Gator Sound & Lighting
Narrow talks to…Douglas Palmieri
Founder of Gator Sound and Lighting
By Zahra Musgrave
Gator Sound and Lighting provides rental or leasing of lighting, concert setups, tech help, DJs, and party atmospheres.
N: Tell us when/how you got started. What team does it take to be a success?
DP: Having knowledge and drive in more areas and the equipment to do it to encompass a complete experience for the show. I started the company because of the love of electronic music, so that is what I specialize in since I DJ as well. The dynamics and equipment for electronic acts are much more involved and complex then say a band show or church. I can do all of these types, but am better suited to do what I enjoy. My team is mainly me, I have labor help as well for bigger shows but all in all it is just me doing it all. When we set up the branch in Orlando, I will hire full-time qualified help as that will be a bigger load .
N: Last month you brought the lights and sounds to Sundown Sounds Cruise. How was your experience skipping shore via yacht w/ the rigs?
DP: It’s more physically demanding to setup because of load in and load out, and there is less power to use on the boat. Other than that, it is very similar and fun for sure.
N: To some, lights are just lights. But for our readers more invested, could you list new gear you are excited about & why?
DP: Well, I pride the company to have everything for a complete experience. We are always trying to get the best gear possible for any job-such to setup a concert outside like Oasis on March 15th. It all starts with having a 50kw generator in inventory to provide power, staging for the base of it, barricades for crowd control and the gear goes on from there. We have the best line arrays for sound quality in this area of the state and only use the very best amps (Powersoft). For LED screens we are the only ones anywhere around here with curvable 3mm screens which allow the most creative show to be seen. We have the brightest lasers as well, as up to 10 watts for that extra wow.
N: Gator Sound and Lighting is active across all of Florida. At what point did you get into traveling?
DP: We started doing shows out of Gainesville. Around 2 years in we expanded from mostly word of mouth. I had to buy more (hauling) capacity as far as trucking and trailers. Not much else is different now except adding time to the equation. We plan to do more in Orlando and set up a shop there as New Age Lighting and Sound. There are way more opportunities in that area versus Gainesville.
N: Is there any general advice you would give someone striving to grow in the audio/ lighting production/event support world?
DP: Well, pick an area you like the most and work for free until you are good at it. I had multiple jobs in a ten-year span to pay bills before Gator Sound was self-sufficient. And do not over buy, the debt is ridiculous in this field. Unless you are great at what you do you will go broke trying.