From the outside, Rock Lititz doesn’t look like much. A handful of very dark, utilitarian buildings with parking lots in between them… like any other industrial landscape, really. It’s the kind of place you could easily drive by 50 times and not even take notice. You’d never guess that this is where the most elite live acts on the planet (we’re talking Taylor Swift, Queen, Beyoncé, to name a few) go to take their shows to the next level and beyond.
Located in the quiet little town of Lititz, Pennsylvania, Rock Lititz is home to some of the most innovative companies in the live events industry. Only a short drive from most major East Coast cities, their unique combination of isolation and state-of-the-art has attracted many of the top performance artists and acts of our time.
AJ ON SCENE AT Rock Lititz
Companies from all over the world come to Rock Lititz to be a part of this unique, purpose-driven community that strives to push the boundaries of what live entertainment can be. At August Jackson, we are experts at connecting what we learn to the work we do, so It’s hard to think of a better place to spend a day collaborating on ways to up our game for our clients. And that’s exactly what we did. “Kids in a candy store” is an understatement. Rock Lititz is the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of our industry and our team of AJ producers had golden tickets (note: we all made it out at the end).
Combining all buildings on campus, Rock Lititz is 52,000 square feet of pure production glory located on 96 acres of land. The Studio at Rock Lititz is custom-made for the entertainment industry, spanning 240’ by 125’ with access to 3200 amps of available power. One-hundred feet above the ground, the ceiling of The Studio has a load capacity of 500 tons (that’s the equivalent of one million pounds).
Pod 2 is considered the “collaborative hub” on the Rock Lititz Campus. You’ll find nearly 30 different companies under one roof, from set designers to custom audio artists to entertainment technologists.
Need to stay awhile? Settle in at Hotel Rock Lititz, a gorgeous boutique lodge experience on campus, open to both the public and resident celebrities who are working on their next show. The hotel’s restaurant is also called “Per Diem,” which should induce a wry chuckle from every event producer reading this.
Our heads are still spinning just imagining the endless creative production possibilities. And we felt honored to be visiting a place where the entertainment moguls of our time have intricately crafted awe-inspiring shows that went on to create unforgettable memories for billions of spectators throughout the world.
COMMUNITY IS EVERYTHING
The true strength of Rock Lititz comes from the intrinsic trust that exists amongst everyone in their community. “Designed to support our creative passion and drive… the goal [of Rock Lititz] is to enhance both our professional and personal experiences with a uniquely collaborative culture.”
At AJ, we depend on that same level of trust and partnership. AJ producers spend many days on the road, in different venues and working environments. We rely on phone calls, video meetings, and must always be thinking of creative ways to maintain collaboration between our project teams and clients. It was refreshing to be immersed in an environment that felt like a parallel universe and examine how others are working similarly.
Rock Lititz also reminded us of the invaluable relationships we have with our production partners, suppliers and freelancers. The old saying “it takes a village” couldn’t be more truthful than when you’re in the thick of producing a national sales meeting for 12,000 guests in a winding venue you’ve never worked before. We depend on each other and we are thankful for the relationships we’ve built and won’t soon take them for granted.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Members of the Rock Lititz community challenge everything, defying venue limitations, install schedules, and demanding clients. We witnessed special effects and demos that are out on the road for summer tours and can easily be brought to a hotel ballroom – nothing is out of reach. Anyone can rent Red Hot Chili Peppers’ kinetic lighting rig for an event!
When we work within specific budget limitations for our client events, moments like our trip to Rock Lititz fuel our inspiration to creatively customize and scale big ideas for every client activation. How can we utilize new advances in pyrotechnic technology? How can we install an interactive canvas to engage donors during a fundraising event? How can we get creative with immersive activations when working under a modest budget? By keeping stride with the bravest thinkers in production, we design experiences that delight, dazzle and deliver.
PURPOSE IS ALWAYS CENTER STAGE
What happens at Rock Lititz felt like an extension of our own world. Their laser-beam focus on purpose — to unify and bond the production community, open horizons of new opportunities, and amplify the speed at which we achieve innovation — reminds us that we are on the right path.
“To build a great show, it takes a community. Access to vendors. Production resources and rehearsal space. Collaboration and integration between companies. And teamwork at every stage,” says Rock Lititz in their welcoming video. “Producing the best requires the very best.”
We couldn’t agree more. At August Jackson, our production team puts our clients’ purpose into practice by being architects of a transparent project infrastructure, aligning our teams and extended community, seeking out the most creative solutions, and fearlessly executing to bring life to our clients’ vision. We help organizations achieve their aspirations by inspiring their most important communities to believe and take action.
We enjoyed spending the day with industry partners at Rock Lititz. And we feel hungry to continue driving towards innovation around the events we produce for clients, eager to deliver only the best.