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Articles July-August 2023

Epson Captures Big Screen Mapping Projector's Demand at AV-ICN Expo New!

Yoshino San shared Epson's strategy, purpose, and exhibit display theme at AV-ICN expo with Chopra San. read more

Articles July-August 2023

Post Show Review: 11th PALM Sound and Light Awards New!

PALM Sound & Light Awards honoured deserving individuals and companies from the pro sound and lighting industry in its 11th edition. read more

Articles July-August 2023

AV-ICN Expo's AV Architect of the Year New!

In a dramatic moment at the 11th PALM Sound & Light Awards, Founder Anil Chopra announced Kelvin Ashby-King the 'AV Architect of the Year' 2023. read more

Articles July-August 2023

PALM Expo 2023 Achieves Recognition from Global Brands New!

PALM Expo 2023 returned with its 21st edition, drawing exhibitors and at¬tendees from around the globe, simultaneously placing the Indian pro audio and lighting indus¬try on the map. read more

Articles July-August 2023

Pro AV Mass Market Momentum Emphasizes AV-ICN Expo Success New!

AV-ICN Expo 2023 took place at the BEC, Mumbai, once again marking its presence as the torchbearer for the AV industry in India. read more

Articles May-June 2023

BenQ LH730 - The Next Revolution in High Brightness LED Projection New!

BenQ's 4LED High Brightness Projector is a game changer in education and the corporate customer segments that ensures a never-seen-before image clarity and increased lifespan. read more

Articles May-June 2023

Christie Griffyn Series Delivers Game-Changing Solution for Large-Venue Projections New!

A Christie representative explains why the Christie Griffyn Series is an all-in-one solution for large venue projections as one of the smallest, lightest, and brightest RGB series available. read more

Articles May-June 2023

EYTE Technologies Pvt Ltd Brings AV Hybrid Classroom for Indira Group, Pune New!

EYTE Technologies Pvt Ltd transforms the learning ways with the installation of cutting-edge AV systems at Indira Group of Institutes Management College. read more


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Naveen Deshpande - Lighting Designer Of The Year



Any live event is obviously redundant without the lighting and visual imagery. Lighting plays a crucial role in any show adding excitement, dynamism and emotion to a performance and it is the art and science of the Lighting Designer that adds zing to any concert, music festival or stage show. PALM Sound & Light was envisioned to celebrate excellence in creativity and innovation in the field of lighting products, design and application, as much as it celebrates excellence in live sound, and this years the awards honoured the infallible Naveen Deshpande with Lighting Designer of the Year. In this article, PT charts Naveen’s journey in the Live Events space.



Naveen Deshpande receiving the award for Lighting Designer of the Year. In his instagram post, Naveen dedicated this award to Syam Gopinath, Francis Porai, Ganesh Pujare and Satvinder Singh for teaching and constantly inspiring him.


Naveen was born in Hubli and raised in Nasik and Pune. A Bachelor in Computer Science, he found himself drawn to music. Starting of his musical career as a drummer for the death metal band Black Hole Theory, he also worked as a radio jockey at the Planet M store in Pune as a teenager. Naveen practically, grew up alongside the very nascent indie rock scene in the country.

As this scene evolved, mutated and branched into alternative rock, fusion, electronic and other live music avenues, he used his passion for music and penchant for the business to stack up experience in managing bands, booking shows, dealing with promoters and venues, and eventually producing shows.

Thus was born, his company – Mixtape, whose main forte is artist management, bookings, touring and event management. With a history of working with both local and international clients for almost a decade, Mixtape has developed a reputation as India’s premier agency in the independent music industry, with a worldwide reach.

Around a decade ago, Mixtape managed one of India’s leading bands Pentagram and Naveeen would double up as tour manager for the band. When on these tours, he would watch designers like Roosevelt D’souza and Abhishek Sanyal create their lighting magic for the band, and this excited Naveen! He was inherently drawn to the beautiful world of lighting and developed a passion for it.

The Avolites Connection

In 2011, when on a holiday in UK, Naveen found out that Avolites was conducting a workshop on the Pearl and Titan software. Since there wasn’t any formal training available in India back then, Naveen wrote to Avolites about his keen interest in learning the console. Avolites on their part supported the budding lighting designer and waived off his training fees. They also helped him get a certification for the Pearl and the Titan software and thus began Naveen’s journey as a lighting designer.

With a lifelong passion for music and a keen aptitude for programming lights for event and managing tours, Naveen blended both strengths for all the artists that Mixtape managed, like Indus Creed, Shaa’ir + Func, Scribe, Bhayanak Maut etc. He later got an opportunity to join two of Bollywood’s most celebrated artists - Pritam and Amit Trivedi. He travelled with them for three years until he realized that constant tours were taking a toll on him, after which he decided to do only select shows.

Festival Culture

With the advent of the music festival culture in India around 2012-13, Naveen decided to bring in more curated and eclectic lighting design experiences across festivals. Ever since he has been part of the Magnetic Fields Festival and gradually added multiple other festivals such as NH7 Weekender, Sula Fest, Bira’s April Fool’s Fest, Backdoors Festival, Disrupt, BUDX Mumbai and many more to his rich portfolio.

“ It is important to recognise people who work in the backend of creating a magnificent event and PALM Sound and Light awards is rightly doing so by acknowledging this talent. These talented technicians make events look and sound extravagant and awards like these are great to boost their morals thus, raising industry standards. ”

NAVEEN DESHPANDE, Mixtape

He has also lighted up the stage for some of the biggest international touring artists in India such as Karnivool, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, Four TET, DJ EZ, Fatima Yamaha etc. A personal letter from Steve Vai, congratulating Naveen for the spectacular lighting rig he had designed and programmed for the three-time Grammy Award winner on two of his concerts in India, was testimonial enough for Naveen’s skill, which he had honed through the years.

Remember it’s not necessary that bigger the better, sometimes minimal is the key.


Naveen won the PALM Sound & Light award for his outstanding work in in 2018-2019 in festivals such as Disrupt, NH7 and Magnetic Fields.


Ground Control

Finding the right chemistry and inclusive atmosphere in live event production, Mixtape set up a Ground Control division, which handles lighting and A/V design for multiple music festivals, touring artists and corporate events. Naveen soon started including visuals and pyros along with lighting for many of his touring artists. One of his most successful live productions in the recent past has been for hip-hop superstar Divine.

“I am also excited to consult and design many new venues coming up in India, this year I am looking forward to one of my favourite projects which is antiSOCIAL, coming up in Mumbai and I am excited to bring in a diverse selection of fixtures from Martin lighting at the venue,” says Naveen.

Naveen being a trained lighting engineer is still progressing on the path to make this lighting and AV collective the go-to solution provider for any kind of light design requirement in the country.

“Remember it’s not necessary that bigger the better, sometimes minimal is the key,” is his tip to budding lighting designers in the country.

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