Port Lighting Systems: Four Nights, 250 Mayors, and the City of Boston

(Matt Teuten) Closing night Pointer Sisters concert in Copley Square for the four-day 86th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors.

At Port Lighting, we love a challenge. When Michael P. Wasserman, Inc. hired us to design and install lighting, provide technical direction, and manage production (overseeing lighting, video, rigging, audio, staging, power, and aerialists) for the evening events for the 86th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors hosted by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh June 8-11, 2018, we knew we were signing on to tackle creative, logistical, and technical challenges—and we loved every minute of it.

For four consecutive days, while 250 of the nation’s mayors convened at the Marriott Copley Place to discuss the priorities of America’s cities, Port’s Event Lighting & Production Services team perfected four separate indoor and outdoor locations for the four consecutive nights of events designed to showcase the best of Boston—including a mobile stage with full lighting rig for a Pointer Sisters concert in Copley Square.  


The evening celebrations kicked off with a clam bake at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. In the venue’s Museum Pavilion, our lighting featured themed, patterned color washes, while in Smith Hall, projection mapping on the walls displayed inspirational quotes from historic Bostonians.

Along the outdoor Boulevard of Flags at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center, we built massive truss arches with waterproof lighting fixtures (just in case), leading to the concert stage hosting eight separate bands throughout the night. For the finale, our greatest technical challenge: devising safe, innovative rigging solutions to allow a collaborative, otherworldly performance featuring the Earth Harp (which transformed the venue into a string instrument through our created rigging points), a tap dance troupe, and the death-defying Bandaloop aerial performers—whose flight we carefully calculated through further inventive rigging. Without fixed rigging points, spectacles like these are tricky, but we are dedicated to safety and finding a way.

Inside the stately Boston Public Library, a different band played in every room, and we lit each band and surrounding space to evoke specific musical themes, from salsa to rock to jazz. Guests never knew an unavoidable tight load-in time required impeccable logistical coordination between the evening’s other talented vendors and our crew. While an after-party in the BPL’s newly renovated Johnson building came alive with a DJ and our 3D laser ceiling projections, the BPL’s exterior frontage came alive—almost literally—through a 3D projection map previously designed for First Night Boston, which allowed us to run customized video content highlighting specific architectural areas of the facade.


That 3D projection mapping on the BPL’s façade became the backdrop for the grand finale in the event series: the aforementioned Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters concert in Copley Squarefree, to allow Bostonians share in the excitement surrounding the conference.

Huge thanks to our invaluable operations and warehouse crew for teeing up every detail for our onsite production team, to Matt Teuten for capturing and sharing the bulk of these images, and especially to Michael P. Wasserman, Inc. for bringing us aboard this incredible string of events. It was an honor to collaborate with you and the many other talented vendors who made it all possible.

Key Equipment:
1 - GrandMA 2 Full
2 - GrandMA 2 Light
2 - Hog 4 Full
1 - ETC Gio @5
14 - Elation Paladin
21 - Robe Megapointe
4 - Robe Pointe
82 - Martin Mac Aura
30 - Alpha Spot QWO 800
28 - SGM G1 Beam
60 - Elation Level Q7
16 - Robe 1000 LED Beam
16 - Robe BMFL Spot
10 - SGM G-Spot
19 - Mac Viper Profile
22 - Clay Paky B-Eye K20
16 - Martin Mac Quantum Profile
10 - Solaframe 750
40 - ETC Color Source
20 - Chroma Q Color Force II
310 - Eternal Lighting Cube Echo
4 - Christie Boxer 30k Projector
8 - Christie 14k Projector

Project Team:
Kyle Stetson

Lee Mulder 
Graham Edmondson 
Mariana Maranhao 
Tyler Trofatter
Kyle Kurkjian
Steve Bearse 

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