Nashville Hosts Markey's and NCAA for Annual Events

Markey’s traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, with the NCAA for the 2014 Women’s Final Four Salute on Tour, held April 4th at the historic Ryman Auditorium.  Attendance this year was a record 1,655.

This event was challenging from a time perspective in that load-in, set, rehearsal, show and strike all had to occur on the same day, but the crew worked quickly and with precision to accomplish this.

The show opened with a 30’ Kabuki drop and reveal, showing the 4 Final Four teams located in “lounges” on the Ryman Auditorium Stage.  Markey’s utilized double-stacked 14K projectors for the Kabuki projection (pre-drop) and for the center 16’x9’ screen.   Surrounding the screen were 6 ladder trusses with 32 Martin 101 Moving LED fixtures, providing exciting lighting looks during the different segments of the show.  

On the center stage was a local Nashville band which provided entertainment and music for the duration of the event. The 4 Final Four teams were all situated on this cozy stage in high-end furniture which created four unique areas. The two teams upstage were situated on Bil-Jax staging which created the perfect elevation so they could be seen behind the downstage teams. Markey’s provided an HD switching system with 3 HXC 100 HD Cameras, Black Magic ATEM Switcher and our Sony HD Engineering Rack.  The show was recorded to AJA Ki Pro drives for use in post-production by the NCAA.  Markey’s experienced sound engineers ran the audio system in the Ryman Auditorium, which is one of the most sophisticated and complete PA systems found in a theater of its ilk. Markey’s provided the moving lights and took control of Ryman’s static house lights to bring the theater to life in an explosion of color and light.

Social media played a big part in this event, making it more interactive for the students and the athletes.  The athletes were encouraged to use Twitter to engage with the audience before, during and after the event.   They took selfies on stage and tweeted them out with a hashtag set up for the event.  In addition, the audience used twitter to ask their favorite team/player a specific question.  Markey’s team monitored the feeds to be sure appropriate Tweets were scrolling on the many large monitors around the room.

Another NCAA event in Nashville was the 2014 NCAA Tourney Town, held April 5-8 at Music City Center. This event draws a crowd of more than 6,000, and this was Markey’s 4th year to provide audiovisual services for the event.

The event was made up of a concert Tuesday night which featured national recording artists Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbury, as well as 6 other areas.  In preparation for this main event, Markey’s began planning months ahead of time in creating diagrams and 3D renders of the stage.  Over 50 moving light fixtures, controlled by a Grand MA lighting console were used, and a pillow wall backdrop from Impact Group created an interesting but not distracting background for the artists.  The audio equipment for the concert consisted of two digital audio consoles, two JBL line array cabinets and 8 JBL subs.