAdiva CHRISTENING CEREMONY
HAMBURG HARBOR, APRIL 20TH 2007
DIRECTED BY GERT HOF
MUSIC BY WESTBAM & CHRISTIAN STEINHÄUSER
(Additional film music by Johann Sebastian Bach, played by Henning Schmiedt)

Concept, artistic direction, light, laser, fireworks & pyro design by Gert Hof
Produced by Asteris Koutoulas for Aida Cruises AG
Production Manager & Technical Director Gerd Helinski
Coordination by Massine Productions GmbH, Berlin
Production Manager for Procon MultiMedia AG Michael Casper
Programming & Operator Jens Probst
Programming & Operator Laser Daniel Brune
Programming Fireworks & Pyro Effects: Markus Katterle
Production Manager Fireworks & Pyro Effects Konrad Kuschel
Technical Director Fireworks & Pyro Effects Holger Behrens
Sound Director Klaus Rahe
Boat Coordination Dimitris Koutoulas
Production, Light & Sound Equipment Procon MultiMedia AG, Hamburg
Fireworks & Pyro Effects Flashart GmbH, Bielefeld
Laser Equipment laserfabrik showlaser GmbH


Ship of dreams, Techno and light.

Do you find yourself wondering how these three could fit together? Well, what is Techno, if not futurism? What is futurism, if not a hymn to the ocean liner, an ode to Hamburg's harbour bathed in crimson? A crimson that suddenly shifts to bright green? With search light beams extending seventeen kilometres into the sky, with the staggered detonations of seventeen tons of flash grenades, smoke bombs and fireworks - possibly choreographed to Itten's theory of colours and rhythmic spatial design - while a formidable, towering steel colossus squeezes past an audience of hundreds of thousands. Well, what is Techno - if not this?
The demanding task: To lend this event a rhythm, to infuse it with a soundtrack capable of standing up to this monumental production instead of fizzing away like a misfired banger.
After lengthy discussions with Gert Hof, my musical partner Klaus Jankuhn and I have come up with a soundtrack to reference the early days of futurism and navigation. The journey into the great unknown. The galley. The Santa Anna and the Titanic. The pumping engines in the bilge and the slaves at the oars, through the eyes of Fritz Lang. And finally: the world's roaring abyss, looming beyond the horizon. And the fearful question: Do we really want to be here right now?

Westbam, March 2007


MEDIA COVERAGE

The media overview of our Aida event reveals that the ship's christening generated over 220 TV reports as well as over 3,000 newspaper articles (incl. 63 full-page or two-page articles) in Germany alone. The live broadcast of the event by the German TV channel NDR achieved 24 rating points, i.e. a 24% share among TV viewers.
This publicity for the cruise company AIDA Cruises is from a marketing point of view an unprecedented success, considering that none of the several other christenings of similar chruise ships that take place each year ever achieved such an immense media coverage by far!
Therefore we can justly say that our AIDAdiva event hasn't just made event history, it has also made marketing history.
Additionally, Gert Hof's mega show attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators not only from Hamburg but from the whole country and from aborad. According to the Hamburg Tourism Authority, the AIDAdiva christening brought the city's businesses an additional income of 30 million Euros, of which 37 percent went to retail outlets, 28 percent to restaurants, bars and catering companies and 16 percent to the local hotel industry as there were 70,000 extra hotel bednights during the "AIDA Days". Additionally the city profited from the huge publicity, which is expected to further boost Hamburg's popularity as a city-break tourist destination.

"The christening of the AIDAdiva has been a great success, as more than three hundred thousand people experienced this unforgettable event first-hand," said the Hamburg Tourism Authority in a statement released after the event. "Many of these spectators travelled to Hamburg from other parts of Germany and from abroad to see the new ship. We are very proud that AIDA CRUISES chose our city to make the christening of its new ship."

In short, Gert Hof's show proved to be of great benefit to both AIDA CRUISES and the city of Hamburg and exceeded all expectations in regard to media coverage and commercial success. The Hamburg event produced a total promotional value worth tens of millions of Euros - a record-breaking corporate event! A.K.


Sehr geehrter Herr Hof,

ich habe Ihr Werk bewundert in Berlin, mitreissende Momente genossen beim strahlenden Licht-Event der Semperoper, und mit einer Vision kehrte ich wieder heim: der Vision von einer Schiffstaufe, die für sehr viele Menschen zu einem bewegenden Ereignis wird. Eine Taufe, die für eine ganze Stadt von Bedeutung ist. Eine Taufe fŸr ein Schiff, das ganz anders ist, als klassische Kreuzfahrtschiffe es sonst sind. Dem Moment, da diese Idee geboren war, folgten viele anregende Gespräche. Aus hochfliegenden Gedanken wurden greifbare Konzepte. Jetzt ist es Zeit, unsere Visionen Realität werden zu lassen.

Die einzigartige Lichttaufe von AIDAdiva wird durch Sie zu einem der aussergewöhnlichsten Outdoor-Events unserer Zeit. Mit Indienststellung des ersten Schiffes einer neuen AIDA-Generation werden wir gemeinsam ein aufregendes Kapitel in der Geschichte der Kreuzfahrt zu schreiben beginnen.

Ihr

Michael Thamm
Rostock, März 2007


Many thanks to Rainer Abicht, Max Audebert, Norbert Aust, Werner Bankner, Morten Carlsson, Harald Glitscher, Hansjörg Kunze, Udo Lindenberg, Andy Ludyk, Tim Mälzer, Hans-Michael Meissner, Burkhard Müller, Delf Ness, Marco Niedermeier, Boris Schade, Michael Thamm, Leif Witte, Jens Wrage, Nils Zehnpfennig, Jens Zimmermann

Special thanks to Aida Cruises Team, Alive AG, Blohm & Voss, HADAG Hamburg, Hamburg Port Authority, Monogenuss Records, Municipality of Hamburg, Procon MultiMedia AG, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Unikai Hamburg, Wasserschutzpolizei Hamburg

Sound director: Klaus Rahe
Boat coordination: Dimitris Koutoulas
Gert Hof assistant: Christine Uckert
Gert Hof VIP reception: Jan Schiller & Doerte Griechen
Legal affairs: Rafaela Wilde

Aida Cruises Team
Production manager & event coordination: Melanie Sievers
AIDAdiva captain: Przemyslaw Kurc
AIDAdiva production manager: Nico Berg
PR & Press Coordination: Hansjörg Kunze

From the DVD: Gert Hof - Ship of Light, Monogenuss Records/AL!VE, 2008