Belmont Campus Shines for Final Presidential Debate with Bandit Lites

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – More than 55 million viewers watched as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met for the final presidential debate at Belmont University. Bandit Lites supplied the university’s exterior and site lighting, illuminating the campus in striking patriotic and branded looks.

Lighting designer Chris Lisle designed the exterior event lighting, working to up light and enhance any building or structures that would be seen as part of the televised broadcast, including the two main entrances to the Curb Event Center (where the debates took place), the Bell Tower (the main focus point of the campus) and the historic Freeman Hall (which boasts high visibility from Wedgewood Avenue).

Lisle reached out to Bandit Lites Vice President Mike Golden about a year prior, and even then he had a plan for the exterior.

“To look back at that preliminary work seems more like a lifetime ago, but Chris’s specification remained solid and aside from the questions regarding the debate schedule, everything went according to plan,” said Golden. 

The lighting was placed two weeks prior to the October 22nd debate, meaning the fixtures would need to be hardy enough to survive the weather. Bandit Lites supplied more than 160 fixtures for the event.

“For overall building wash, I used the Elation Paladin,” explained Lisle. “Since its debut, it has been my go-to fixture for these type events. For column and building uplight, we used a mixture of the Elation SixPar IP and the Chauvet Solo Batten; both fixtures are super bright and gave us that punch we needed to accent these structures. Finally, we used Source 4 ERS fixtures to highlight the many banners as well as project gobos onto some key surfaces.”

In addition to mindful lighting choices, Lisle had to be very intentional on the fixture placement and cable paths to ensure things were out of camera shots whenever possible.

“This was also one of my first events working under COVID protocols, so working within a safe environment was not necessarily a challenge, but something the event as a whole was focused on,” added Lisle. “Belmont and HCA did a fantastic job of making sure the campus was being managed as safely as possible.”

To streamline the efficiency of the lighting, Bandit’s crew meticulously prepped the package prior to the multi-phased and scheduled load-in.

“Bandit always does a fantastic job with the prep, and this was no exception,” finished Lisle. “(Project Manager) Gene Brian took careful time and detail to make sure cable lengths and runs were as clean as possible. Cody Cheatham and Justin Wilk were the on-site techs, and both did a great job in making sure that all was running at 100 percent. Mike Golden was the Client Representative and was great to work with.”

“The staff at Belmont also did a great job with their planning and schedule, and when I tuned in to the debate, I was very proud of the looks Chris had created,” finished Golden before adding, “and I know I speak on behalf of all at Bandit in saying we were very honored to have been a part of such a historic event.”

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