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Bandit Lights Largest 4th of July Celebration in the Country

Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing!

More than 150,000 people turned out for what the city of Nashville hailed as the largest Fourth of July firework show in the country. Bandit Lites provided the lighting for Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing! where Martina McBride, Missy Ekko, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra performed.

Since the design process began long before the headliners were announced, lighting designer Chris Lisle knew to keep the look "fixture neutral" while still keeping in mind the needs of the orchestra. "I try to lay out the rig in a way where the headliner will be able to come in and make something happen with a mixture of spot, wash, and beam fixtures," said Lisle.

The design this year consisted of six "fingers" running upstage to downstage with alternating spot and wash fixtures on each of them. Additionally, several VersaTube frames had Sharpys above them to give hard-hitting ACL type looks from the back.

Equipment for the Jack Daniels Main Stage included Martin Professional MAC 2000 Washes, MAC Viper Profiles, MAC Auras, ETC Source Fours, Lycian M2 Spots, and grandMA 2 Full consoles. Additional equipment included GRNLite Par 64s, GRNLite Moving Washes, and one grandMA Lite.

"One big factor that we keep in mind is how low trusses/pods hang. The folks standing on Broadway can actually see some of the fireworks through the stage (there are no backdrops, scenic, etc.) so we try to keep that line of sight minimally obstructed."

As with any outdoor event, the main challenge for the free concert was the weather. As thunderclouds gathered over Nashville, the crew worked to ensure both the gear and those in attendance were protected from the elements.

"We try to keep the rig tucked up under the roof system the best that we can, and bag fixtures as possible to help combat this," said Lisle before adding, "As always, Bandit delivered another fine product for sure. From the prep process through the execution, I can always count on them knocking it out of the park. [lighting director] John Lucksinger came in and did some awesome magic with the rig as well."


(17 August 2015)

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