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Andy Knighton Awarded Parnelli for Lighting Director of the Year
USA – Bandit Lites is immensely proud to share Andy Knighton was awarded the Parnelli Award for Lighting Director of the Year. Hailed as the ‘Oscars of the Live Event Industry,’ the Parnelli Awards recognise those who demonstrate outstanding work in their fields. This year’s gala took place on 26th January at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim, California.
In what might have been a moment of destiny, Knighton took a boat out on a lake after being advised not to. The consequences for this moment of impulsiveness resulted in being kicked out and on his own in Louisville, Kentucky, where he and his friends became the go-to lighting crew for bars and clubs. After becoming familiar with Bandit Lites, Knighton was asked if he would be interested in touring. Twenty years later, he’s still lighting up stages around the world with Bandit.
Knighton became involved with Rascal Flatts during their early years as the support act for tours Knighton worked.
“As a crew member for a tour, you get to go out and run lights for the support acts,” Knighton explained. “I had already been out on my own for fifteen years and had honed my chops so when the opportunity arose, I would go out and kill it.”
That can-do attitude multiplied by Knighton’s hard work, talent, and affable personality culminated in this year’s Parnelli, and it’s an honour that means the world to him.
“To have your name included amongst a list of incredible talent and skill is indeed a thrill, and to have your name called is mind numbing,” he said. “It took 34 years but, wow – I never thought I’d reach the level of winning ‘the’ Parnelli Award; such a major moment!”
“I love Andy,” said Bandit chair Michael T. Strickland. “That is all there is to it. He is a great person above all else. His kindness, wit, wisdom and heart are what makes him unique, and he is a great LD. I am glad to see him get this long due recognition. Keep it up brother, love ya!”
In what he views as recognition for a culmination of various projects over the years, including Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn, Neil Young and CMA Fest, Knighton notes that this success is due to the preparedness he has instilled into his work ethic, but more importantly, due to the relationships he has nurtured over the years, noting that he likes to be the guy people yell ‘Hey!’ to when he walks into a bar, not one who gets a quiet, murmured ‘hello.’
“Perhaps the biggest thank you goes out to Mike Golden of Bandit Lites for letting me walk into his warehouse and work,” Knighton said. “A huge hug to Michael Strickland of Bandit Lites for providing me with a life. I absolutely would not be here without the support Michael offers! I also credit this to Dizzy Gosnell, Bob Peterson, Mike Swinford, Sooner Routhier, Bruce Rodgers, Trey Turner, Chris Alderman, Doug Nichols, Michael McIntyre, Matt King, Momma, Daddy and God...you just can't list them all!”
28th February 2018
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