Fox Upfront

The Final look at the 2023 Fox Upfront

The pill stage included a sleek bar built into the stage

The Pill stage doubled as a stage and a bar for guests of the event

The Fox Upfront 2023 included an immersive set design and a party-like atmosphere

Gordon Ramsey and Michael Strahan speak on the pill stage at the 2023 Fox Upfront

A design rendering of the 2023 Fox Upfront

A glowing halo pill light fixture hangs above the audience to enhance the ambiance and highlight the stages

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Team ATOMIC was entrusted to collaborate with Empire on the design and build of a remarkable and immersive experience for the Fox Upfront 2023 event. This high-profile event was a blend of presentation and celebration, held at the historic Hammerstein Ballroom in the Manhattan Center. The goal was to create an elegant and versatile setting to accommodate over 2000 attendees and host distinguished presenters, including Gordon Ramsey and Michael Strahan.


ATOMICs’ Andi Blady worked with Joe Cantalupo (Production Designer) and Annalisa Podwin (Creative Director) of the Empire creative team, providing design support by exploring designs to help develop the space. The team developed the look of the room to support a concept based on a party with a presentation, instead of a traditional seated upfront style.
As designs became finalized, the ATOMIC Set Construction team was called in to be the main scenic shop to help custom fabricate various pieces for the upfront event, including:

Pill Stage & Bar:

The Pill Stage & Bar was designed in the shape of the negative space of the letter ‘O’ in FOX, capturing the brand’s essence. Key features of this stage included:

  • Oval-shaped stage measuring approximately 33′ L x 10′ W.
  • High shine black top surface for a sleek and sophisticated look.
  • Backlit LED trim along the perimeter, illuminating the gold-painted arches.
  • Built-in curved stairs for talent to walk up onto the bar/stage.
  • 300 linear feet of LED tape for added visual impact.

Apex Hero Stage:
The Apex Hero Stage featured a striking design to captivate the audience. The stage was approximately 70′ W and divided into 35′ segments, angled to form a central point in the middle of the stage which mimicked an “X”. Prominent elements of this stage were:

  • Integration of EPIX LED strips into each 35′ segment to create a visually dynamic environment.
  • 10′ tall theater flats at the back, featuring eight 6-foot EPIX-shaped insets (light-up slits!) in the walls.
  • Fabric-faced stairs allowing proper audio transmission while ensuring structural stability for presenter movement.
  • High shine black top surface to maintain consistency with the overall aesthetic.

Glowing Halo Pill Light Fixtures:
The Glowing Halo Pill Light Fixtures were impressive lighting installations that added an ethereal glow to the event. These fixtures were designed to enhance the overall ambiance and highlight the stages. Key features included:

  • Two fixtures, one measuring 50’L x 20’W and weighing 480 lbs., and the other measuring 33’L x 10’W and weighing 312 lbs.
  • LED-integrated with tunable RGB capability, allowing dynamic color changes to match the event’s mood.

Custom Soft Goods:
ATOMIC paid close attention to every detail, including soft goods to create a cohesive and visually appealing atmosphere. Swags were placed strategically behind main viewing screens and throughout the event space. The soft goods included:

  • Five individual 50’H x 14’W swags.
  • One massive 70’W gathered swag, adding a grand touch to the event.
  • Over 550 linear feet of additional soft goods to complete the overall design.


Overall, the innovative approach and meticulous attention to detail successfully transformed the Hammerstein Ballroom into a visually stunning and immersive space for the Fox Upfront event. The combination of the versatile Pill Stage & Bar, the captivating Apex Hero Stage, the glowing Halo Pill Light Fixtures, and the carefully crafted soft goods, all came together to create an iconic experience that showcased FOX’s brand identity and left a lasting impression on the audience. The event marked a significant milestone for Fox, as it was the first time they opted for an equal parts party and presentation for their Upfront, setting a new standard for future events. Many thanks to the Empire creative team for bringing team ATOMIC to the table for this successful event!