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Bandit and C3 Transform Chi-Town to Draft Town

Bandit and C3 Transform Chi-Town to Draft Town

USA – Five trucks of lighting and rigging rolled into Chicago’s Grant Park, and soon after, a 300’ by 160’ arch structure covered two lanes of E Congress Avenue. With an expanse that could fit seven football fields, Bandit Lites and C3 Presents worked together to light NFL Draft Town. The event was attended by more than 200,000 sports fans, with millions more watching on television with bated breath as a fresh round of team members donned new jerseys.

Inside the structure, 12 truss positions made up of 500’ of truss were hung with 30 one ton motors fitted out with 80 Mac 2kW Washes, 12 VL 3000 Washes and 84 GRN Moving Wash fixtures.

“This was a show about getting a lot of light under the tent in a simple, repeatable layout that would help a tight schedule and still light up the interior and exhibits of the Fan Zone. To that end, we went with some reliable old favourites,” said designer Seth Jackson.

Two-hundred feet away from the grand entrance to Draft Town, a network of grandMA 1 consoles controlled the Robe BMFL Spot fixtures, fitted with custom NFL Logo dichroic gobos, projecting on bridge columns with colour from VL 3500 spots. The consoles controlled these fixtures, and the ones at Buckingham Fountain, using the wireless Show Baby DMX devices with Hi-Gain Antennas providing seamless, synchronised looks as each team took the clock.

“It was truly amazing to see these three areas change as each team was introduced; matching in colour the content of other LED and video media throughout the park for this outdoor experience,” said project manager Shawn Lear. “Lighting director Teresa Porterfield Fensler did a remarkable job.”

Bandit’s Dizzy Gosnell’s expertise in rigging created a smooth and timely load-in, as Bandit was also involved with rigging and supplying truss for both the video scoreboard centrally located in Draft Town and the NFL Draft sign at the entry arch.

In addition to the main archway, Bandit also provided support for the public areas where attendees could participate in flag football competitions, player appearances and autograph signings. LED, incandescent, and festoon lighting created colourful accents along the pathways and landscape, while the site lighting crew was also responsible for building many specified truss supports for signage and many of the sponsor booths.

Not far from Draft Town included a stage where various artists performed, including Philip Phillips and Marc Scibilia. Bandit supplied a basic two-truss system with 12 Mac 2kW Wash and Profile Fixtures with five 4-Light Mole Fays controlled with MA1 series consoles. Other stages included Up and Down Truss with GRN LED Pars and VL 2500 spots for the autograph stage and special guests.

“It’s always refreshing to do something completely new and different, and when in the company of C3 Presents and Seth Jackson, I know it will be a very professionally run operation with excellent creative flair,” said Bandit vice president Mike Golden. “This job was no exception and once again I stand in complete amazement at the scope of this project and how effortlessly it was handled. Brandon Sossamon and Mike Haney from C3 deserve special recognition for orchestrating this production and I know I speak for all at Bandit in saying we were honoured to be a part of this event.”

Jackson shared the main challenge to event was simply coordinating a performance space that was 300ft long and 170ft wide and all open to the public. “Things like cable management, case storage, all of those logistics became a much bigger deal when you don't have a backstage per say,” he said. “This project was really handled by Shawn Lear, who continually succeeds at managing all of the logistics, schedules, and crews needed to keep something like this show looking effortless to the client.”

“In the early stages there were many phone calls and a couple of on-site meetings before thing were realised and became final,” added Lear. “It’s always a pleasure working with Brandon Sossamon of C3 Presents on any of his events. His and Seth Jackson’s definitive directions makes our part of the project that much easier.” 

Bandit and C3 Transform Chi-Town to Draft Town Bandit and C3 Transform Chi-Town to Draft Town

4th June 2015

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