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Grateful Dead Final Concert Nominated for Concert of the Year

Grateful Dead Final Concert Nominated for Concert of the Year

USA – When Live Design Magazine released the nominees for the ninth annual Excellence in Live Design Awards, it was no surprise that, “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead,” one of 2015’s biggest events, was included as a nominee for Concert of the Year. Bandit Lites provided the more than 500 fixtures for the final concerts at Chicago’s Soldier Field, 3rd - 5th July, where Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir reunited for the 50th anniversary of one of music’s most renowned music groups.

Produced by Peter Shapiro and Madison House Presents, the band’s long time lighting designer Candace Brightman worked with Pulse Lighting’s Paul Hoffman to help nearly 70,000 fans in the audience (and millions more watching via pay-per-view) to say goodbye to a half of century of psychedelic rock music.

“There was no predicting how the band was going to play most of the songs,” Brightman shared. “There were lots of surprises.”

Fortunately, Brightman was well prepared for the spontaneity of the concerts due to her three decades of work with the Grateful Dead.

“There can really be no true 'choreography' of the lights to the music,” added Hoffman. “Instead the operator, Candace, must operate the lighting console like another musical instrument – playing along with the band as they improvise, jam and meander their way through the set. It’s only 30 years of experience lighting this band that will give her insight into what might happen next or what direction they might be headed musically.”

The brunt of the work was accomplished with 50 Robe BMFLs, with additional gear consisting of 50 MAC Vipers, 60 VL3000 Spots, 36 VL3500 Washes, 32 Robe Pointe, eight VL 3500 Spots, 12 GLP X4, 28 MAC 2000 Profile, 16 Clay Paky Sharpy, 30 x 2-light MOLE, 12 Atomic Strobes, three grandMA2 Lights and two grandMA2 Full consoles.

“Production manager Robbie Taylor and Derek Featherstone had the really hard task of putting this event together, and about two months from the Chicago shows, two more shows in Santa Clara the week before were added,” said Bandit’s Dizzy Gosnell. “With no trucking time for shipping stages, sound, lights, video, delays, etc. things got very interesting very fast. How Robbie and his team pulled that aspect off in the middle of a hugely busy summer concert season astounded me, as well as the crews in both cities who did exceptional work from beginning to end. This really was an historic event and we at Bandit were so very proud to be given the chance to light this event by Candace, Paul and Robbie.”

28th April 2016

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