LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — On a perfect Las Vegas evening, a record-breaking audience gathered in a Venetian Hotel Ballroom to pay tribute to the very best of the year at the live event industry's annual "Oscars® of the Live Event Industry" affair.
"When you think about it, it's against our very nature to attend an event like this," observed Masters of Ceremony Terry Lowe and President of Timeless Communication during the ceremony's opening moments. "We tend to be the kind that shuns the spotlight. We'd rather be pointing it. We'd rather eq than speak into a mic."
With that disclaimer noted, and a few laughs had, the ceremony began. The star-studded list of those handing out the awards included Carol Dodd, Buford Jones, Marilyn Lowey,
Michael Tait, Nook Schoenfeld, among many others. Toby Keith's tour was a big winner garnering three Parnellis; other tours honored include The Rolling Stones, Rascal Flatts, Billy Joel, and Tool.
Jeremiah "Jere" Harris was honored with the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award. A fourth-generation member of a distinguished theater family, his amazing career includes being the technical genius behind such Broadway shows as Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, and Beauty and the Beast and such Las Vegas triumphs as EFX and Masquerade in the Sky. Today as President of PRG, the largest entertainment technology and service company in the world, he continues to be a live event industry leader.
Bill Hanley was honored with the Parnelli Audio Innovator Award. Hanley virtually invented festival sound, and actually coined the term, "sound reinforcement." From the days of being behind the sound at the Newport Jazz Festivals in the 1950s, he went onto being behind the soundboard of such events as the Beatles at Shea Stadium, Jefferson Airplane in Europe, and the 1965 Beach Boy tour. His genius at building and running sound systems made him the go-to person to be responsible for the sound at the 1969 Woodstock concert. Woodstock promoter and producer Michael Lang calls him, "The father of festival sound."
Production Manager of the Year Dale "Opie" Skjerseth of the Rolling Stones tour was honored for his work behind the highest grossing tour in history. The Tour Manager of the Year nod went to David Milem for his work with the Toby Keith tour. It was just one of several awards for that tour would receive that night. Also included Dirk Durham for his work as FOH engineer and Earl Neal for being the Keith band's monitor mixer.
Lighting Designer of the Year went to Steve Cohen, for his work with the Billy Joel tour. The Set Designer of the year award went to Bruce Rodgers for the eye-popping spectacle that was Rascal Flatts set on their enormously popular tour. Progressive rock band Tool was honored when it's Video Director, Brekinridge Haggerty, won an upset win against much bigger, more established acts including Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, and The Rolling Stones.
Sound Designer of the Year honor was given to Mick Potter for his work on Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular.
Other awards included: Lighting Company of the Year: Bandit Lites; Regional Lighting Company of the Year: Delicate Productions; Staging Company of the Year: Brown United; Set Construction Company of the Year: All Access; Rigging Company of the Year: Branam West Coast; Video Rental Company of the Year: Screenworks NEP; Pyro Company of the Year: Pyrotek Special Effects; Sound Company of the Year: Sound Image; Regional Sound Company of the Year: Clearwing Productions; Coach Company of the Year: Hemphill Brothers Coach Company; Trucking Company of the Year: Upstaging; and Freight Forwarding Company of the Year: Rock-It Cargo.
The 2006 Parnelli Awards were made possible by Timeless Communications and its sponsors. Gold Sponsors: All Access; the Harman Group: AKG, BSS Audio, Crown, DBX, JBL, and Soundcraft; Martin Professional; and Precise Corporate Staging. Silver Sponsors: ASI, Apollo, Brown United, Littlite, PRG, Rock-It Cargo, and Sound Image. – Celebrityaccess Staff Writers/pr