Past Press

nashville celebrates independence day with bandit lites

July 19, 2018 | Category: Print

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – More than 250,000 people came downtown to celebrate Independence Day at Nashville's "Let Freedom Sing!" Fourth of July party. Bandit Lites was proud to supply the lighting for the event, which featured two stages and 66,000 fireworks over Music City.

Lighting designer Erik Parker shared that the two stages had two distinct purposes, with the stage on Broadway outside of Bridgestone Arena featuring performances from touring artists such as Lady Antebellum, Chris Janson, Jason Eskridge and others, while the Ascend Amphitheater stage showcased the Grammy-award winning Nashville Symphony.

“A total of eight bands performed on the Broadway stage, so I needed to create a unique but very versatile look for each act to utilize,” Parker said.

Bandit Lites supplied more than one hundred fixtures for this stage including Robe BMFLs, Elation Paladins, Lycian M2 Spots, Claypaky Mythos and GLP X4 Washes, which Parker praised as the workhorse.

“I’ve used that fixture often and always loved it but was again blown away by how well it punched through on an outdoor stage surrounded with ambient light,” he said. “The beams were solid and the wash was exactly what we needed. I used Mythos instead of typical spot fixtures to add a little more versatility for those bands, and I also had an upstage arch lined with GLP X4 fixtures and 2-light moles that spanned the width of the stage to add some depth.”

For the Ascend Amphitheater stage, Bandit Lites provided VL 3000 Spots, GLP X4, Elation CuePix WW4 blinders, Robe Robin 1200 LED Washes, Martin MAC Auras and grandMA 2 Lite console for control.

“The design for this stage needed to be more practical for lighting the symphony and structure, and also add some simple looks going along with the music,” Parker said. “I added torms upstage with wash fixtures and GLP X4 Bar 20s for some added depth there, too.”

Bandit Lites also provided site lighting for multiple areas, including seating at Nissan Stadium to watch the fireworks and a selfie station for those looking to commemorate the event, and while Parker shared he tried to make sure the fixture choices were practical for the space, he also strived to use gear that will offer versatile looks.

“For example, we added lights uplighting the stadium seating across the river, and rather than a basic color uplight we use wash movers so during the firework show we can add movement and color changes,” he explained adding, “But for a selfie station against a Music City backdrop, we utilized IP65 rated LED pars because even though they’re going to be white and stay in that color for the duration, we needed something that would withstand the unpredictable weather.”

The weather was not the only aspect of the event that needed to be considered, but the location itself on Nashville’s busiest areas meant that everyone involved had to work together efficiently.

“Bandit was great with being very prepared and flexible with deliveries to make sure everything ran smoothly,” said Parker. “CLLD, LLC/Event PM’s Mark Anderson who Production Managed the Broadway stage worked with Bandit’s Project Manager Don Lockridge and Vice President Mike Golden to make sure we were efficient with space, techs and schedule.”

Bandit’s onsite team was comprised of Chas Albea, Trevor Drawdy, Michelle Saintey, John Lucksinger, Chuck Hastings, Sam Morgan, Joey DiLeo and Scott Wesson.

“The techs killed it all over the site and worked well together as needed to in order to wrap a few final projects leading up to the show,” finished Parker.  

Chris Lisle - Event/Ascend Stage Production Manager
Mark Anderson - Broadway/Site Production Manager
David Graham - Delays Production Manager
Erik Parker - Lighting Designer

Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace.  From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.  More information available at



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