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Chauvet and 4Wall Entertainment Help Tom Kenny Add Warmth to iHeartCountry Festival

By Chauvet Press
May 24, 2022, updated Jun 9, 2022
 Chauvet and 4Wall Entertainment Help Tom Kenny Add Warmth to iHeartCountry Festival

4Wall provided the lighting, rigging, and video equipment for another memorable iHeartCountry Festival! Hosted by Bobby Bones, this year's festival took over the new Moody Center in Austin and featured performances from a star-studded lineup, including Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, Maren Morris, Dustin Lynch, Jimmie Allen, Scotty McCreery, Cody Johnson and more.

This press release was originally posted by CHAUVET Professional on PLSN's website here.

From the moment Thomas Rhett kicked things off with hits like his newly released "Slow Down Summer," the iHeartCountry Festival projected a warm, intimate vibe that made it easy for fans to forget they were inside a 15,000+ seat arena in Austin, TX. The genuine, welcoming attitude of Rhett, and the event's other superstars like Carrie Underwood, The Zac Brown Band, Maren Morris, and Dierks Bentley had a lot to do with engendering this hospitable vibe. Also contributing to the inviting mood at the festival, which was produced by Diversified Production Services, was the intimate, engaging lighting created on the Tom Kenny-design rig supplied by 4Wall Entertainment.

"At this festival, the crowd and music are very connected," said Kenny. "So our aim was to make the room feel like a huge celebration, while also creating a sense of intimacy and keeping the focus on the artists performing on stage. It was important for us to do this for the fans at the venue, as well as those watching the broadcast."

While some of the artists at the festival had visiting LDs run their shows, Kenny's team created the overall look, as well as scenic and key lighting, while the touring LDs used Mark Butts' exceptional punt page. To evoke the desired feeling inside the spacious Moody Center, Kenny and the rest of the design team relied heavily on immersive color combinations created with 68 Maverick MK3 Wash fixtures from Chauvet Professional.

"A lot of songs at the festival were very deep and intimate, so we kept our palette more in the purple and blue area to reflect this feeling," said Kenny. "Mark Butts, who was the lighting director and concierge on this show, made up some wonderful looks and punt pages for everyone to enjoy. Personally, I really liked the big magenta look used for Thomas Rhett."

Kenny flew the wash fixtures on five rows of overhead truss that started over the audience and moved toward the back of the stage. These rows became narrowed as they progressed toward the stage, and then widened out again, creating a wave like configuration.

"I designed the show to look huge by staggering the rig and populating fixtures in rows," said Kenny. "My workhorse, aka the Maverick MK3 Wash, gave me both a look and a big wash light to use for blowing out the crowd."

Adding to the aesthetic appeal of the show, for both the live and broadcast audiences were the 22 COLORado Solo Batten fixtures that Kenny used to line the upstage border and selected parts of the rig. "They created a modern stylish look that came off well on camera," he said of the linear units. "Yet, at the same time, they contributed to the overall warmth of the show."

For Kenny, part of the good feelings at the festival came from the camaraderie of the people responsible for putting it together. He expressed appreciation for Dave Meyers and Dewey Shepard from Diversified Production Services, along with Cheryl Alper and Erin Harding as well as the team of Denis Heron and Mike Forte from iHeart Media. He also appreciated his own crew: Bob Suchocki, Matthew Weede, Gabe Thruston, Jason Uchita, Blair Korbel, Brendan Johnson, Alison Robeson, and all the local spot ops.

"The iHeart CountryFestival is a real juggernaut of a show, given all the different artists who appear," said Kenny. "It's like one big music factory, with one-minute between acts with the All Access turntable. Everyone handled it so well, which it made it fun." Kenny also singled out the artist and their teams, citing their "positive vibes," with setting the tone for the event, a tone that seemed to roll out a down home welcome mat for everyone.

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