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How to STAGE... Sports Tailgates & Fanfests

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Stage... Sound... Lights...Kickoff! Behind the scenes at some of Florida's top sporting events.

From the Orlando Magic's Playoff Fanfest to the Florida Gator's 2019 Season Kickoff Rally to UCF's 2017 National Championship Celebration, the aXisPro Events Stage, Audio and Lighting team has been in the middle of the controlled chaos before, during and after the kickoff, tipoff or first pitch, lighting up streets, fields and City blocks in the name of the game! We love sports almost as much as we love music, but unfortunately when our two passions collide, they tend to create lots of confetti... and we hate to clean up confetti!

On a more serious, yet fun note, tackling the topic of Sports & Entertainment Management, we take pride in having a two decade history of being in the trenches with some of Florida's most heralded sports franchises and programs. As the preferred Stage & Audio company of the UCF Athletics, the Orlando Magic, Orlando City Soccer, USF Athletics and UF Alumni Association here in the Central Florida area, we have had the privilege of being associated with many historic moments. Here's a few of the more memorable events team aXisPro assisted in activating throughout Central Florida's top venues and facilities.

College Football Stages, Audio & Lighting for UCF, UF, USF Tailgates & Special Events

The aXisPro team assisted in creating a last minute event space for the UCF National Championship Celebration on Church Street.
The aXisPro team assisted in creating a last minute event space for the UCF National Championship Celebration.

Although the majority of the aXis team bleeds Black & Gold, we've still been a big supporter of the Gator and Bulls pregame and tailgate experiences. Having produced the UCF Tailgate Concert Series for going on four seasons, we've had the opportunity to work with everyone from Morgan Wallen to Luke Combs, utilizing the aXisPro Stageline SL100 for the Pacifico/Corona MainStage in OIA Plaza for the pregame festivities. Check out UCF Football Concert Series for a full history of the heralded series, that boasts a who's who of the Country Music Charts.

UCF National Championship Celebration • January 2018 • Church Street Station • SL100

One of the best times we had as UCF Alums, Fans and production assistants though, was when we got the call from UCF Deputy AD Scott Carr and were asked to help turn Church Street Station into the ultimate 2017 National Championship Celebration. The Stageline SL100, 16x9 LED wall, LED movers, QSC KLA Line Array w/ strategically placed K12.2/118 Towers on the balconies along with confetti cannons and Co2 onstage and additional cannons upstairs as well... sound like a party... well it was one of the biggest in Downtown Orlando's history! More than 15,000 people packed into two blocks of historic Church Street Station for the rally and ensuing block party.

UCF Coaches Tour 2018-2021 • Wall Street Plaza • MAP24 Mobile Stage

Otown can't get enough of their Hometown Team, and the UCF faithful packed the Downtown cultural corridor at Wall Street Plaza the past few years for the annual Coaches Tour Stop. The weekday event offers UCF fans an opportunity to meet the Head Coaches for football, volleyball, baseball, softball and/or basketball, depending on what sports are on break and have availability. The aXisPro MAP24 stage has hosted everyone from Coach Dawkins to Coach Heupel, with the now infamous former AD Danny White handling the welcoming duties.

The 2021 Coaches Tour was the debut of Coach Gus Malzahn and Athletic Director Terry Mohajir at Wall Street Plaza with The Voice of the Knights Marc Daniels hosting Big Kat Bryant and a former QB for onstage interviews, along with the all star line up of UCF Coaches. The aXis Pro Events team brought in an LED Trailer for logos and sizzle reels prior to each interview, and welcomed the UCF Band and Knightro to warm up the crowd.

UCF Basketball Fanfest • Addition Financial Arena • 2021 Season • MAP24 Mobile Stage

With Conference rivals Houston coming to town as a top 10 opponent, the Knights hosted their first ever pregame Tailgate Concert featuring the local funk group GW Souther on the Yuengling MainStage outside Addition Financial Arena and Burger U. The UCF Band warmed up the crowd and welcomed the fans for the soon to be Big12 Conference match up.

