Bandit founder receives Visionary award
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
parnelli-2020-mts-team-garthGarth Brooks (bottom right) was among those paying tribute
USA - At the 2020 Parnelli Awards, Bandit Lites founder Michael T. Strickland was presented with the Visionary Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering work in the entertainment lighting business. The awards ceremony was held during the NAMM Show at the Anaheim Hilton’s Pacific Ballroom on 17 January.
In a touching tribute to Strickland’s lifetime achievements in founding and growing Bandit Lites, clients and friends Alice Cooper and Shinedown offered video tributes. Later, Shinedown lead vocalist, Brent Smith, stepped on stage to present the award to him, extoling the virtues of Michael as a person above all else. Smith then stated there was one more person who wanted to say a few words.
Singer-songwriter Garth Brooks then shared how he came to be a part of the Bandit Lites family, with Strickland believing in his dream of a concert that would rival the biggest rock shows. Thirty-two years later and several world records broken, the two remain close friends and Bandit remains Brooks’ lighting vendor. Brooks sang the praises of Strickland and his commitment and friendship with him. Kinder words could not have been spoken.
“Garth is just that kind of guy,” said Strickland. “He travelled 2,500 miles just to be here for me - what else can you say about him? It means the world to me. I love you Garth and thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
In accepting the award, a moved Strickland noted how this honour was one that was not only his, but belonged to the entire Bandit Lites team, calling several to join him on stage.
“This is not about me, but about the Bandit family” said Strickland. “The 52-year success of Bandit Lites is because of the many great people that are Bandit. We have a huge number of people that have been with Bandit 20, 30 and 40 years. It is those people that make Bandit what it is. Anyone can buy gear but having a world class group of people for their entire career is an anomaly in entertainment. I am humbled that the Bandit family is being honoured in this way. I am truly humbled and stunned by the evening.”
(Jim Evans)

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