The iconic charity event Farm Aid turned 25 in 2010. Founder Willie Nelson said “In 1985 I never imagined we would be doing this ever again, let alone 25 years later!” The vision to end the plight of the American Farmer is still with us, and dedicated to helping their cause is the greatest annual charity event on earth, Farm Aid. Nelson is joined by Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews as the core group behind the cause.
The event has been run for many years by the extraordinary Ron Stern, ably assisted by Lyle Centola. Designer Stan Crocker has been at the helm of the visuals for many years and he delivers magic every time. Working with Bandit Knoxville GM JR Sander and crew chief Eroc Shafferman, the show was a complete success, capping 25 great years. Bandit has been involved since 1990 and welcomes this most important event every year.
Crocker used a wide offering of fixtures including Martin MAC 2000 Washes, Martin MAC 2000 Profiles, Martin MAC 250 Spots, Vari Lite VL 3000 Washes, Vari Lite VL 3500 Spots, Coemar Infinity XL Washes and Lycian 1271 spotlights. There was the usual mountain of trussing and cable also supporting PARs, ETC Source 4's and Thomas 8 Light Units. The entire show was controlled by several Martin Maxxyz and Wings, Martin M-1 and Martin Maexedia II controllers. The consoles were expertly controlled by lighting directors extraordinaire Mark Carver and Seth Rollison.
The behind the scenes staff run by Carolyn Mugar and Glenda Yoder kept the well-oiled machine running smooth as always. This years Silver Anniversary saw special guest that included Kenny Chesney, Norah Jones, Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson and Steven Tyler.
Lighting designer Crocker is well known for his work on numerous television shows, live events and touring work. “Working with such a true craftsman and artist as Stan Crocker, coupled with the organization of Ron Stern and Lyle Centola means this is a world class event” says Bandit Chairman Michael T. Strickland. “We look forward to this event every year, though we wish there were no need for it”.
As Farm Aid turns 25 everyone wonders how long it will be before there will not be any need to do such a show, It is indeed a biter sweet event, but a lot of fun for a great cause and vital money is raised for the struggling farmers.
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Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace. From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. With offices in Knoxville, Nashville, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Bandit's global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.
Photo Credit Paul Natkin / Photo Reserve, Inc