NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Bandit Lites is immensely proud to share David Butzler was awarded Lighting Director of the Year at the 6th Annual CMA Touring Awards. Previously known as the SRO (Standing Room Only) Awards, the since renamed CMA Touring Awards honor members of the Country Music Association who exemplify remarkable professional achievement.
David ‘Gig’ Butzler joined Bandit Lites in 1991 and his career in lighting has spanned the decades including his legendary lighting productions with country music super star Garth Brooks.
“The award for Lighting Director of the Year definitely sounds great, but it is an honor itself just to be nominated,” Butzler said adding, “and I’m proud to be mentioned along with all the other LDs who were nominated.”
While Butzler has been nominated for similar awards over his career, he is quick to share that it is the relationships, support and recognition by peers that make the award an honor, although it does have some welcomed side effects.
“Having a title such as ‘Lighting Director of the Year’ does tell someone that you have an idea of what you’re doing and that you can work with other people,” Butzler pointed out. “Being the lighting director of the show puts you out there by yourself calling the cues, hitting the go button, and doing everything your job requires, but it is important that you always have the support of other people.”
While on tour for Garth Brooks record-breaking world tour, Butzler had both John Hoffman (Butzler’s back up lighting director) and Programmer Aaron Swetland taking care of FOH; covering extensively the light breaks and allowing Butzler the peace of mind that his rhythm, concentration and focus on the show would not be broken.
“You have to depend on your crew and know that they’re going to fix any problems,” said Butzler. “Chuck Hastings, Adam Mac, Joseph Eberle and Steve Strickland make everything on the stage happen and, in knowing that, it makes it much easier to relax in a stressful situation like calling 10 to 23 house spotlights and calling cues for video.”
Butzler also credits his success on tour to not only the hardworking people on the tour, but also to the support he receives from Bandit’s Technical Service Department.
“It is good to know that those people are behind us if we have problems with the light that we can’t seem to figure out, or if there’s a problem with the console you can always call them,” said Butzler. “You can’t always carry enough spare lights, but it is good to know when you have a problem that you’ll have parts there the next day, or an answer to your console problems. Trust me, I’ve been on tours before where it’s very hard to get good support.”
While Garth’s tour proved to be one the of most successful tours of all time, Butzler’s experience was one he touts as working with family, many of who were also nominated for their outstanding work on the production.
“Dave is first and foremost an extremely talented lighting designer,” said Bandit Chair Michael T. Strickland of Butzler. “His thirty plus year career has encompassed a huge number of act and events. Dave has worked in concerts, film and television with regularity. Above all, I am fortunate enough to call Dave a great friend. Dave and I have been close for many years and there is no one I would rather have with me in a tough time. God bless you Dave and well done my friend! No one deserves this more.”
“Not everybody can win but it’s good to know they are also recognized for a job well done,” finished Butzler. “As the saying goes, it always comes down from the top. Working with the people that support you, your thoughts and your dreams makes it easier for you to do what you do. I just got to say I’m very proud to be working with all the people that are on this tour, and all the people that support it.”
About Bandit Lites, Inc.
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. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you. More information available at www.BanditLites.com