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Articles September - October 2023

Capturing The True Essence Of Sound New!

From Lewitt Audio's Pure Tube Microphone to Sennheiser's Profile USB Microphone, these studio microphones offer precise audio quality to the users and deliver crisp, clear sound. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Photo Feature: Studio Showcase New!

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Articles September - October 2023

Mastering The Art Of Sound With Donal Whelan New!

Whelan talks to the PALM Expo Magazine Team and discusses his foray into the world of mastering, his unique experience at the PALM Conference 2023, and more. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Nx Audio Celebrates Two Decades Of Pro Audio Journey New!

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Articles September - October 2023

Mumbai Studio Explores New Verticals With Genelec Monitors New!

The combination of Genelec Smart Active Monitors and digital audio interface delivered an ideal monitoring solution for BOING Recording Studios. read more

Articles September - October 2023

IRAA Awards 2023: Jury Reflections New!

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Firdaus Studio: Building A Sonic Paradise For Recording Artists New!

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Articles September - October 2023

Naveen Deshpande Elevates Stand-Up Comedy with Bespoke Lighting Designs New!

Naveen Deshpande, a renowned lighting designer, made heads turn through his recent collaboration with India's leading stand-up comedian, Zakir Khan, during the latter's international tour. 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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