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The Premier Awards Show for the Live Event Industry


20th Annual Parnelli Awards Winners

June 6, 2022

“I am so inspired by the stories of the awardees!” “I love the memories this event conjures from my past.” “This was the best one yet.” It was indeed another magical night.

The Parnelli Awards has completed its 20th show, and while it looked a little different from previous ones, it still drew a record crowd. Three lifetime achievement honorees Sam Berkow (Audio Innovatory/SMAART software); David Bernstein (Lifetime/Rock-it Global); and Peter Morse (Visionary/Lighting Designer) received their due and their video tributes and accolades came from Barbara Streisand, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Bette Midler, and Cameron Crowe. Four “product of the year” awards were handed out in addition to the “NextGen” award for rising talent.

The Winners

Avolites took home the Indispensable Technology (IT) Lighting Award for their D9 Console, available in two versions: the D9-330 and D9-215. Both visual canvas controllers are designed to intuitively combine lighting, media, and other visual aspects of a show together.

The IT Video Award winner was ROE Visual for their Black Pearl BP2 V3 LED which was developed for use in the film industry and xR applications. The BP2V2 offers the performance of the BP2 in an updated version with high-speed components that result in on-camera performance with quicker and easier camera set up and handling.

George Petersen and Host Jay Lamont present the IT Audio Award to Meyer Sounds Katie Murphy

George Petersen and Host Jay Lamont present the IT Audio Award to Meyer Sounds Katie Murphy.

Meyer Sound Labs received the IT Audio Award for their new flagship line, the Panther Line Array. Designed for large-scale touring and installs, PANTHER produces the same power and headroom as their LEO in the footprint of LYON, yet weighs 150 pounds.

The IT Staging and Effects winner was Look Solutions for their battery-powered fog machines. They are small and portable, and perfect for shooting on location and building into a costume or prop.

This year’s NextGen winner, Arica Rust, earned certificates in live sound recording before graduating from San Francisco State. She was a touring systems engineer, most recently out with Wilco, before joining L-Acoustics as a Trainer’s Network Manager.

The Show

“Good evening and welcome to the Parnelli Awards,” Executive Producer and President of PLSN/FOH magazines Terry Lowe said. “You know, it’s been 2-1/2 years since we last gathered together, and I can’t believe I’m not there.” Yes, while the awards gala was largely a celebration, it was not pandemic free: Lowe had been exposed to COVID and in an abundance of caution, he stayed home. “This is a very special night of awards, for everyone here at the Parnellis tonight is a winner,” he continued in the video message he sent. “All of you survived the worst catastrophe to ever befall our industry. Yet here we are. That makes you a winner in my book.”

He also sent a special message to Michael T. Strickland of Bandit Lites: “During this pandemic, many of us rose to help each other, but perhaps no one more than Michael T. Strickland. The Bandit Lites founder became the voice and face of our industry in Washington, D.C. Michael was the voice for our industry resulting in the passage of the Shuttered Venue Operators Act and spent tireless hours in trying to get the MUSIC act passed. He appeared before Congress, got in front of the media, and worked tirelessly for our cause.”

KC Jackson presents NextGen Award to Arica Rust

KC Jackson presents NextGen Award to Arica Rust.

The show producers elected for a smaller, more intimate production as holding it during the height of the touring season meant that many lighting, audio, and staging professionals were on the road with shows. So the focus was on the three lifetime achievement honorees. Michael Tait, who received the first Visionary Award at the 8th Annual show, was there to present the Parnelli Visionary honor to Peter Morse. Ken Berger of EAW said of Berkow: “While walking away after [meeting him], I remember thinking this guy is either nuts or really, really, smart. Undoubtedly he was both.”

Joel Bernstein, award-winning rock photographer and older brother to David, told funny stories of the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree’s youth including run-ins with the law. “Needless to say, DCB was not named ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ in his high-school yearbook.” David Bernstein is often referred to just by his initials, and Cameron Crowe’s hilarious video tribute was a song written using the D-C-B chords.

“The production partners made it a flawless night, and all the show’s sponsors made it possible,” says Producer Kevin Mitchell. “Yet as great as the show was, seeing people mingle and network at the after-party was the real highlight. So many hadn’t been face-to-face in years and to be part of something that made that possible was so rewarding.”

The 20th Annual Parnelli Awards were made possible by Platinum Sponsor: Group One/DiGiCo. Gold sponsors were 4Wall Entertainment; All Access Staging and Production; Bandit Lites; Elation Professional; G2 Structures; Gallagher Staging and Productions; Harman; MEGA Lite; Meyer Sound; NAMM; NovaStar; Pyrotek Special Effects; Robe; Rock-it Global; Screenworks; SES; Solotech; Sound Image; Stageline; and Strictly FX. Silver Sponsors were Advanced Entertainment Services; Brown Note Productions; Hemphill Brothers Coach Company; INFiLED; On Tour Logistics; See Factor; and Ultratec Special Effects. Cocktail Sponsors were Chauvet Professional; Shockwave Cargo; and Tyler Truss. Production partners were Access Event Solutions; Atomic; PRG; and TPI.

The Winners

Peter Morse

2022 Parnelli Visionary Award

David Bernstein

2022 Parnelli Awards Lifetime Achievement Award

Sam Berkow

2022 Parnelli Audio Innovator Award

Indispensable Technology – Lighting
Avolites – D9 Console

Indispensable Technology – Audio
Meyer Sound – Panther Line Array

Indispensable Technology – Video
Roe Visual – Black Pearl BP2 V2

Indispensable Technology – Staging & Effects
Look Solutions – Fog and Haze System

Parnelli NextGen
Arista Rust