The magic of Bernd Koch’s light shows has been shining at events for over 30 years

Creating visible dreams: From liquid lights, colours, and kaleidoscopic effects, the local artist’s light projections recreate visible dreams for every type of party or event, ensuring unforgettable memories

– June 13, 2024 | Text Beatriz Maio

Bernd Koch Psycho Lights - 2

Using advanced lighting techniques and his 16 analogue projectors, Bernd Koch manages to transport us to a different universe, thanks to strong colours and geometric images.

Bernd’s light show completely transforms a space, giving it a new lease of life, where a visual spectacle lets your imagination run wild. His unique style with a psychedelic touch entertains different audiences in a fun and unexpected way.

Bernd Koch Psycho Lights

In the late 1980s, Bernd decided to leave his home country of Germany for France in search of a change of pace. As he holidayed there regularly and enjoyed French culture, he decided to move to Millau, in the Aveyron area.

There, he ventured into the restaurant business with a take-away pizzeria that he ran for 10 years. After that, he decided to sell the place and bought a house with land and an old bread oven from the 15th century in Pégairolles-de-Buèges, in the department of Hérault, where he ran another pizzeria for 14 years.

Bernd Koch Psycho Lights

A fan of punk, rock, and electronic music, Bernd felt that when he attended festivals, the visual effects did not match the quality of the music, which planted the idea in his head of one day creating something he had never seen before.

Three years later, he decided to try something different as a side project: selling T-shirts with music bands or funny phrases. Bernd was commercialising his products at events with a similar style and ideology to his own and, one day, at a techno music party in a pine forest, in the south of France, everything changed.

Bernd Koch Psycho Lights

He had decided to ‘decoratehis stall with lights from his projectors, which caught the crowd’s eyes. The lack of stage lights at the party gave him an opportunity that even he could not have imagined. Without knowing it, this was the beginning of Psycho Lights.

“I used some old projectors that I bought at the flea market and transformed them with handmade effects and turned them to light up the stage, and everyone loved it,” recalled Bernd, who after that experience was invited to ‘perform’ at the next party.

Created spontaneously in 1991, Psycho Lights has endured to this day and has already shined at hundreds of events and parties, for all types of crowds. The countless possible effects led the visual artist to years of research, which resulted in the incredible spectacle he projects today.

From liquid lights of all colours and kaleidoscope effects to discs that project space images, imaginary worlds, and planets in psychedelic mode, Psycho Lights has “everything to create visible dreams”. Not knowing exactly what to expect makes the experience even more exciting. “Not only does the stage serve as a backdrop, but the whole area of the event can be used,” Bernd explained.

These magical atmospheres take place both indoors and outdoors. In addition to distortion effects, rotating prisms, and different lenses, dance floors can also be given a different atmosphere with special fog effects and colour beams.

Bernd travelled a lot in his van around Portugal and Spain, and visited almost every region of France but it was in Lagos that he settled in March of 2020. He bought a restaurant, which seemed like an excellent opportunity, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced him to close it down. However, his decision to live in Lagos remained unchanged.

Bernd Koch Psycho Lights

After getting to know Portugal from top to bottom, as a result of the countless times he has holidayed in the country, Bernd has realised that it is the Algarve region that captivates him the most.

Here, he has already provided entertainment at various events in Portimão, Monchique, and Faro, and hopes to be part of many more, as well as in the rest of the country, which has already happened at the well-known Boom Festival in Idanha-a-Nova.

Over the years, Bernd has been combining this hobby with various full-time jobs, often feeling that his learning and progress are limited.

Bernd Koch Psycho Lights

“As my material is old school, it becomes more and more difficult to find effects in good condition, and for some types, it’s almost impossible to make them myself without a big investment,” stressed the artist who now also performs at birthdays and private parties, weddings, festivals, and events.

Already working on different fronts, from entertainment to mental health support, Bernd wants to go even further and make his project environmentally friendly by using projectors with LED lights.

Part of what he would like to see happen in the future, in addition to a greater concern for sustainability, is also a greater appreciation of lighting and decoration artists. He believes that although they are often considered accessories, lights can convey a message of much greater value.

They can be part of the image we keep of an event or location forever, and they can foster creativity. Bernd’s Psycho Lights “have different functionalities and can convey different emotions”, they can just as well be projected in discos and psychiatric hospitals or autistic facilities.

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Author: Inside Magazines

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