Special Events Names Got Light 2016 Award Winner of Best Use of Lighting

Posted on: January 14, 2016

Got Light is ecstatic to have been named Special Events 2016 Gala Awards Winners for Best Use of Lighting of San Francisco Ballet‘s Opening Night Gala!

We celebrate this honor with our amazing staff and crew who created this dazzling design! And a big thank you to our event partners Ideas Event Decor & Production and McCalls Catering & Events.

“Receiving our first Special Events award, as determined by fellow event professionals, is an extremely flattering honor,” says co-owner Jon Retsky. “Over the past twelve years, our success has been built on creatively transforming empty spaces by employing innovative solutions and designs,” explains co-owner Russell Holt. “We are proud Got Light has been recognized as an international leader in event lighting design.”

The San Francisco Ballet Gala is an extraordinary event that brings together local and national corporate, political, civic and philanthropic leaders.  Our lighting design company created a stunning celebratory experience in City Hall to correspond to the evening’s theme, “Infinite Romance,” as our artists created custom lighting projections to evoke evoke the amorous theme.


Graphics and images from the invitations and Ballet Gala programs were transformed into custom high-resolution slides that filled the room with vibrant patterned energy. Within the venue’s Rotunda, we projected a whipped line pattern around the perimeter of the second floor columns, which provided illumination throughout the building’s Rotunda.  This was accompanied by a sharp wash of downlight onto the stairs and a blue band of light on the upper architecture.  Accent illumination of food and beverage stations, along with focused pinspot illumination, individually highlighted the 20 dinner tables.  Both the South and North Courts were additionally lit for diners with perimeter LED uplighting to complement the event color palette.


The Rotunda later transformed for the After Party to a web of anarchy using similar custom patterns and layers as the earlier Dinner, creating dynamic personality.  The lighting included shades of indigo blues with accents of hot pink, emerald greens, and splashes of amber.
Attended by 1,400 guests, a Cocktail Reception and Dinner in the historic San Francisco City Hall kicked off the festivities, followed by the ballet performances at the War Memorial. The sold-out crowd of 3,400 reveled at the After Party in the transformed City Hall, featuring live music, dj, dancing, cocktails, and late-night fare.

The San Francisco Ballet’s Gala supports the program ENCORE!, creating premier social and educational events for young Bay Area men and women. ENCORE!’s goal is to offer its 200-plus members opportunities to experience the world class San Francisco Ballet while also enjoying a unique perspective from behind the scenes. ENCORE! contributes to SF Ballet through performance attendance, volunteer involvement, and financial support.
The Gala Awards have been given by Special Events magazine, the premier industry publication, since 1986, when the awards honored the “top 10 events of 1985.” They recognize the finest work in special events worldwide.  For the 2016 Gala Awards, the magazine received entries in 35 categories from nine countries: Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.  Members of the Special Events magazine Advisory Board, made up of leaders in the event profession, review all entries to determine the nominees and winners.  The Gala Awards were given out on January 14th at a black-tie ceremony at The Special Event 2016 in Orlando, Florida.
Location: San Francisco City Hall | Photos: Show Ready Photo