By Lindsay Dickson, Minnesota State Fair Foundation
Visitors to the 2011 Minnesota State Fair were invited to enjoy the magic of singing together in the first-ever Giant Sing Along. A field of microphones welcomed everyone to sing their lungs out to this year’s voted hits, karaoke style. A large screen featured the lyrics of modern and nostalgic songs, while software magic helped everyone sing in unison. Supported by Bremer Bank and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Giant Sing Along was one of the most talked about new activities at the State Fair, drawing 45,000 singers and thousands more spectators.
Playing on the contagious energy of the State Fair, guests were able to connect with one another by participating in a remarkable and innovative self-organizing, auto-tuning Giant Sing Along that is relevant to Minnesota’s choral traditions. Songs ranged from “Ring of Fire” and “You Are My Sunshine” to more recent hits by Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
Montreal-based artists Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, who come from the fields of interaction design and narrative environments, and research new ways to tell stories, created the Giant Sing Along. Regarding the Giant Sing Along, Andraos and Mongiat said, “Building on the contagious, positive energy of the fair, participants will connect with one author by sharing in a collective and moving musical experience. This uplifting activity is accessible to all and designed with the goal of inspiring guests to do something in unison.” More of their work can be found at livingwithourtime.com.
The goal of the Giant Sing Along was to create a family-friendly, participatory and interactive art experience, putting the State Fair at the cutting-edge of the integration of remarkable artwork at major public venues similar to the Vancouver Olympics or Toronto’s Nuit Blanche Festival. The audience and the participants will garner unifying joy, connecting all socially and culturally.
ABOUT THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR FOUNDATION
Established in 2002, the Minnesota State Fair Foundation develops projects and raises funds for capital and program improvements on the fairgrounds, including cultural and artistic expressions like the Giant Sing Along. For additional information, visit msffoundation.org.
ABOUT THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR
The Minnesota State F air is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting nearly 1.8 million visitors annually. Showcasing Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is always Twelve Days of Fun Ending Labor Day. The 2012 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 23-Labor Day, Sept. 3. Visit mnstatefair.org.