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Managing Music Festival Logistics After a Prolonged Lay-up.

Andy Robertson

As most music festivals were cancelled in 2020 and not returning until summer 2021 it could be almost 2 years since a festival took place in the summer of 2019. This has implications for the performance of equipment and artists, how can festival organisers minimise the impact of such a prolonged closure.


Whether it’s equipment likely being laid up for 2 years or artists not performing live sets for a similar period, it makes sense for festival organisers to take extra precautions in planning the return of their festival. This will impact on contingency planning and logistics as more time needs to be factored in for unexpected issues.  

Backline Equipment Hire.
T
he stage backline equipment has most probably been sitting in a warehouse unused for a few years so it is essential that any contractor can provide a detailed synopsis of maintenance and storage precautions they have taken to keep their equipment in top condition. Without correct storage and regular checks the equipment can be subject to damp conditions potentially leading to failure of electrical components. Even with such guarantees from contractor suppliers, organisers should ensure that additional time is allocated for thorough on-site testing and to have a back-up plan should any equipment fail.

Power Supplies. 
Electricity generators, however they are powered, need specialist maintenance when in storage and most reputable suppliers will have fully qualified engineers conduct specialist maintenance schedules on all generators. Generators have multiple moving parts and are subject to corrosion and seizure ultimately leading to failure. As with the backline equipment suppliers should ensure that generators are delivered early and thoroughly tested on-site. Power generator suppliers always install a switchable transfer system at festivals anyway giving some peace of mind to organisers.

Artist Performances. 
Artists, crews and AV engineers have mostly not performed live sets for some time and it is not inconceivable that performances could be a bit rusty. There is not much festival organisers can do to counter this but logistics planning and scheduling can help. Simply allowing additional time for sound checks and set up can help put an artist at ease. Artists can be fickle, some are super professional and can perform live sets without too much practice and set up while others need more time. The festival artist liaison managers should have a dialogue with the artist’s manager and establish early any potential issues or additional time required so that stage schedules for sound checks and set up can be extended.  

The majority of music festival returns after such a long period of lay-up will run smoothly but there are logistics plans that organisers can put in place to minimise the impact of faulty equipment and rusty artist performances.

For organisers planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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