Written by: Andrew Bertin
Lititz, Pennsylvania is a small town with Amish roots, where you can still smell the farm animals as you drive down its narrow roads. At first glance, there's nothing really special about Lititz, but nestled in this unassuming town are two of the most prominent and widely patronized companies within the field of live entertainment, Clair Global and Tait Towers.
Clair Global specializes in all things audio. They tour with different events and shows, providing a high quality audio setup, as well as audio expertise for those events. TEC was able to go behind the scenes at Clair, with special access to their warehouse, production facilities, and repair shop. As you walk into the building, your first thought is that you simply stepped into an office building. As you keep walking, though, you go through the museum they have setup, with such rarities as a mixing console used for an Elvis show in Madison Square Gardens, or one of the very first analog consoles. Next, you enter their combination warehouse/workshop. As soon as you step in, the enormity of their operation hits you. They're constantly assembling new speaker cabinets and repairing old ones, their CNC machines are cutting pieces of wood for new speaker cabinets, and their electronics shop is repairing and testing the computer hardware for digital consoles and speakers. It's a constant buzz of work and energy. A little later, that sound of work being done dies out as you walk through the doors to Clair's storage room, which is filled to the brim with different types of speaker cabinets. Then, as you complete your journey, you go back to the office, and the change in intensity from earlier makes you feel worn out, almost as though you had just taken a three hour tour.
Let's take a step back. Earlier I mentioned that there were two major companies in Lititz: Clair Global, but also Tait Towers. If you've seen the Cirque du Soleil show "O", or Taylor Swift's "1989" concert tour, or "Adele Live 2016" then you've seen some of the handiwork of Tait Towers. Tait is a production and set design company known for impressive set pieces, amazing stage automation, helpful stage creation components, and yes, their seemingly very popular four wheel dolleys. Their warehouse and production facility is broken up into different sections. One for each of the different steps involved in the design and creation process. Tait Towers is a very impressive company that has created, and will create, many amazing sets and set pieces. We were extremely fortunate to have been given a chance to tour their facilities.
And that's Lititz, a small town with a big impact.