January kicked off with the reemergence of The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, one of the country’s largest Christian tours. Bandit Lites supplies the lighting package for the evening of music, worship and ministry, which has outpaced other tour attendance for the past four years. This year’s artists include Crowder, Britt Nicole, Tenth Avenue North, Sadie Robertson, Andy Mineo, Colton Dixon, Thousand Foot Krutch, Newsong, Tony Nolan, OBB, Sarah Reeves and Steven Malcolm.
Winter Jam has acquired a large, loyal following, meaning that lighting designer Jerry Holcomb has to coordinate a new look each year, all while staying within the parameters of the in-the-round design, budget and looks for various acts, who also can contribute to the design.
“Daniel Smallbone and Kurtis Wheat with Lumina Design are involved in the design, helping with fixture type and placements,” said Holcomb. “Daniel designs shows of several of the artists on tour and Kurtis runs FOH for most all the artists on tour.”
This year’s tour featured some new gear, including a large amount of GLP X4S in towers, along with Chauvet Rogue RH1 Hybrids and Martin MAC Vipers for spot fixtures.
“Bandit’s wide selection of all types of fixtures really helps when working on design,” Holcomb said. “This year we went vertical: tall portrait Imag screens and tall portrait LED walls. We have eight 30 foot vertical towers filled with washes, strobes, moles, and spot fixtures wrapped 180 degrees around the stage.”
The vertical towers are spaced about 12 to 15 feet apart, creating an arch around the upstage, but leaving a line of sight for those in the rear seats.
“Because we have towers in most locations where cable would naturally be coming down from the down trusses or audio, we use the towers to mask the cables leaving a clean look from all angles,” Holcomb said.
Bandit also provided 2 Lite Fixtures, Martin MAC 2000 Washes, MAC Viper Profiles, Chauvet Rogue RH1 Hybrids, GLP X4S, Martin Atomic 3000 Strobes, and a Grand MA 2 Ultra Lite for control.
In addition to Bandit’s vast inventory, Holcomb also shared that Bandit’s preproduction process was key to the efficiency of the tour.
“When the gear gets to the first show they are so prepared,” Holcomb said, “and with me being so particular about cable paths and neatness, their prep really pays off. Once out, Bandit always fine tunes and make it as clean a set up as possible. I’ve had Nikki Dotson out for several years and he is great, and I’ve just met Cody Cheatham and Sam Morgan this year, and so far they are a great team.”
“A tour of this size, with so many moving parts, is a testament to Jerry’s talent, especially considering the many roles he has on this production,” said Bandit’s Brent Barrett. “Also, much appreciation is in order for Daniel Smallbone and Kurtis Wheat for their creative guidance and generous assistance with our crew! We are very proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the production value of such a special tour!”