With a grand display and 3d light show Sarasota’s own HuB unveiled their new building and said hello to the world with a splash! The question I ask in this article is not whether it was a great event (it was) or whether the art was amazing (it was) but if it was everything it could have been. If it was truly the “here we are world” party, that I’m sure they were trying to throw.

The event was set up in a great location. Right there in the heart of downtown Sarasota at The HuB building where they were unveiling their newly renovated office building. The projector was set up on the south side of the building across the street and there was a stage in their ground level parking where people gathered to watch the show.

There was a DJ playing music leading up to the show which did not get started till well after 8:00pm. There was a nice crowd there with a strong blend of young and old all eagerly awaiting the heavily publicized 3d light show that was assembled by The Hub Studios as well as some members of the junior class from Ringling College of Art and Design.

The video starts with Joey Panek aka The Art Whisperer trying to figure out what video to play and introducing/exploring some of their work over the last few years and then finally transitioning in to the 3d display which is what most people came to see. Below are some clips from the 3d light show projection from The Hub Grand Opening downtown Sarasota.

Opening Sequence

The curtains open and the night begins. A mix of colors and effects opens the show and then a hand comes out of nowhere to open a portal which leads the viewer down the wormhole almost as if transporting us in to the digital world they will unveil as the show progresses.

Rubber Bouncy Balls, Pong And Dominos

More effects a floating head and a ball that rolls out of the window, floats across sections of the building pulled out like blue Jenga pieces which sends the ball on a path across the face of the building until it ends up on a red platform to knock down a bunch of dominoes triggering an old school game of pong leading to a waterfall of what looked like rubber bouncy balls in to a spinning pinwheel as the screen fills up and the balls go bouncing around everywhere. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the whole show. 

Shadow Puppets and The Simpson’s Monsters?

This section takes shadow puppets to a whole new level and then the building seemingly crumbles down and sections of the building that look like rooms light up in a bunch of different colors while random monsters fly around and scream. Not sure what the point was here but from a purely visual standpoint it was surely entertaining.

Box Head DJ

In this section a DJ with a box for a head jams out to his fresh beats and is consumed in his own dance party.

Walking Stick Man and Disco Floor

The final section was a repetitive theme of cubes, a running stick man and a lighted disco floor that is rotated on many different axis points.

Longest Finale Ever

My biggest critique of the night comes from the end of the show which seemed to drag on. They kept re-using the same effects and it went on for minutes. I loved the show but you could see it in the crowd that it should have probably been a minute or two shorter. People lost interest in the last segment of the show as it seemed to be on repeat, on repeat, on repeat! Get my point? The show ended just before 9:00pm which is right on time but almost immediately the crowd dispersed and left me wondering why all the hype for an event that was only two hours long.

I and many others were left wondering where people were going after the event. There was no talk of “Everyone is headed to (insert local watering hole name here)” and most of the crowd was definitely pumped up and ready to keep things rolling. It almost seemed like the people who are trying to alter the thinking that Sarasota is not a sleepy little town that dies at 9:00 did a pretty bad job of keeping people interested too long in to the night. Its almost as if The Hub left us with party blue balls!

Where was the social engagement, the twitter hashtag or mobile marketing aspect of the event promotion. This was definitely a great opportunity for The Hub to grab more marketing intelligence from the people who support their brand and they totally missed the opportunity here. Maybe there was a private party somewhere but with the hype of the event and the desire to change the culture in Sarasota you think they would have made a splash long in to the night and thrown what should have been the party of the year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what they are doing and the fact that they pulled something like this off in a city like Sarasota speaks volumes to what they are trying to do but it seems to me that they could have taken it one level further. They could have come full circle and tied it in to more than just a 2 hour grand opening. They could have given the people who showed up what they really wanted, a killer party and a statement to the community and the world. We could have blown the roof off of Sarasota but instead we just punched a hole in it. A good sized hole, don’t get me wrong, we can see the light but just a hole none the less. The change we are looking for has started and The Hub will be a big part of it but it will take all of us, everyone working together to make this area the cultural and creative hub of not only Florida but the United States.

Much Love To The Hub

All that being said, I loved it and was excited to be there and look forward to seeing what is next. To all the guys involved with the HuB and everything they do, keep it up and stay creative. Overall I think you Nailed it!

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