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KOI-USA to launch at LDI 2018
The Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) committee have announced that the inaugural Knight of Illumination Awards USA (KOI-USA) will launch this year, culminating with a ceremony in Las Vegas on 20th October, timed to coincide with the LDI show.
The competition, known for celebrating the work of lighting and video designers, will be co-produced by Informa, producers of America’s leading event for lighting designers, the LDI show, and The Fifth Estate, specialist content creators and long-time managers of the KOI Awards in the UK.
“We are thrilled to bring such high-quality awards ceremony to LDI,” says David Johnson, Managing Director of LDI. “The KOI Awards are well-known throughout the industry as a reputable, high-class affair, and its special focus of honouring design work aligns perfectly with the goals of the Live Design franchise to raise awareness about this very special art. We are very excited to partner with The Fifth Estate to bring this to Las Vegas. It’s also going to be a lot of fun.”
The USA competition will see 15 awards split equally across the three sectors of Theatre, Concert Touring & Events, and Live Broadcast. Five awards in each of these three categories are open to productions staged/broadcast in the US during the year of nomination (October 2017 – September 2018).
Lighting designer Durham Marenghi, co-founder and committee member of KOI, says, “KOI is all about celebrating and elevating the art of entertainment lighting and video design, and KOI-USA will help us do just that for an even wider section of our industry. Jennie and I often hear from designers who are proud to have a KOI broadsword on their wall (or, in one instance, stuck Excalibur-like into a coffee table) and designers who are keen to get one which is a strong indication that these awards really count for something and are truly coveted. As with the UK competition, the three judging panels for each genre operate completely independently from lighting industry KOI sponsors which will ensure that we see some wholly deserving winners in October.”

Claypaky confirmed as headline sponsor

Claypaky is generously supporting KOI-USA as headline sponsors and, to honour their part in the foundation of the awards along with Durham and Jennie Marenghi, an additional award is to bear their name: The Claypaky Lifetime Recognition Award.
Pio Nahum, CEO of Claypaky, says, “We are delighted to see these prestigious awards cross the Atlantic. Much of the success of the UK competition can be attributed to the robust, transparent judging process which, for Claypaky, is a key factor behind our continued support.
“The combined experience of Live Design, LDI and The Fifth Estate make them the ideal choice to manage KOI-USA, ensuring that the integrity and validity of the awards is maintained. We very much look forward to celebrating the best of the incredible lighting and video design being produced in North America.”
The KOI-USA Judges
The KOI judging process has always been a key part of the awards’ integrity and this tradition will be extended to KOI-USA. Organisers have already recruited three strong advisors: Concert Touring & Events judges’ advisor is John Featherstone, Principal of Lightswitch; Live Broadcast judges’ advisor is Jeff Ravitz of Intensity Advisors and the Theatre judges’ advisor is Clifton Taylor, Principal of Design Curve.

Sarah Rushton-Read, Creative Director of The Fifth Estate, says, “KOI’s raison d’être has always been to shine a light on the work of great designers and opening up the awards to productions staged in the USA is a great way to further the cause. The LDI / Live Design team share our passion and we are enjoying working with them on what is shaping up to be a great first KOI-USA.”

The Ceremony

The first KOI-USA ceremony will take place in The Foundry (pictured) at the SLS Hotel, Las Vegas. The pre-dinner drinks reception and post-ceremony party will take place in adjacent spaces within SLS Hotel complex.