Phoenix BBQ and Beer Festival goes online
Tuesday, 12 May 2020
bbqandbeer1The BBQ and Beer Festival online
USA - For 11 years, country music lovers in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, have gathered for the KNIX BBQ and Beer Festival, enjoying on stage performances, along with things like a petting zoo, games and popular food pits. With this year’s live event postponed, HDE Agency, its organiser, has moved the festival online with a series of five livestreamed Saturday shows.
They don’t have a petting zoo (viewers will have to rely on their own dogs and cats for that), and they’re not cooking up any finger licking good treats, but the livestreams are offering generous servings of country music. Supporting these performances are a John Garberson-designed lightshow that features Chauvet Professional Maverick and Rogue fixtures supplied by Creative BackStage. (Pro Production provided the audio.)
Taking place on a temporary stage in a converted studio in the Creative Backstage warehouse, the livestreams do not attempt to replicate the look of a festival. Instead, they aim for a laid back “at home feel”. Although large enough to allow safe social distancing, the stage is relatively small - and the show’s video engineer TJ Watson, along with the two camera operators, Jamie Rivera and Wes Webb, keep their angles tight and neat.
“We treat livestream shows as their own medium, not scaled down versions of a festival stage,” comments lighting designer Garberson, who also directed the video shoot. “We want to create a sense of engagement with the viewer, regardless of the size screen they’re watching this on.”
Despite any limitations in stage size, Garberson was able to create engaging looks that reflected the emotional energy of the music. Relying on deeply saturated colours to convey different moods and intricate light angles, along with some crisp gobos to add depth to the stage, he was able to keep a continuous flow of interesting looks going throughout the one-hour livestreams, which also include question-and-answer sessions with the artists.
“This isn’t the type of space we’re normally accustomed to working in, but by pulling together, we were able to create some nice looks,” says Garberson, who notes that his team’s goal was to give fans “a true taste of the BBQ and Beer Festival”.

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