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Bandit Lites Delivers Lighting to Socially Distanced Commencements at University of Tennessee

Thompson-Boling Arena at the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, Tennessee

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville held ten in-person commencement ceremonies November 19 - 22 at Thompson-Boling Arena for Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020 graduates. Bandit Lites supplied a lighting system for the socially-distanced event which included additional health and safety protocols, allowing graduates and their families the opportunity to safely gather to celebrate their momentous accomplishments.

"Though the ceremonies will look a little different, we have worked to preserve the spirit of a typical commencement so we can celebrate all our graduates, who have worked so hard for this moment," says provost John Zomchick in a press release.

Bandit Lites donated nearly 100 fixtures including VL 3000 Spots, CUEPIX Blinder WW4s, Chauvet COLORdash Block Lights, and Bandit's exclusive GRNLite Moving Washes.

"Much of the lighting we do for commencement could be considered utilitarian," explains Bandit Lites client representative and project manager Giff Swart. "We want the graduates to look good for pictures, so we need to have even lighting coverage. We also pay close attention to color temperature, so pictures look natural and colors are true. The CuePix WW4 provide nice coverage of the graduates in their seats. We used fifty-four GRN Moving Head LED Wash to light the ramps and stage; they just continue to be workhorses and are as punchy as ever! Twelve VL 3000 Spots were used to highlight the lectern and other key positions. We used Chauvet ColorDash Blocks to light foliage and flags on the stage."

Each ceremony was limited to 200 graduates with a set number of guests. Everyone was required to wear masks and the seating was assigned and socially distanced. Graduates crossed the stage and refrained from handshakes or physical hoodings, and then left the arena, limiting large crowds from exiting at one time.

"The planning for this event was done very carefully in order to maintain social-distancing," says Swart. "One big departure for this event was that we did not use any black drape on our upstage truss in order to mitigate any possible restrictions in air flow."

"As I am a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, Bandit gives back every year," says Bandit Lites founder and chair, Michael T. Strickland. "Graduation is one of the many events Bandit illuminates for free; it is our way of saying thank you to the school that does so much for so many. It feels good to get back to in person, socially distanced graduations to allow the new graduates the experience of walking across the stage and starting the next chapter in their lives. It is a very important moment, and Bandit is proud to be involved. Our illumination creates an environment that the graduates will forever remember."

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(25 November 2020)

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