Bandit Lites recently lit the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts, continuing their long-standing relationship with the event. Held at LP Field (home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans), the CMA Music Festival took place June 7-11, 2007.
The concerts featured the biggest names in country music, emerging stars and surprise guests. Artists included: Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, The Wreckers, Jason Aldean, Sara Evans, Little Big Town, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Billy Ray Cyrus, Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina, LeAnn Rimes, Josh Turner, Rodney Atkins, Big & Rich, Billy Currington, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift, and Gretchen Wilson, plus many more.
Hosts for the nightly concerts were CMT’s Lance Smith (Thursday and Sunday) and GAC’s Storme Warren (Friday and Saturday). Professional wrestler Kurt Angle and the stars of ABC Daytime shared hosting duties on Saturday. ABC-TV filmed all the action for a primetime special to air on Monday, July 23, 2007.
This year the CMA changed up the nightly concerts by featuring one stage instead of two. Initially the set change was created to provide better television. The way the stages were structured in years past, it was technically very spread out, which made the event difficult to shoot.
CMA Music Festival production manager, Chuck Youngteamed up with Jim Brammer of G2 Structures to come up with a single stage design. Young explains that the new design was created with the artists, fans, and television all in mind. “The new design allowed us to interpret scenic elements to the sides of the stage. I think it’s better for the fans as it’s more centrally located and allows an equal view of the performance from most seats in the stadium,” he notes. He also said that the event would not have been possible without the help of Pro Event stagehand crew as well as Moo TV, who provided the show’s video elements.
Lighting designer, Mike Swinford, whose resume includes Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson, and Big and Rich, among others, chose a variety of equipment to compliment the new setup. Equipment included 12 Martin MAC 2000 Profiles, 9 MAC Performances, 44 MAC 2000 Washes, 68 MAC 600s, 42 Vari*Lite 3000 Spots, and 16 Vari*Lite 2500 Spots. Lighting was controlled by four grand MAs and NSPs.
Bandit vice president, Michael Golden adds, “It is an honor to be involved with the CMA Music Festival. Chuck Young, Mike Swinford, and the entire production team continue to make this annual event a positive experience to be a part of.”