childish gambino (as pharos)

PHAROS Performance Image: Credit Ibra Ake (Wolf + Rothstein)

*(Joshua Tree, CA) — In the majestic, stark desert of Joshua Tree CA, two-time Grammy Award nominee Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) debuted new music from a forthcoming album on Glassnote Records. It was an immersive experience of rich audio and visuals for five performances over Sept. 2, 3, and 4, where each was a singular event.

Inside Gambino’s “world” – a 150 foot diameter, 60 foot high dome that held 2,500 fans each show – a next-level visual display synced with the music. To create the experience, creative director Childish Gambino partnered with Microsoft on design content; with Mikael Gustafsson (3D modeling); and with Alejandro Crawford and Brian Chasalow (3D animation). In an effort to secure the new music (no release date set), visitors received personal Yondr lockbags to store their mobile phones.

Elsewhere on the grounds of the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, campgrounds created an on-site community, an “Illumination Forest” installation (Sarah Landau) was constructed with bio-luminescent smart-material (Elena Corchero), and an outdoor amphitheater screened the first three episodes of the new FX series, Atlanta.

The PHAROS weekend was conceptualized by Childish Gambino, executed by Wolf + Rothstein (the management company that guides the career trajectories of Childish Gambino, Kari Faux, and bLAck pARty) in conjunction with Mick Management and produced by Live Nation.

Shows were announced in late June when Childish Gambino tweeted coordinates to the app which launched a countdown that ultimately revealed the weekend of shows. Originally planned as one performance per night, the shows sold out in six minutes, prompting late-night show additions on Sept. 2 and 3. Each $99 ticket included taxes, fees, and campground access to those aged 21 and over. Tickets were sold exclusively via the PHAROS app, which utilized special technology to prevent scalping. Fans were provided in-depth information at


Wolf + Rothstein
Source – Donald Glover
Tone – Fam Udeorji
The Wolf – Chad Taylor
Art – Ibra Ake app
Executive Producers – Wolf + Rothstein
Technical Lead – Miles Konstantin (Proverse)

Event Producers:
Executive Producers – Wolf + Rothstein
Associate Producers – Mick Management
Producer – Live Nation

Dome Content:
Executive Producers – Wolf + Rothstein
Technical Leads – Alejandro Miguel Justino Crawford, Brian Chasalow, Chelsea Hash, Austion Woolfolk
Animation – Mikael Gustafsson
Content partner – Microsoft

Illumination Forest
Lighting Designer – Sarah Landau
Bio-luminescent smart-material – Elena Corchero (Lost Values)

Outdoor theater
Content Provider – FX

PHAROS players
Source – Childish Gambino
Musical Director – Ludwig Goransson
Keys – Lynette Williams
Bass – Thomas Drayton
Drums – Chris Hartz
Percussion – Dani Markham
Guitar – Sam Sugarman

Jason Morales
Musique Cooks
Dennis Clark
Nita Hutton
Nikisha Grier
Danielle Withers

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