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Parnelli Awards Honoring Mark Spring, Michael T. Strickland Almost Sold Out

PLSN Staff • News • January 6, 2020

Mark “Springo” Spring and Michael T. Strickland


ANAHEIM, CA – The 19th annual Parnelli Awards, which will honor Mark “Springo” Spring and Michael T. Strickland, respectively, with the Lifetime Achievement and Visionary awards, is nearly sold out. The event will take place Jan. 17, 2020 at the Anaheim Hilton during Winter NAMM.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Mark “Springo” Spring will be adding the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement honor to all the other awards he’s won as tour and production manager to Paul McCartney, Spice Girls, Hall & Oates, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Seal, John Fogerty, Garbage, the Spice Girls, Madonna and Simon & Garfunkel among others.

“I first met Mark on a Yes tour in 1984,” says Richard Fernandez, longtime tour manager for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and recipient of the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. “Mark was head carpenter and covered a lot of ground. I saw right away that Mark was always willing to do whatever was needed to be done in order to make things go smoothly for the performance.”

“I love Mark Spring,” says Marty Hom, another longtime tour manager for Fleetwood Mac, who has also worked with Barbra Streisand, Shakira, Bette Midler, Lionel Richie, The Eagles, Alicia Keys, Shania Twain and Janet Jackson. “I have been fortunate to work with some of the best production managers in the business including Jake Berry, Chris Adamson, Bill Leabody, [Dale] Opie [Skjerseth], and Malcolm Weldon, and Springo is in that group of top-tier professionals. My only beef with him is every time I want to work with him, he’s busy with that Beatle.”

While Springo hails from the Boston area and was drawn thousands of miles away to the shores of southern California, Parnelli Visionary award recipient Michael T. Strickland didn’t roam far from his parents house when he started Bandit Lites – and for good reason. He was only 12, and still too young to drive. Now a global powerhouse in the live event industry with 400-plus employees in offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Bandit’s headquarters is still located within 100 miles of Strickland’s hometown in Kingsport, TN.

If the “Bandit” name came from Strickland’s penchant for “borrowing” some of the gear from his school and renting it out on weekends, the same spirit of rule-bending initiative has led to many innovations that have helped shape the live entertainment production industry today, with Strickland’s partnerships with High End Systems, James Thomas Engineering, Tomcat, Avolites, Morpheus Lights and Martin and others joining other Bandit ventures including its purchase of Meteorlites, development of the Bandit GRNLite and expansion overseas.

“For Michael, it’s about relationships,” says one-time Bandit employee and LD Chris Lisle (Jason Aldean, OneRepublic). “It’s not about a quick buck, but about taking care of people. There is a clear, bigger picture that Bandit runs by, and it shows through the countless long-term clients they have. I truly believe that he cares about people and lives his ‘humanomics’ philosophy.”

The 19th annual Parnelli Awards ceremony, set for 7 p.m., will also honor monitor engineer Karrie Keyes, co-founder and executive director of SoundGirls, with the Audio Innovator Award, and the NextGen Parnelli award will also be bestowed this year during the ceremony, hosted this year by John Waite. The awards ceremony is set for 7 p.m., after a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. and it will be followed by an after-party at 10 p.m.

For more information and last-minute reservations, visit




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