Back in 1987, when Steve Lieberman was sweeping the floors and wiping down the bar of a New York City nightclub, mirrored flooring and glitter-balls were as ambitious as the average joint would get with ambiance. Thirty years later, as the owner and head designer of SJ Lighting, he transforms music festivals into visual works of light art.
“The audience is educated now,” Lieberman observes, “whereas, twenty five years ago, you walked into a nightclub, and if it had a couple of pin spots, we were good, nowadays the audience is expecting to come and see the wow factor.”
Lieberman was fortunate to have been born at the right time and grow up alongside his chosen area of expertise. “I lived around fifteen miles from Manhattan,” he remembers. “In college, one of my closest friends started working for a company doing lighting for night clubs. Back in 1990-91, the electronic music scene hit New York, and these underground shows started happening. He was right in the middle of it, so I’d get involved.”