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Warren Haynes Christmas Jam Shines with Bandit Lites

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam Shines with Bandit Lites
Warren Haynes Christmas Jam Shines with Bandit Lites

USA – Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam marked another successful evening of legendary musicians coming together for a great cause. The annual Christmas benefit began 28 years ago, as Haynes sought to give back to his hometown’s Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, which has raised more than two million dollars to date. Bandit Lites donated lighting for this year’s sold out concert which featured an impressive line-up of artists including Haynes and his band, Gov’t Mule, Bob Weir, Michael McDonald, Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss among others.

Due to lighting designer Chris Ragan’s extensive history working with both Warren Haynes and Dead & Company, he was confident in creating a big rock show that would last from the 6pm doors to the 3am encore.

Bandit provided VL 3000 Spots, Robe Pointes, Robe BMFLs, Clay Paky Sharpys, and Bandit’s exclusive GRNLite 8 Lites, GRNLite Par 64’s and GRNLite lamp bars, along with GLP X 4s and both a grandMA 2 Full and grandMA 2 lite consoles for control.

“I love the Robe Pointes,” Ragan said. “They really cut and frame the stage, and the BMFLs have such power that even just eight of them really covered the entire arena.”

Ragan’s dexterity with the lighting really came into play with the spontaneity that goes into the marathon evening of artists who are there to jam with one another. Working with programmer and lighting director Jim Rood, Ragan ensured that each person on stage (both planned and spur-of-the-moment) not only visible, but accurately illuminated with the temperature of the lighting being dialled in for both the live audience and for the thousands streaming the webcast online.

“I’ll get the set list for the evening and it’ll say three people are going to be on stage, but on the way to the stage, they’ll see a friend they admire and respect that they want to perform with, and suddenly I have two more people on who need to be lit properly.”

“When Kit Blanchard the production manager for this event rang me up in October to see if we were interested in doing this event again this year, it took me all of about ten milliseconds to say ‘sure!’,” said Bandit client representative Dizzy Gosnell. “We have been doing this show for quite a few years now, and it’s a privilege to be able to help out this incredibly noble cause. It is one that gives really good value for money for the fans which is important, as they are the people that actually plonk down the dollars which then go to Habitat for Humanity. Chris was incredibly amenable to using what was available in house to keep costs way down, and was a total pleasure to work with. Chris and Jim pulled off a really powerful looking show, with all the boxes for this event being well and truly checked.”

“Bandit’s crew really hit it out of the park,” Ragan added, “From Dizzy taking everything and doing the drawings, to the crew on site being so solid. Wayne Lotoza, Andy French and Chas Albea had the rig up super-fast, and since it came in so well prepped, there really were not a lot of challenges. Everyone has gear, but it’s the people that organise and make it happen that make you feel good about working together.”

Having the opportunity to give back to such a great cause and make the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam happen is something that both Bandit and Ragan note is especially fulfilling.

“No one is going to want to live in a house that I build,” joked Ragan, “but I can design a light show, and if that’s my contribution and it dominoes into Habitat for Humanity being able to build a house, then I’m glad I can give back a little bit.”

15th December 2016

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