NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – For the seventh year in a row, the biggest stars of country music performed in a celebration of all things country at the 2020 iHeartCountry Festival presented by Capital One®. Taking place at the Steel Mill with a lighting rig supplied by Bandit Lites, the main stage was hosted by Bobby Bones and featured performances by Dierks Bentley, Lady A, Sam Hunt, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Dustin Lynch, Jon Pardi, Riley Green, Morgan Evans, Gabby Barrett, and special guest Bobby Bones.
The festival was originally set to take place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on May 2nd, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual show took place Friday, October 23, and country fans were able to enjoy their favorite artists performing live (from the comfort and safety of their own homes).
Lighting designer Tom Kenny utilized a package with more than one hundred fixtures, including Ayrton Khamsin-S, Elation SIXPAR 100s, Claypaky Sharpys, Robe BMFL Spots, Robe ROBIN 600 LED Washes, TMB Solaris Flares and Color Kinetics ColorBlast TRX.
Following a few audience-free shows already in his repertoire, Kenny knew to build a design that would look big on camera, adding fixtures to the deck and rig to fill space.
“I really enjoyed the Ayrton profiles,” he said. “They have beautiful color, even power and the LED was constant.”
With no need for audience and scenic lighting, the rig worked exceedingly well for the event, and immense precautions were taken to protect all involved.
“We were very well covered on this shoot,” said Kenny. “Everyone from Bandit was very aware of the health and safety aspect as they’ve got their own strict protocol.”
“’A professional and extremely veteran production unit,”’ said Mike Golden. “That is how I would sum up the team from iHeart, with Dave Meyers from DPS, Tom Kenny and Fuji. Although we have worked with all three of these gentlemen in past, this was the first time we have had the opportunity to work with them as a team and it was an extreme joy.”
Even with the performances all taking place in the same space, the versatility of the lighting and video allowed a vast array of looks from lighting director David Fuji Convertino, whether it was Lady A belting it out in front of art deco windows or Thomas Rhett crooning in a single spotlight.
“All the artists where wooed and wowed when they came into the studio by the sheer elegance and dynamics of the show rig,” said Kenny. “The crew was made up of some of the most talented LDs on Dickerson Pike, so we had a multitude of experience on site, and with their high standards, Bandit always impressed.”
Bandit’s crew on the shoot included Craig Richter, Carter Fulghum and John Lucksinger with additional support from Project Manager Jimmy Hatten.
“It was quite literally an LD party at the Steel Mill,” finished Golden, “with our three crew members all established lighting directors combined with the iHeart staff and various artist LDs. Tom and Fuji knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish, and the finished product they delivered garnered a massive amount of positive feedback from our crew and the staff at Steel Mill. I sincerely look forward to the day we have the opportunity to work with this team again.”
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