The judging is carried out by three panels of industry experts
Concert Touring & Events Judges
John Featherstone was theatrically trained at Britain’s National Youth Theater. John established a career as a concert lighting designer and director working first with seminal British band The Smiths, then moving on to artists including Van Halen, INXS, Bryan Adams, The Pretenders and Duran Duran. 25 years ago John co-founded lighting and visual design practice Lightswitch to focus on entertainment, business theater, environmental and architectural projects.
He says ‘I believe my most successful projects are a blend of diverse tools and techniques, they combine the attention to detail of the best museum environment, the style and panache of a high-end retail gallery, the drama of a theatrical production mixed with the excitement of a rock concert.’ Recent projects include design for clients as diverse a Virgin Galactic, Mercedes Benz, Hans Zimmer and There Morton Arboretum.
John is committed to the pursuit of excellence in all areas of experiential design and dedicated to designing dynamic, exciting, innovative & distinctive productions for today’s ever more demanding audiences.
“The best concerts and events are intellectually and emotionally moving experiences, and deeply connect the audience to the performance. Thoughtful and appropriate lighting and visual design take the personality and aesthetic of the artist or the creative intent of the event and delivers it to every viewer. This allows the experience to be enjoyed by even the most distant audience member and turns spectators into participants.”
Marian Sandberg is the content director for Live Design and LDI, and has been writing editorial or PR for the entertainment technology business for more than 20 years. Introduced to the industry on the PR side at Group One Ltd, she represented global lighting brands including Claypaky, MA Lighting, and Elektrakite, as well as audio manufacturers such as Focusrite, Celestion, and KRK. She moved to the role of editor at Live Design in 2004, where she has been ever since, additionally taking on new brands along the way.
“Lighting and video, whether subtle and understated or over-the-top and explosive, infuses energy into the live experience that every audience member or guest can feel, whether or not they can explain it. That’s a great design.”
Having begun his career by starring as a dancer in Michael Jackson’s film ‘Captain EO’, Barry Lather now has 30 years of experience with small and large-scale entertainment, from videos, film, commercials, television and arena spectaculars. He has directed world tours for artists including Usher, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, and Carrie Underwood as well as serving as a creative director for TV performances with Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, and P Diddy.
Barry choreographed Michael Jackson’s film ‘Ghost’ which won an American Choreography Award. He also won two Billboard Awards for his work with Janet Jackson and Sting, an MTV Award, and has also been nominated for an Emmy Award in Television.
“Along with the live music, lighting and video design takes the audience on a theatrical journey. It’s the visual stimulation and energy that complements the music and completes the live show experience. It embellishes the presentation, captures specific moments, and controls the mood and emotions of a production. To me it is extremely important and so valuable – it can make or break a show without a doubt.”
Yelena cofounded HYBYCOZO, the collaborative installation arts collective with Serge Beaulieu. HYBYCOZO’s work consists of larger than life sculptures with laser cut patterns that draw on inspirations from mathematics, science, and natural influences. The HYBYCOZO passion stems from one core impulse: to celebrate the inherent beauty of universal geometric forms and patterns and showcase them in ways that harmonizes the experience of form, feeling, light, and shadow.
“Light brings production to the next level and creates an all-around unforgettable experience. If the concert is an ice cream sundae, lighting is the cherry on top. In the 10 milliseconds that it takes for the eye to process the light of a moment, that light can take us on a journey to build anticipation, create drama, express a mood, add flair, frame a composition, focus our attention, or illuminate an emotion.”
John Huddleston joined Upstaging in 1979 and worked on many tours and special events over the next several years as a lighting technician and crew chief. In those early years John toured with Cheap Trick, The Police, Bob Seger, Sting, Prince many others. John took over as director of lighting services at Upstaging in 1988 and has had the good fortune to have worked with legendary designers to help achieve their visions on hundreds of shows over the past 30 years. Johns recent clients read as a who’s who of concert touring! World Tours for Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Sting, Guns & Roses, Neil Diamond, Black Sabbath, Keith Urban, Def Leppard, Katy Perry, Miranda Lambert, and many others! John also manages systems for several corporate and entertainment special events throughout the year!
“Show lighting creates a powerful lightning bolt from the artist directly to each person in the audience. Before I was in this business I used to go to concerts and after we would all be talking about the light show! Almost 40 years later I’m still walking away from shows hyped on that energy!”