Nov 18

Inside O Tannenbaum

“O Tannenbaum” is our iconic Christmas tree centerpiece in the center of Oktoberfest. Standing 50 feet, this luminous evergreen requires more than an extension cord to keep it lit. We worked with a company that specializes in large-scale Christmas displays, as well as our own technical theater and production staff to create a dynamic show. What you might not realize is that the tree actually has more in common with Griffon than with a traditional show.

At the very bottom of the tree lies a large concrete foundation where a large steel support beam is bolted. This allows a series of increasingly smaller rings to be attached creating a cone shape. This metal skeleton holds support cables, wires and sound equipment. On the outside of the skeleton, hundreds of individual branch sections attach to the frame. They come “pre-lit,” with some containing more than three different colors. Each section contains its own cables, so they are simply connected together when they are attached. As you can imagine, that’s quite a lot of cable.

This may seem simple, but since the tree dances to music, each level and color of the tree must be controlled on its own switch or dimmer to ensure the lighting designer has a wide variety of colors and levels to use when choreographing the tree to music.

Take a look at this video progression of “O Tannenbaum” from support beam installation to the finished product.