Each week we aim to demystify the world of AV equipment and event services lingo and reveal exactly what those techs are talking about. In this weeks Techie Tuesday we look at the product launch favourite, the ‘Kabuki Drop’.

  • Audio Visual Discipline: Staging
  • Audio Visual Event Category: AV Effect
  • AV Jargon: Kabuki, Reveal

What is a Kabuki Drop?

A Kabuki Drop describes a swift and sudden reveal, using drapes or curtains that drop to the floor, exposing hidden elements for the audience to see on stage.

What events are Kabuki Drop used on?

Events such as product launches and live performances commonly use a kabuki drop to provide the audience with mystery, surprise, excitement and a focus. The drop is set up by suspending drapes/curtains on hooks or magnetic clamps that can be released via a remote control positioned off stage. The kabuki can hide any element of an event such as a new product, a live band or even a celebrity presenter. When other elements are combined such as a evocative sound, moving lights, video projection (2D or 3D), and smoke effects, they build to a dramatic finish resulting in the dropping of the kabuki.

Check out this video which features a kabuki drop in action at the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar launch.


For this event, the car was positioned on a stage, hidden behind a white circular kabuki, which was also used as the canvas for a projected video presentation. The kabuki played a major role in creating focus and generating audience excitement around the product.

What is needed to create a Kabuki drop?

A few specific items are required for an effective kabuki drop:

  • Rigging: overhead rigging is required above stage to attach the kabuki hardware.
  • Hardware: remote controlled hardware is required to release the kabuki on cue.
  • Kabuki: a material, cloth, drape, or curtain is required to provide a barrier that can drop.

Up next week…

Next week we shine a light on gobo’s and how they can shape your next event. In the meantime if you have any AV terms or words you would like our AV experts to tackle leave a comment on the blog post below or join in the conversation on Twitter @EncoreAPAC #TechieTuesday.

 Image source: Gerriets | Kabuki G2 Drop System

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