30 Under 30: Hailey Featherstone, Lighting Tech/FOH Tech

In celebration of LDI’s 30th anniversary—1988-2018—Live Design gives a shout out to 30 Under 30: thirty young movers and shakers who are changing paradigms, looking at things from new angles, and rapidly rising to the forefront of their field. From scenic, lighting, projection, and costume designers to technicians and programmers, as well as those who work for manufacturers, production companies, or rental shops, our 30 Under 30 are the harbingers of tomorrow.

Surrounded by light all her life, Hailey Featherstone was practically raised backstage, eyeballing the lighting cues of her father, John Featherstone, principal at Lightswitch. Since then, she has gone from strength to strength and transitioned from a successful college design path at Arizona State University under the tutelage of Jake Pinholster, to a successful career, working with artists as diverse as Paul McCartney and Beyoncé, and corporate projects for McDonalds and Mercedes Benz. With a talent belying her years, Featherstone will be one to watch in the years ahead.

Man Made concert at the Day&Night in Manchester, England

Name: Hailey Featherstone 

Age: 25

City, State of residence: Chicago, IL

Position/title: Lighting technician/front of house tech 

Employer (if not freelance): Freelance

Current project(s): FOH tech for Taylor Swift's Reputation Tour 

Most notable achievements: Once Mike Hosp told me I did a good job 

When I started in this industry: Technically, probably around 16, but I basically grew up at gigs. (Shout-out to all the Featherstone roadie babysitters!)

How I got into this industry: My dad is a lighting designer, and in high school, I figured out I wanted to be one, too!

Influences: Olafur Eliasson, Talking Head's "Stop Making Sense," Julia Margaret Cameron, and Andi Watson

Worst advice I’ve ever heard: "Don’t start thinking.”

Best advice I’ve ever heard: "If you feel safe in the area you're working in, you're not working in the right area. Always go further into the water than you feel you're capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting." - David Bowie

R&J/Void- my cumulative lighting design project for my degree at Arizona State University

My favorite thing about the production industry: I love the pace of touring and big events. I think really innovative and exciting things happen when very talented and intelligent people are a little under the gun. 

Favorite design/programming/technical trick: MA Lighting grandMA image pools. Old trick, but nothing is funnier than trolling people's lock screens. 

Plans for the future: Be the first woman to lead lighting design for the Olympics Opening Ceremony; befriend Beyoncé; be the best lighting designer in the world. Seems doable. 

Other interests/side gigs: Film photography, cooking, talking to my mom

Other: Just happy to be here! 

Website if applicable: hafeath.wixsite.com/lightingdesign

Check out Live Design/LDI's other 30 Under 30: