Fayetteville, N.C. (April 04, 2023) — The Fayetteville State University (FSU) Planetarium will mark the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s iconic 1973 rock album, The Dark Side of the Moon, with a stunning, full-dome visual experience.
The planetarium, an intimate, 65-seat venue that opened in May 2022, plans to run the show over the next year on most Friday evenings beginning April 6. The show will open on Apr 6, 7 & 8 at 7 & 8 p.m. Subsequent show dates will be Fridays at 7 & 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be ordered here. View the show’s trailer here. Visit the planetarium’s website for additional information.
Pink Floyd, a British rock band influenced by the psychedelia of the 1960s, popularized the concept album, of which “Dark Side” is a prime example. The group remains celebrated for its “extended compositions, sonic experimentation, (and) philosophical lyrics.”
“Dark Side” is one of the most important and popular rock albums of all time, having remained on the Billboard Top 200 album chart for 14 years.
The planetarium’s presentation of “Dark Side” commemorates the launch of the album at the London Planetarium in 1973. Part of The Planetarium Project, a recently begun Pink Floyd-sanctioned effort to celebrate the album at planetariums worldwide, the show embraces the cutting-edge technology that only a planetarium can offer.
“We are extremely proud that FSU’s planetarium is among the nation’s first to host the 50th-anniversary show commemorating Pink Floyd’s legendary album, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’” said Afua Arhin, PhD, dean of the College of Health, Science, and Technology. “It’s so fitting that the album’s historic debut took place in a planetarium and we are recreating that iconic moment in our state-of-the-art planetarium. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the university, our city, and the Sandhills. I can’t wait to see it.”
Joseph Kabbes, FSU’s planetarium and observatory manager, notes that there have been several other planetarium shows related to the “Dark Side” album.
“We didn’t have the capability to present anything like that at FSU,” he said. “Now that we have this incredible planetarium with world-class digital projection and sound systems, it’s an extraordinary opportunity for FSU to be a part of this. It’s a global event, and it will significantly raise the profile of our planetarium.”
Press materials for “Dark Side” describe its NSC Creative-made visuals as “breathtaking views of the solar system and beyond” and tout a “truly immersive and all-encompassing surround sound and visual treat that will transcend reality and take you way beyond the realms of 2D experience.”
Kabbes said the previews of the “Dark Side” planetarium presentation offered an incredible combination of visuals and music.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the FSU Planetarium to showcase what our world-class system can do,” he said. “We put more pixels (little dots of light) per square inch on the dome than any other planetarium in the world. We also have a 6500-watt sound system. In that space, the presentation of ‘Dark Side’ will be an unbelievable experience with greater detail and clarity than other planetariums can provide.”
Kabbes said the planetarium hopes to welcome 2000 visitors or more during the show’s year-long run. Proceeds will help support planetarium operations and programming, including efforts to bolster community outreach efforts to support area students interested in STEM.