Gator Alumni 2019 Season Kickoff Party • Dr Phillips Centre • Stageline SL100

Downtown Orlando was all Orange and Blue for the 2019 College Season Kickoff at Camping World Stadium between the highly ranked Florida Gators against their instate rivals the Miami Hurricanes. We utilized the aXisPro Stageline SL100 for the pep rally on steroids, featuring the Athletic Director and Coach Steve Spurrier welcoming the thousands of Gator alums, with the cheerleaders onstage and out front with the marching band. The QSC KLA line array was more than enough to rock the MainStage area, but a few strategically placed KLA/118 towers helped for relays to the outside tent areas.

Orlando City & Florida Citrus Sports • Watch Parties • Orlando • Mobile Stage/LED

Originating with the World Cup 2010 festivities, Wall Street Plaza became the place to watch the matches, with aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage and accompanying LED trailer dialed into Team USA, Orlando City, Orlando Pride and other momentous occasions for soccer fans in Central Florida.

Orlando City Soccer Tailgates • 2015-2022 Seasons • Camping World / Exploria Stadium

aXisPro Events provides the SL100 for Orlando City Fanfests at Exploria Stadium bringing back the series started the 2017 season.

With the move to Exploria Stadium, Orlando City brought back the Pregame festivities hosting regional groups in the Publix Mane Street Plaza on the aXis Pro Stageline SL100 Mobile stage and audio. The series kicked off the inaugural season at Camping World Stadium and is now back for some of the bigger matches, transitioning from the MAP24 to the SL100 stage and audio.

Orlando City made their historic MLS debut, selling out Camping World Stadium(at the time the Citrus Bowl), with their #FillTheBowl campaign to kickoff the 2015 season. More than 70,000 packed the stadium for the inaugural event, and thousands got treated to the first of many Mane Street fan experiences on the Heineken MainStage. The aXisPro MAP24 was the perfect fit to host a variety of indie and alternative acts rocking the pregame festivities, including South Florida's Surfer Blood introduced by Tom & Dan for the kickoff event.

aXisPro provided the MAP24 w/ Nexo Audio rig for Surfer Blood on the Heineken Stage at Camping World Stadium.
aXisPro provided the MAP24 w/ Nexo Audio rig for Surfer Blood on the Heineken Stage at Camping World Stadium.

The Concert Series was designed to provide a Gameday activation that created a family friendly environment with live music, food trucks and merchandise areas. The location shifted from an adjacent field to a Gate area once the summer weather deemed the field's surface less than inviting. The aXisPro MAP24 mobile stage was able to go from the 32' wide front facade to the standard 24' wide and 16' deep, with the Nexo Audio Rig ground stacked double high, rather than onstage. The four Nexo Alpha E Series tops and four Nexo S2 subs packed more than enough boom for the Concert Series.

The concept of bringing Gameday concerts wasn't foreign to the OCSC fanbase, as their Season Kickoff Pub Crawls regular featured Otown's favorite The Supervillains at Wall St Plaza on the MAP24. Once agains, the Marshall Austin Mobile Stage proved itself one of the more flexible mobile units on the market, fitting in between the 28' wide streetscape in the tight Downtown Orlando cultural corridor.

The aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage proved it can fit anywhere, for the OCSC Kickoff Pub Crawl with The Supervillains at Wall Street Plaza.
The aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage proved it can fit anywhere, with The Supervillains at Wall Street Plaza in Downtown.

The regular season grand finale featured Gainesville's ska-punk legends Less Than Jake on the Heineken MainStage, rocking thousands prior to the final match inside Camping World Season for the 2015 campaign. Orlando City continued the Concert Series for another two seasons, with local and regional acts highlighting the Heineken stage.

the aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage rocked with Less Than Jake for the Orlando City season ending concert!
the aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage rocked with Less Than Jake for the Orlando City season ending concert!

Orlando Magic Playoff Fanfest • April 2019 • Amway Centre • Stageline SL100

The aXisPro Stageline SL100 rocked Church Street outside Amway Centre for the 2019 Playoff Fanfests!
The aXisPro Stageline SL100 rocked Church Street outside Amway Centre for the 2019 Playoff Fanfests!

