Playing to sell-out crowds of approximately 45,000 people every night, Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band have just completed the first leg of their 20-show Party at the End of the World 2006 national tour with a MA Lighting grandMA lighting console contributing to the visual excitement of their performances. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor for grandMA in North America; Bandit Lighting supplied the system to Sid Strong, Buffett’s longtime lighting designer/director and set designer.

“Most designers don’t program their own shows, and I don’t consider myself a programmer,” says Strong, “but grandMA is more hands on than almost any programmable board out there. I’m glad I made the jump to grandMA on the recommendation of so many designers who say what a great board it is. They’re right!”

Strong controls 74 moving lights and 60 PARs with grandMA on Buffett’s tour. The singer has 45 songs in his show repertoire and, after selecting the console for Buffett’s tour, Strong had only two days to program it.

“GrandMA has so many options to do what you dream; it makes your vision come alive,” says Strong. “The console is very intuitive; everything makes sense. As a non-programmer I amaze myself half the time with what I’m able to do. Anything I can visualize, I can do quickly and easily with grandMA -- and as a lighting designer, not a programmer.”

Strong likes grandMA’s flexibility and accessibility. “There are so many ways you can go and design a show. grandMA is a great visualization tool and, once you set it up to your specifications, everything is always there, customized for you. The console played a big role in one of the best opening shows I’ve ever had.”

“Sid is an old friend and an old-school designer. He and I learned to light shows on preset and pin matrix consoles. We did not have moving lights and effects engines. It meant that we had to concentrate on color, timing, contrast and structure. Seeing what he can do with a grandMA and a truss full of new technology, means that there is hope for us ‘old’ guys,” commented Bob Gordon, president and CEO of A.C.T Lighting.

Strong has also been impressed by A.C.T Lighting’s “incredible tech support” and the assistance he has received from Eric Shafferman at Bandit Lighting. “Everyone has been great!” he declares.