NASHVILLE, INDIANA – The city of Nashville was already well known as a center for artists and artisans, but due to a 2009 fire that robbed the community of its music center (known affectionately as the “Little Opry,”) county officials sought to build a venue that would draw top touring artists. In an effort to craft a lighting system that would match the talent they sought, Brown County commissioned the global leader in concert lighting, Bandit Lites, trusting the sales and integration team to make the space usable for touring acts. From rigging to backstage layout and ultimately the lighting controls, Bandit’s team elevated the lighting to match the vision of the center.
“We wanted the stage to be a first class, state of the art lighting package,” explained Project Manager Doug Harden of Miller Architects. “Bandit delivered exactly that.”
Bandit Lites provided all the fixtures for the building, including the stage work lights, lobby lights and more, right down to the bathroom sconces. The state-of-the-art facility seats two thousand people but the venue’s designers made sure that the farthest seat is only 106 feet from the stage, meaning every fan is able to experience a stellar show. Furthermore, with a stage measuring almost eighty feet wide, Bandit’s team knew the fixture selection would have to be precise.
Bandit supplied Ayrton Mistrals, HES SolaFrame 1000s, Elation Professional DARTZ 360, Chauvet Professional STRIKE 4 blinder and strobes, Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Washes and ETC ColorSource Spots. In addition to the venue’s fixtures, Bandit’s team provided the Tyler Truss, Chainmaster Hoists from ACT Lighting and drapes from BellaTEX.
“We chose Aryton Mistral fixtures to be the workhorse spot over stage,” explained Bandit Lites’ Senior Systems Integrator Andrew Fisher. “They allowed us to get the punch and the numbers we needed to fill a 78’ wide stage without blowing our budget. Because they didn’t consume our budget, we had room to add LED beam, wash, and blinder units that rounded out an awesome effects package. There are also SolaFrame 1000’s on a FOH truss that can easily call up and adjust high CRI specials throughout the show without having to climb a truss to focus. We rounded out the look with ETC ColorSource Leko’s that provide a general front wash, featuring multiple lighting angles and great color fills for toners.”
Due to Bandit’s exemplary service in the touring industry, the sales team was uniquely qualified to provide luminaires that provide the level of lighting seen from top tier productions.
“Bandit supplied the Brown County Music Center with a remarkable lighting system overall,” praised lighting director Shea Briggs. “They were able to cater lighting needs to the building’s design, and I’d have to say that the Ayrton Mistral is my personal favorite. It’s a versatile fixture and that’s what I find so appealing about it. I’m able to create light pastel colors for various of washes or combine the two gobo wheels for morphing effects. Bandit’s placement of these fixtures within the lighting plot allows me to use them for their versatility.”
Bandit Lites also supplied an Avolites Tiger Touch II console with fader wing, allowing Shea to use accessible pre-programmed scenes while allowing for the ability to become interactive with the show whenever needed.
“My experience with Bandit’s service was nothing but positive,” finished Briggs. “Both John Jenkinson and Andrew Fisher were thorough when explaining the way things were setup and the equipment included. They were onsite for our soft openings and were kind enough to answer any questions that I had. They even programed some of the basics into the console. All the equipment is accurately labeled, and cables are neat where I can easily troubleshoot on show days with the touring acts, if need be. Bandit’s professionalism and precision allows for show days to run smoothly.”
Additional installs include S4 mini’s in the lobby to accent the signage (a fixture Harden hailed as “a perfect fit for what we wanted to achieve at a cost we could afford,”) as well as an ETC Paradigm lighting control system for building-wide controls.
“Believe it or not, we had the most challenges in the restroom areas, dealing with other trades taking allotted space,” said Harden. “We had to modify our fixtures, and Bandit was very flexible and quick to adapt.”
When the venue opened in in the fall of 2019, its first concert sold out in 15 minutes, and Vince Gill took to the stage with a state-of-the-art lighting system.
“Partnering with Doug and the entire Brown County Music Center team was a wonderful experience,” said John Jenkinson, Bandit Lites Installation Project Manager. “It was exciting to be a part of bringing this unique venue to life and adding to the rich musical heritage that make Brown County unique.”
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 ensure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you. More information available at www.BanditLites.com