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Widespread Panic and Bandit Ring in Epic 2015

Widespread Panic and Bandit Ring in Epic 2015
Widespread Panic and Bandit Ring in Epic 2015

USA – Widespread Panic has been on the road for their fall tour, but they continued their tradition of closing out the year in an epic fashion and ringing in the next to insane fanfare as they performed at the Times Warner Cable Arena. Bandit Lites worked with lighting designer Paul Hoffman to light the event.

The legendary band included three sets of performances that were peppered with their classic hits and incredible covers. When the countdown clock struck midnight, “Auld Lang Syne gave way to “Burning Down the House” to a cover of the Rolling Stone’s “Happy” and ultimately, Pharrell’s “Happy.”

Hoffman augmented the band’s touring lighting system from the fall with tweaks to take advantage of all the available space in the arena, and to pack in a few surprises for the big countdown to midnight.

“My preferred list of equipment changes and evolves over the years as new technology emerges,” explained Hoffman. “I don’t jump on everything new that comes out – but certain fixtures and consoles become tried and true over time.”

Equipment for the event included Martin Vipers, GLP X4S, Clay Paky Sharpy, Elation LED 2-light blinders, Varilite VLMs, grandMA2 Consoles / NPUs, GrandMA VPU video server and Mirage video tiles.

One new addition this year was a fibre optic star curtain behind the band. Driven by an LED light source, thousands of points of light are made by distributing the light with tiny fibre optic cables inside the curtain. The result is a brilliant spectacle of light.

“Judging by the reactions that I got, I think the audience enjoyed it,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman shared that the main challenge for the evening is time, especially since the window for error is nonexistent.

“Bandit, as always, did a stellar job in assisting with the technical design, preparation and build/teardown of the system,” said Hoffman. “They continue to be a great asset to our team. There’s not a lot of wiggle room for problems. Planning is our best weapon here. Production manager Mike Smith and myself start working on this show a couple months out; it has become very collaborative between the two of us.”

Dizzy Gosnell, Bandit production director and client rep for Widespread Panic said: “The New Year’s Eve shows for Widespread are now a fixture of the New Year’s Eve landscape, the only variable is what town they’ll play at. Paul and Mike are so together with initial plans that it is a joy to put this show out every year. The photos on Widespread’s Facebook page from this event are truly jaw dropping.”

Widespread Panic will continue to tour in 2015 as they recently announced their spring 2015 leg, with upcoming shows in Spokane, Seattle and Los Angeles.

16th January 2015

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