Bandit Lites going Green might have taken many more years had it not been for Jackson Browne and Crosby, Stills and Nash. In mid 2008, Bandit San Francisco General Manager Dizzy Gosnell became engaged with longtime Jackson Browne production manager Dennis Scrimo, lighting designer David Davidian, and managers extraordinaire Cree and Buddha Miller. The question was put to Diz, “How can we go Green this year”, and that set Bandit to thinking. The only solutions available at that time were either very expensive or very low quality. Bandit immediately set out to test a large number of various devices to determine the best, affordable option. That summer Jackson willingly served as a proving ground for various types of LED solutions. There were several immediate upsides to an all LED rig; low power consumption, endless and vivid color varieties, and the point most impressive to the musicians – no heat on stage!
Jackson took out an all LED system in 2008 that was purely an experiment. As Buddha and Cree are also in management for Crosby, Stills and Nash, the conversation shifted to “greening” CSN as well. The rest of 2008 and all of 2009 saw Bandit working away with two very interested and cooperative acts to arrive at a solution. Bandit worked with teams from Oak Ridge National Labs and a new firm called GRNLite to develop products that were high quality, bright, feature laden and affordable. After a great deal of collaboration with the think tank in Oak Ridge a number of fixtures emerged that fit the bill.
In early 2010 Bandit Lites hit the road in the US and Europe with Jackson Browne and Crosby, Stills and Nash on two separate tours, all 100% Green with LED systems. All parties were elated with the finished products and the tours are out until December 2010, showcasing the environmentally friendly, artist friendly and cost effective GRNLite technology. Both tours feature GRN PAR 3 x 36, GRN Wash 3 x 36, GRN Moving Wash 3 x 120 and GRN Batten 3 x 54.
The lighting director for Jackson Browne is Steve Comer while Jimmy Hatten serves as the lighting director for CSN. Both Comer and Hatten are elated about the new technology they have been able to utilize this year and have nothing but rave reviews for the gear. Their creative pallets are widened by the mere fact that any light on the stage can produce every color in the rainbow! Both shows feature very vivid power washes and the most incredible, powerful moving wash light in the marketplace.
Musician David Crosby, in a conversation with Bandit founder Michael T. Strickland, offered up a testimonial. David raved about the complete lack of heat on stage at all times, and what a huge plus that was for all the musicians. He commented that on low trim days, when the lights would normally bake the stars on stage, heat is no longer an issue.
Promoters and managers love the fact there is less power used which means less cable needed, hence less truck space, and generators are never required. All of this translates into lower show costs and happier artists, promoters and managers.
The commitment by Bandit to be 80% Green by December 2011 is a quite ambitious step, but one that Strickland feels must be taken. “The future of our industry, and indeed our planet, depends on application of new, environmentally friendly technology such as LED lighting sources.” says Strickland. Bandit is also working with Tyler Green Truss, Pixel Range, Vari Lite, Coemar, Martin, Robe, I-Pix, Element Labs, Color Kinetics, Phillips, Pulsar, Elation, Chroma-Q and other LED options as a part of the move to go green.
Melissa Ethridge, Shinedown, LCD Soundsystem, Blue October, Heart, Needtobreathe, Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, Tears for Fears, Jimmy Buffett, Jason Aldean, Neil Young, Widespread Panic, Toby Keith and others have all gone partially Green in 2010 with Bandit Lites. It all began with the vision and courage of the Jackson Browne and CSN camps and their willingness to take the lead in doing what must be done, at a time when others are skeptical.
Stay tuned for further information about the incredible journey into Green technology from Bandit Lites, Your GRN Solution!
About Bandit Lites
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.