Big Blue Madness kick off with Bandit

Thursday, 18 October 2012
Big Blue Madness kick off with BanditTickets for Big Blue Madness sold out in 35 minutes
USA -The Wildcats' Basketball season kicked off with a sensational start as Kentucky's Big Blue Madness united the past and present in one phenomenal light show provided by Bandit Lites.

The scrimmage took place on 12 October 2012 and marked the start of the University of Kentucky's basketball season. Tickets for Big Blue Madness sold out in 35 minutes, and crowds poured into the 23,500 seat Rupp Arena hours before the 7:30 p.m. show.

In an unparalleled opening, the packed arena watched as the entire basketball court itself transformed into a 94 feet by 50 feet screen.

Aaron Swetland of Bandit designed the lighting programme which highlighted a projection of the University of Kentucky logo exploding into light particles while banners expounding the university's eight championships filled the court. Sport commentaries reverberated to the crowd's deafening screams as they watched a moving playbook illustrate past wins.

If the stats themselves were not intimidating enough, such as 'Most All-Time Wins', the presentation took it to a whole other level. As the music swelled, cerulean LED lights flashed to the beat while the new team mean-mugged the crowd.

"LED toning lends itself to that because you can actually get a real blue out of an LED fixture," said Swetland who also worked as the lighting board operator.

Following the opening programme, the 2012-2013 men's basketball players bounded into the arena to pulsing lights and fist-pumping music. Following their entrance, women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell performed a coordinated MC Hammer style dance on the main stage, out doing his Michael Jackson routine last year.

Bandit was given the opportunity to be a part of the largest Big Blue Madness to date by Bob Stoops, the technical service manager of Lexington Center Corp.

"Bob Stoops has again put together a first class production and production team for Big Blue Madness," said Brent Barrett, Bandit's business development officer. "Bandit is very appreciative that Bob has allowed us the opportunity to once more be a part of this premiere athletic event."

For a show of this magnitude, Swetland focused on making sure the space looked entirely filled. He utilized Clay Paky Sharpies, MAC 2K Washes, VL 3K spots, GRN washes, GRN LED pars and Martin Atomics.

"The crew did an amazing job," said Swetland citing the Bandit Standard. He added, "The rig was very large, and they kept it clean and tidy."

Cody Cheatham, Jonathan Houl and Erich Hudgens assisted Swetland with the event with Sean Lear, a Bandit project manager. Additional support was provided by David 'Hud' Haney of SGPS/Showrig Nashville.

"Hud has been a friend for years," added Barrett. "Bandit is always appreciative of his help and assistance."

(Jim Evans)

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