Unique rotating ice rink

On October 1 this year, musical De Tocht will premiere in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. This production brings the “magic” of the Elfstedentocht to life. The Elfstedentocht is a legendary, nearly 200-kilometer skating tour on natural ice, which was last held in 1997. Ice-World built the world’s first 360º rotating ice rink for this production.

Dirk-Jan Kaan
26 September 2023

360-degree ice

The musical will be performed in the Friso Theater in Leeuwarden, which was built especially for De Tocht. The centerpiece is the grandstand, where some 1,500 people can take their seats. Around it is Ice-World's 360º ice floor. The inner ring of the floor is 870m2 and weighs 140 tons. This rink can rotate completely, creating a special experience. The audience thus gets a 360 experience and is taken into the story while singing and skating. A unique project where technology, out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration come together beautifully.

Technical masterpiece

From the beginning of the project, Ice-World was involved for its expertise and knowledge of ice floors. Within a technical project group, everything was first thought out technically, from the technique of spinning to the temperature and thickness of the ice floor. Solutions were also found for climate control, ventilation and dehumidification in the theater. After all, 1,500 visitors take quite a bit of heat with them.

For the construction, Ice-World deviated from the normal way of building an ice rink. To lay down a round ice rink, special spacers allow for the natural bending of aluminum tubes, which ensure the freezing of the floor. The tubes are connected to the freezing system. And then we immediately come to the biggest challenge. The inner ring has to be disconnected from the freezing system during the show and keep its cold throughout. For this purpose, the ice floor is reduced to -15 degrees, where otherwise -10 degrees is sufficient. And where the system normally only freezes the water layer from below, it was now chosen to place the system in the middle of the 10-centimeter-thick ice floor. This bottom and top cooling ensures extra-long good ice, despite the disconnection of the system. Ideal, then, for a musical of 2.5 hours.


Extensively tested

The ice floor was extensively tested in a shed to make sure everything worked properly. Then 8 Ice-World employees built the entire ice floor in the theater in 10 days. A fantastic project. We wish the musical De Tocht success!