As the Orlando Magic Stage & Production team for the 2018 and 2019 Pregame Fanfests, we had the opportunity to work through many of the nuances of a flash activation on a busy Downtown thoroughfare. Church Street is well known for being one of the busier cross streets in Downtown Orlando on normal business days, but on Game Days it tends to be the center of all things chaos. With the standard tipoff at about 7pm, and rush hour clocking in right around that 4:40-5:30pm window, there isn't much time to close off the block, erect a stage, soundcheck the DJ and/or band, and be ready for the influx of thousands of the Black & Blue faithful. Live Entertainment Specialist Norman Shea and his crew have it down to a science. The Block Parties are reserved for some of the top visiting teams, and when the Lakers, Warriors, Celtics hit town, so do the big pregame crowds. Norman has requested the MAP24 Marshall Austin Mobile Stage for these match ups, as it allows for more flexibility in the different locations on the East and West sides of Church Street. It also allows for an emergency lane on both sides of the stage, keeping with code for a major sporting event.

The aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage is a great fit for Orlando Magic Fanfest at Amway Centre.
The aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage & Sound are a great fit for Orlando Magic pregame Fanfests at Amway Centre.

When doing a full band on weekend games, the West side of the street facing east toward Downtown has always proved more hospitable for the louder groups onstage and larger gatherings offstage. It also steers the crowd toward the refreshment areas for the extended pregame festivities. For the week night match ups, the East side facing the box office usually provides a more efficient set up, with a DJ and MC onstage, moving the crowd toward the entrance with consideration for the more limited pregame timeline. This was the scenario we assisted the Chabbad of Orlando with for Jewish Heritage Night, featuring Nosson Zand performing a full concert on the aXisPro Stage.

The Orlando Magic 2019 Playoff Fanfest welcomed thousands to the pregame party in front of the aXisPro SL100 Stage!
The Orlando Magic 2019 Playoff Fanfest welcomed thousands to the pregame party in front of the aXisPro Stage!

After two years of rocking Church Street for the Magic Fanfests, and being fans since the early days in 1989(full disclosure, one of aXisPro Events founders/owners interned in the Media Relations Dept under Alex Martins during the Shaq/Penny era), we were pumped when the team drew the #7 seed for the playoffs, and welcomed the Toronto Raptors to town. Mother Nature wasn't as supportive though, with the opening game Fanfest being called due to impending tornado like winds. Our next Home Game fell on a sunny Easter Sunday, with the Magic fanbase fired up down 2 games to 1 and a chance to hold court. Norman invested in the full SL100 Stageline Scrim Package, expanding the stage facade out 6ft in each direction and up 4ft with Blue/White and Budweiser igniting the street. We added a 9w x 6h LED wall to the backdrop for the Outdoor Viewing Party following tip off, with the Magic tech team adding animated visuals and sponsor mentions throughout the Block party. The DJ, dancers and Hype team got the crowd going early and kept them fired up throughout the afternoon for one of the largest Magic block parties since the mid 90s!

Cheez It Bowl & VRBO Citrus Bowl Fanfests • Pointe Orlando • LED w/ Audio/Stage

aXis Productions was enlisted by Cox Radio Events to assist in the Fanfest for the Cheez It Bowl featuring Iowa State vs Clemson followed by the VRBO Citrus Bowl match up between Kentucky and Iowa. The production included LED screens and Stages on both ends of the Pointe Orlando patio.

USF Bullzone • 2015-2018 Seasons • Raymond James Stadium • MAP24 Stage

And not to be biased in the War on I-4, we were able to support the USF Bullzone with the aXisPro MAP24 for three seasons, until they consolidated their pregame festivities, moving the Stage from a tailgate lot to the DJ Crows Nest used for Bucs and Bulls games. The MAP24 was outfitted with a custom scrim package made by our friends at OAI in Tampa. The Bulls Zone scrims concealed the Nexo Alpha E Series tops and S2 subs double stacked on each side booming the USF Bulls Student radio.

USF Alumni Association Homecoming Festival & Concert • MAP24 Mobile Stage

Having assisted with Gameday Stage & Production needs for the Bullzone at Raymond James Stadium for many years, the USF Alumni Association decided to bring in the aXisPro MAP24 Mobile Stage for their annual gathering at the Sam and Martha Gibbons Alumni Center on campus. The stage was the perfect fit for the various locations adjacent to the VIP tent and tables, with a great view of the student parade as it rolls down USF Alumni Drive the night before the big game.

Florida Collegiate Summer League • MAP24 Mobile Stage • Sanford Memorial Stadium

As an Official Sponsor of the Florida Collegiate Summer League and Golf Tournament, aXis Productions supported the Opening Day Fanfest with the Yeungling MainStage, hosting Oviedo School of Rock a the Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium.


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