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Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam Celebrates with Bandit Lites

Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam Celebrates with Bandit Lites

USA – It is not every day a country icon turns 80 years old, so Charlie Daniels did it up big with a massive concert, not only to celebrate, but to give back to a great cause. Bandit Lites provided the lighting package for the 41st Volunteer Jam which featured performances by the fiddle legend himself, Charlie Daniels, along with Luke Bryan, Three Doors Down, Kid Rock, Larry the Cable Guy, Chris Stapleton and Travis Tritt. Randy Travis later surprised Daniels by presenting him with the Rare Country Humanitarian of the Year Award to commemorate Daniels’ work with Journey Home, an NGO that helps US military veterans and the recipient of the $245,000 raised that evening.

Lighting designer Bryan Madaris knew this year’s special event would be on a larger scale, with the party taking place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

“I decided to go big, but keep it cool and simple,” said Madaris. “We knew a month out that it would be a sellout with over 16,000 people. When you have that many people in the audience and they pay money for a ticket that goes to a great cause, we have to wow them and give a great show.”

VL3500 provided stage wash while VL3000 Spots were used for general spot looks, and Clay Paky Sharpy beams energised the crowd along with Martin Atomic 3000 Strobes. CuePix Blinder WW2 fixtures were the main audience lighting while the compact Ayrton Magic Dot both supplied eye candy looks and added an edge to things on stage.

Bandit’s exclusive LED GRNLite Washes were utilised in illuminating the audience upstage as there was to be no formal backdrop for video. Madaris referred to the versatile GRNLite fixtures as his ‘go to,’ sharing he used them for set changes, emcees banter, video rolls and anything else needing quick lighting.

“I cannot say enough good things about Bandit and their team,” he said. “They made my vision come to life on Vol Jam. Project manager Don Lockridge and client representative Shawn Lear are the best when it comes to project managing and design; they told me what gear was available, and what would and wouldn't work as far as the design.”

With only one day to load-in and put on the celebration, Madaris knew the four hour window to get the 21-point lighting rig to trim was going to be a challenge, but Bandit techs Chuck Hastings, Steve Strickland and Craig Richter made it happen, a feat Madaris calls “outstanding.”

“The crew that Don sent to Vol Jam was amazing,” he said. “Those guys were fast, professional and trained very well. I could not have done it without them.”

Additional challenges came from the programming logistics, with seven performances, five lighting directors, and only five hours to program, but the end result was a night to remember for all in attendance.

“This is an event we look forward to being a part of every year, as it is an honour to help give back to those who have given so much to our country,” said Lear adding, “And Bryan really hit it out the park with this design. With so many moving parts and quick turnaround, it really is a testament to his ingenuity and resourcefulness.”

Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam Celebrates with Bandit LitesCharlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam Celebrates with Bandit Lites

8th December 2016

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