The camping gantry, the main entrance gantry, the lighthouse, the VIP area and the TV space for Super Bock Super Rock (SBSR), which took place in Meco from 13 to 15 July, were designed, produced and assembled by Multilem. The Super Bock Group’s brief was based on a few fundamental aspects: functionality, impact, brand DNA, sustainability and well fitting into the space. Sara Duarte, sponsorships & brand activation manager, explains to Event Point the brand’s objective at SBSR. “What we wanted with this activation at SBSR was, in terms of structures, on the first level, to be functional for an event of this size, with almost 60,000 people, but, more than that, to mirror the DNA of the Super Bock brand, to have a surprise factor, to make a mark on festival-goers.” Sara Duarte explains that every year the brand tries to innovate in its approach to festivals. “And then there were two additional layers, no less important: one was to fit in with all the structures that were created in the surroundings, in Meco, in the space where we are, and also a concern for sustainability, which was underlying there, and the idea was more to guide them in the choice of materials that were used,” she says.

“Super Bock is the number one music brand in Portugal and SBSR is the centrepiece of this territory. What we always want to do is provide our consumers with the best moments, with their friends, Super Bock being the brand of friendship, in the context of music, in the context of a festival,” recalls Sara Duarte. That said, the structures had to reflect these messages. “The important thing about these structures was that they shared this objective that we always have and that they helped to create this Super Bock atmosphere, that people really felt involved in an atmosphere of music, friendship, relaxation and that it was clearly Super Bock.”

Jorge Assis, Multilem’s creative director, explains that based on the ideas the client wanted to communicate, of music and friendship, “our work ended up being centered around the beer crate. The crate first of all conveys the brand, and then refers to the idea of reuse.” A simple concept, but the result of a lot of research and brainstorming, says Jorge Assis. So, the idea was to use trusses and cover them with bars. “Suddenly a small element that conveys a brand image but doesn’t go to waste; they’re used and then return to their life cycle and next year they’re back at the festival,” says the creative director. “What the client wanted to communicate, the idea of bringing friends together, the need for branding, and then the strategy and the elements that we were able to imagine, to express all this, I think it was a very happy thing,” he says, adding that the team was very happy with the result.

Nuno Castro, Multilem’s client manager, recalls another challenge: how the structures could live both day and night. The team made an electrical installation, tested it and the result was very positive. Marrying the Super Bock brand with the surroundings and the need to have structures assembled quickly was another challenge, given the time needed for assembly. “Right from the drawing board, we thought of things that could be assembled and disassembled as quickly as possible, because there wasn’t much time, and after assembly we had to decorate and adapt,” explains Nuno Castro.

A team effort

Once the proposal was presented, the client liked the idea “immensely”. “The client was always very much on board with us, we always showed them the risks, the good things and the bad things about this solution. It was very easy in this respect,” says Nuno Castro, from Multilem. Jorge Assis points out that it is essential to have a close relationship with the client. “The customer is the one who knows about themselves, they’ve been working on their brand for many years, they know what interests them most and what’s fundamental. We walk side by side and this has certainly resulted in a more consistent project that has brought us all joy.”

Sara Duarte, from the Super Bock Group, says that “when the first idea came to us, we immediately realised that this was the way to go and that the answer to the brief was the right one”. This was followed by the usual fine-tuning and a visit to the venue to see all the possibilities.

Nuno Castro says that several tests were carried out, day and night. “We can imagine it, and in rendering and 3D it all looks absolutely beautiful, but we had to ask the client for 500 crates of beer and we set about testing it in the factory and that’s when the confidence that the result would be the one we wanted came to an end.” In all, 2,300 crates of beer were used at the venue.

Between designers, engineers, logistics, locksmiths, electricians and other Multilem teams, around 40 people were involved in this project.

The lighthouse: a pièce de résistance

One of the most emblematic elements of SBSR 2023 was the lighthouse. “The client told us: we need an iconic structure here, which is almost like a meeting point for the festival, to give it some more interest and branding,” says Nuno Castro. “What made sense in the middle of Meco?” recalls Jorge Assis, “it had to be a lighthouse”. The creative director admits that this was one of the structures that was “a lot of fun” to create. The bars continued to be the centrepiece of the piece and the audience’s reaction was very positive. Sara Duarte has no doubt that it was one of the highlights of the venue. “The venue was beautiful, and structures like the lighthouse, for example, were highly rated in all the experiences.”

Sustainability, sustainability

“Sustainability and reuse was one of the project’s premises and was always present,” says Nuno Castro. Everything that couldn’t be reused was made from recycled material or would be recycled afterwards, he tells us.

Sara Duarte recalls that sustainability “is a central theme” for the brand. “In the area of music, in particular, we have very clear sustainability concerns, not least because the festival site is a green place, nature, which we make a point of not negatively impacting,” explains the brand manager. As far as the structures are concerned, “basically what we asked for was to avoid using plastic and disposable materials, and to reuse materials from the Super Bock Group,” she explains. For Sara Duarte, Multilem responded “brilliantly” to this question of sustainability.

The theme was also one of the premises of the most recent work between the Super Bock Group and Multilem at Meo Sudoeste, this time with the Sommersby brand and in the camping area. Nuno Castro shares that the challenge was: “how can we entertain the campers throughout the day, while the site isn’t open? The client wants to use the structure next year, all recyclable materials in OSB and pallets, take these structures and give them some grace, life and utility.” “The Sudoeste canal has been associated with the Sommersby brand for many years,” explains Sara Duarte, “and we felt we needed to innovate there too, to bring something new to the canal. From seagulls to stand-up paddle boards, with entertainment from DJs,” the visibility was “brutal” and “seeing it full of joy and Sommersby is super gratifying,” she says.

Utilising know-how in other segments

Multilem is a company with a large national portfolio, but with a strong international flavour, mainly linked to trade fairs. Although it has done projects for festivals, these were one-offs. “If we can do such complex, different things so far from home, we can also do them here in Portugal,” recalls Nuno Castro, and the aim is to “have a presence in the Portuguese market and use our know-how and creativity from another segment” in a wide variety of projects.

Jorge Assis recalls that the creative process is not very different. “We may have more or less institutional clients, but the need to work with the client and influence each other is the same.”