Introducing the winners of the first ever Excellence In Live Design Awards, chosen among nominees for outstanding achievement in design on projects from September 2006 to August 2007. The honors provided an interactive way for industry professionals to recognize their peers by casting their votes online among five design categories. For further details on each nominee, please see the December 2007 Live Design Source Book or visit each link below. (please note voting is officially closed).

George Michael 25 Live European Tour Category: Concerts

After spending years pondering the notion of a single curving image that would form a backdrop, a stage floor, and a thrust into the audience, Willie Williams notes, “Being a man who mulls things over incessantly, I sometimes find that I have an idea for a show floating about in my head, just waiting for the right client to come along.” And George Michael was a perfect fit. “I sketched the idea, and at our first meeting, George committed to it. He loved the idea immediately, and that initial energy drove the whole project.” The result was “visually sophisticated, glossy, and very stylish, with video being the major feature.”

Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour Category: Theatre Production

This live fusion of songs, dance, and team-spirited fun features never before-seen choreography, costumes, lighting, special effects, projection, and scenery. Clay Paky’s Francesco Romagnoli says, “We nominated this production for three reasons, the quantity of product—three shows around the world with a total of 350 Clay Paky lights—our long and wonderful relationship with Feld Entertainment, and for the beautiful design, thanks to Patrick Woodroffe and Patrick Dierson. All of them are Clay Paky friends, and everyone deserves the recognition.”

The Pearl At The Palms Category: Venues (Theatre Or Performance)

The Pearl is part of the recent $600-million expansion at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander was asked by theatre architects Pfeiffer Partners to design the Pearl in a new and different direction from the overworked arena template in popular entertainment venues, and following owner George Maloof’s charge, the Pearl had to live up to the reputation of the Palms Hotel. Taking a cue from the formal architecture of opera houses, Auerbach incorporated balconies, boxes, and galleries in the 2,115-seat venue with the flexibility and infrastructure to produce top rock and roll, MMA cage fighting, and broadcast events including the 2007 MTV VMA Awards. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s Steve Pollock says, “We could not be more pleased with the outcome. Nominating the Pearl for a Live Design award was a foregone conclusion. For a venue its size, the Pearl is remarkably intimate, with audience amenities and VIP enhancements that make concert-going a unique and memorable occasion.”

Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show Featuring Prince Category: Live For Broadcast

Creating a Super Bowl Halftime set that is visually alluring, is able to withstand the elements, and has extremely short set up/break down times (5 to 6 minutes) was no simple task. Yet the Super Bowl XLI Halftime show featuring Prince was able to do just that, all during a constant downpour. With more than 93 million television viewers watching worldwide, the stage was set up in a unique, in-theround formation. “It’s the best honor to receive this award from the Live Design readers,” says production/set designer Bruce Rodgers. “I’m very proud to say this award goes to everyone involved in the production: Prince and his music, the entire production, and our volunteers, the staging, technology, effects and lighting design teams, crews, and the massive audience that took part in the rain-drenched spectacle. We all were one that night.”

Rotary International Convention Category: Corporate Events

Rotary International (RI) represents community leaders providing humanitarian service. The Rotary International Convention is a massive event involving substantial creative services, entertainment, pre-production, audio and visual components, lighting, labor, simultaneous interpretation, and stage and set design. Freeman’s Business Development Group—formerly AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions—accomplished the creative proposal and set design. Creative director Dustin Sparks says, “We chose to nominate the Rotary Project as it illustrated the collaboration between, design, entertainment, creative, operations, and logistics. From concept to execution, team members from across the organization were involved in making this a true team effort we are proud of. Winning this award is a great honor for us. It is a testament that real team work and collaboration create successful events.”