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Bandit Brings the Lights to Big Blue Madness

Bandit Brings the Lights to Big Blue Madness
Bandit Brings the Lights to Big Blue Madness

USA – It was a capacity crowd at Rupp Arena on 16th October, as the University of Kentucky’s Wildcats took the court for their annual Big Blue Madness. The exhibition basketball game marks the first ‘official’ practice, and consists of grand spectacles, lasers, fireworks and stunning lighting provided by Bandit Lites.

Bandit has provided the lighting for Big Blue Madness since 2011, and every year the team works to outdo the year before, with this year being no different. Lighting designer Aaron Swetland worked to create a design that both filled the massive stadium and light the basketball court. The result was an enormous eight point star design with circle truss nestled in the middle covered in hundreds of moving lights.

“When you do a concert, you do 60 by 40 area, but Big Blue is huge, so we used a ton of wash fixtures like VL 3500 washes over the court to give a big fat beam look,” said Swetland.

Lighting equipment included Mac 2000 profiles and washes, Coemar Infinity washes, Chauvet Legend 230SR Beams, Color Kinetics lwBlasts, GRN Par 64 and GRN washes, with two grandaMA 1 full consoles.

With Kentucky’s colours consisting of white and blue, Swetland was instructed to only use those colours in the light show.

“You’re trying to create a high energy environment using a palate that I would traditionally consider more ballad like,” said Swetland. Using Bandit’s own speciality GRN Moving Washes, he was able to get the rich, saturated blues from the LED fixture, as opposed to arc fixtures that requiring colour mixing.

Swetland credits the crew who worked the event as help ensuring its success, specifically lighting director John Lucksinger. Additional support came from Andrew Heid, Shane Harrington and Joey Herring.

“It is a great honour for Bandit to be a part of the Big Blue Madness production team,” said Brent Barrett of Bandit Lites. “This production, under the guidance of Bob Stoops, is indeed the gold standard for College Basketball introductions.”

“We strive to make this event special for the fans and players, and the lighting for the event plays a huge part in the atmosphere,” said Bob Stoops, technical services manager for Lexington Center Corporation. “We wanted a big look and Bandit brought in a big rig with several circular trusses along with a lot of angled and raked trusses that were spread over the floor and into the stands. With hundreds of moving lights the evening looked spectacular. It is nice to have a college basketball event that looks like a big rock show. Kudos to Bandit!”

3rd November 2015

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