Bandit lights Brown County Music Centre
Thursday, 21 May 2020
bcmc-1-michele-wedelThe venue’s first concert sold out in 15 minutes (photo: Michele Wedel)
USA - The city of Nashville was already well-known as a centre for artists and artisans, but due to a 2009 fire that robbed the community of its music centre (known affectionately as the Little Opry) county officials sought to build a venue that would draw top touring artists.
In an effort to craft a lighting system that would match the talent they sought, Brown County commissioned Bandit Lites, trusting the sales and integration team to make the space usable for touring acts. From rigging to backstage layout and ultimately the lighting controls, Bandit’s team elevated the lighting to match the vision of the centre.
“We wanted the stage to be a first class, state of the art lighting package,” explains project manager Doug Harden of Miller Architects. “Bandit delivered exactly that.”
Bandit Lites provided all the fixtures for the building, including the stage work lights, lobby lights and more, right down to the bathroom sconces. The facility seats 2,000 people but the venue’s designers made sure that the farthest seat is only 106ft from the stage, meaning every fan is able to experience a stellar show. Furthermore, with a stage measuring almost eighty feet wide, Bandit’s team knew the fixture selection would have to be precise.
Bandit supplied Ayrton Mistrals, HES SolaFrame 1000s, Elation Professional DARTZ 360, Chauvet Professional STRIKE 4 blinder and strobes, Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Washes and ETC ColorSource Spots. In addition to the venue’s fixtures, Bandit’s team provided the Tyler Truss, Chainmaster Hoists from ACT Lighting and drapes from BellaTEX.
“We chose Aryton Mistral fixtures to be the workhorse spot over stage,” explained Bandit Lites’ senior systems integrator Andrew Fisher. “They allowed us to get the punch and the numbers we needed to fill a 78’ wide stage without blowing our budget. Because they didn’t consume our budget, we had room to add LED beam, wash, and blinder units that rounded out an awesome effects package.
“There are also SolaFrame 1000’s on a FOH truss that can easily call up and adjust high CRI specials throughout the show without having to climb a truss to focus. We rounded out the look with ETC ColorSource Leko’s that provide a general front wash, featuring multiple lighting angles and great color fills for toners.”
“Bandit supplied the Brown County Music Centre with a remarkable lighting system overall,” said lighting director Shea Briggs. “They were able to cater lighting needs to the building’s design, and I’d have to say that the Ayrton Mistral is my personal favourite. It’s a versatile fixture and that’s what I find so appealing about it. I’m able to create light pastel colours for various of washes or combine the two gobo wheels for morphing effects. Bandit’s placement of these fixtures within the lighting plot allows me to use them for their versatility.”
Bandit Lites also supplied an Avolites Tiger Touch II console with fader wing, allowing Shea to use accessible pre-programmed scenes while allowing for the ability to become interactive with the show whenever needed.
“My experience with Bandit’s service was nothing but positive,” finished Briggs. “Both John Jenkinson and Andrew Fisher were thorough when explaining the way things were setup and the equipment included.”
Additional installs include S4 mini’s in the lobby to accent the signage as well as an ETC Paradigm lighting control system for building-wide controls.
When the venue opened in the fall of 2019, its first concert, featuring Vince Gill, sold out in 15 minutes.

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