Bandit Lites Steps Up To Help Local Governments & Hospitals With COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Bandit Lites has been serving the concert industry for more than 50 years, ever since Bandit Lites chair and founder Michael Strickland was a precocious 12-year-old approaching the Beach Boys’ promoter about providing lighting for his next show. With the live business on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lighting company has continued serving with a bold spirit by switching gears to volunteer its services to assist local governments and hospitals with relief efforts.  

All Bandit Lites locations are offering local governments and hospitals power distribution systems, IT data distribution systems, and portable structures and lighting, completely free of charge. In addition to the Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters, Bandit has locations in the U.S. Nashville, San Francisco and Charlotte, N.C., along with offices internationally in London and Hong Kong. 
Bandit is also lending a hand to artists by providing its Nashville rehearsal facility, Venue One, as a place to perform a livestream, free of charge. 
“Tennessee has been known as The Volunteer State since The War of 1812, and it was only right that Bandit step up and offer this free support,” Strickland said in a statement. “While all Bandit offices are under Safer-At-Home Orders, the entire staff is on full payroll. No one has been laid off at Bandit. When individuals are needed to accomplish a task, they are covered by the legal exemptions [as an exempted business] and the Bandit team jumps in and performs the task at hand.”
Strickland serves on the Board of the University of Tennessee Medical Center and after being in daily communication with the Board, management and doctors about the pandemic, he came up with steps Bandits could take to help out.  
The Bandit Lites founder also represented the entertainment industry by giving input to Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn as they worked to bring about the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, as well as the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act “requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19,” while the CARES Act expands unemployment insurance for workers, offers recovery rebate for individual taxpayers and allocates $350 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic.  
“America will survive this,” said Strickland. “We are smart, tough and determined. We are working together like we have not since World War II. Those things that do not destroy us make us stronger. If you can provide assistance, do; if you need assistance, ask. We in Tennessee have been Volunteers since the 1800’s and we are not stopping now! All Americans must step up and help our fellow men and women. The light looks bright on the other side!”
Bandit Lites is a past winner of Lighting Company of the Year at the Pollstar Awards.