It was a record-breaking weekend with more than 343,000 people taking to Music City to revel in America’s independence at the 2019 Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th celebration.
Bandit Lites provided the lighting system for the event which featured performances from Brett Eldridge, Mac McAnally, Jessy Wilson, Dylan Scott, Creature Comfort, Jackson Bruck & The Dukes of Hume, Joe West Band, DJ set by Dave Audé, the Nashville Symphony and what some call the best fireworks show in the country.
Erik Parker of Chris Lisle Lighting Design used more than 120 Bandit supplied lights to create a set up that would complement the exuberance of those watching the show in person and translate well in wide-shots and close ups for the millions watching at home.
“Adding the element of being televised can for sure add some challenges to a lighting design,” explained Parker. “I’ve done a few different TV projects, and each have had their own personality but overall this wrapped with ease. In the design process, I tried to give plenty of opportunity to fill camera space and give the TV crew something interesting to include in their shots if they choose.”
With a StageLine stage on Broadway acting as the main music stage and due to limits on rigging, Parker first focused on the overlay of the stage, utilizing different truss angles and lengths to craft interesting looks that could also be made into a reality. He then added Claypaky Mythos and B-Eyes to give color and texture on the band and in the air, along with giving the onsite lighting directors a palate to create their own show. Lastly, Parker chose fixtures like the Martin Sceptrons that would showcase the stage even in the day light as well as add texture to the structure and truss design.
“We attached a ton of Martin Sceptrons to the face of the trusses vertically, giving height and texture to each of the straight sticks,” said Parker. “At the Ascend Amphitheatre where the Nashville Symphony played along with the fireworks display, I put a ton of Elation SixBar 1000s and Elation WW2s on the faces of the trusses to add color and texture to the overall structure look of that truss.”
Bandit also supplied GRNLite Moving Washes to illuminate Nissan Stadium, ETC Source Four Pars for a selfie station and nearly another 150 more fixtures including VL 3000 Spots, Martin MAC Auras, Elation SixPar 100s, Martin Sceptrons, Claypaky B-EYE K20s and Claypaky Mythos to light up the stage on Broadway where Brett Eldridge and other performed along with the Ascend Ampitheatre Stage where the Nashville Symphony performed.
Bandit’s team of Chris Noll, Trevor Drawdy, Tanner Peterson, Patrick Cowden, Scot Sepe, Scott Wesson, Dave Langford and Elliot Martin navigated the bustling downtown logistics to ensure that the lighting was nothing but a success.
“Bandit, once again, nailed it,” said Parker. “The crews, the house LDs (Chris Noll and Trevor Drawdy) all killed it and made it an easy and manageable process. Project Manager Donny Lockridge and Mike Golden both helped immensely in the bid process and paperwork before and the prep was none other than a Bandit, well-done job!”
As the fireworks erupted to the delight of the hundreds of thousands looking to the sky, Parker noted how the celebration is not simply the USA’s birthday, but the midway point of the year, offering everyone a moment to be thankful for what’s already been accomplished.
“This could be an opportunity to encourage folks to be proud of how far each of us have come so far this year,” he said, “and encourage each person to continually step up and create the life they wish to live. Imagine how different the new year of 2020 could be with even the smallest of steps taken today.”