The world's biggest basketball preseason show turned to Bandit Lites in 2011 in order to have the most dynamic show possible for what promises to be a National Championship season. The event is held every year at midnight on the first day of practice. Kentucky always sells out the event, 25,000 rabid fans strong. The coaches, players, fans and celebrities pack Rupp Arena for a 3-hour show. The event has gained such stature that it is shown live on ESPN. Because of the NBA strike, the house was full of former Wildcat NBA stars, such as John Wall.
The evening was electric as the arena was bathed in Kentucky Blue all night while the crowd was entertained by speeches from Coach John Calapari, player introductions, cheerleaders, dance teams, celebrities and finally, an inter squad scrimmage.
Bob Stoops, Technical Services Manager of Rupp Arena and David “Hud" Haney of SGSP/ ShowRig were calling the shots for the event and they produced an event second to none. Lighting Designer Aaron Swetland was the illumination creative force behind the event and he delivered a stunning product. A massive ShowRig truss structure carried hundreds of MAC 2000 Profiles, MAC 2000 Washes, Coemar LED Pars and other fixtures. The console of choice was a Grand MA, and of course, there was tons of smoke throughout the night.
The level of excitement created by the show fed the crowd, who in turn energized the players, and the entire event was a Big Blue Feeding Frenzy! The event began on October 14th and rolled into the 15th.
The day following the event the Boston Pops Orchestra, with lighting designer Pamela Smith and Technical Director H. Russ Costa took control of the system, reconfigured things, and produced another stunning masterpiece for a different crowd on the night of the 15th. In addition to the existing fixtures, the Pops added some VL 1000's, Source Fours and Source Four PARs. The Pops played along with the University of Kentucky Symphony, the UK Choir and the Lexington Singers Children Choir, providing a grand total of over 450 performers on stage. This was another special evening as the Pops worked their magic for the good people of Lexington. The event was held in dual celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Keenland Horse Park and in celebration of the youth outreach program of the University of Kentucky.
The evening was typically elegant as are all Pops events, with dining tables gracing the floor and appropriate mood lighting for the carpeted, draped and silver serviced event. The musical performance was top notch under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart. The entire state celebrated this evening with the unparalleled event. Bandit was very proud to play a part in this historic night.
Bandit Lites is grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this production and thanks Bob Stoops and Dave “Hud” Haney for making it all possible.
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. Your GRN Solution, leading the LED evolution