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Marquees For Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Most big music festivals take place in large open spaces often in remote locations and for the festival season in the UK the weather can be unpredictable. Many festival organisers now use a combination of open spaces and covered marquees to provide some shelter should there be inclement weather.

Music festivals taking place in large open fields expose festival-goers to all types of adverse conditions that may range from high temperatures and direct sunlight to thunderstorms and flash flooding leading to a miserable experience and dangerous conditions. In extreme cases festivals have been called off due to safety concerns. Part of the solution is to provide covered respite for festival-goers which perhaps started with smaller tented areas and marquees on site. The technology for marquees is ever changing meaning bigger and more robust solutions for organisers.

Marquee Construction. 
Traditional marquees usually consisted of numerous guide ropes and internal support poles but new manufacturing and construction methods are allowing ever larger construction using clearspan. Clearspan marquess have no guide ropes and no obstructive poles or internal support, they are made from an aluminium frame which is then concealed with a PVC cover. This construction allows for greater flexibility and is generally more robust than traditional marquees. 

Size Matters. 
Clearspan marquees can often be constructed on a modular basis giving great flexibility to festival organisers as they can create large undercover spaces that can fit the dimensions of the space available. As a general rule most clearspan marquees can go up to 40m in width to just about any length and construction options allow for multiples of 5m. As an example a 10m x 30m marquee could hold about 400 people standing (stage plus audience) or about 200 people for mixed seated and standing (VIP or catering).

Hiring Options. 
Aside from the basic marquees construction it is also possible to add options like solid walls, clear PVC and even solid flooring. It will depend on the potential usage, a VIP marquee can be luxuriously finished whereas a stage arena can be more basic. Many festival organisers can find marquee suppliers who can build a variety of structures and sizes but their services need to be engaged at an early stage in the logistics planning to allow for delivery and construction. Marquee construction will no doubt be on the critical path planning as stage construction and equipment supplies cannot be delivered until the marquees are completed. When selecting a supplier look at their track record and experience and it may be worth checking if they are a member of the Marquee Hire Trade Organisation. 

Whether it's for a stage and dance area or catering the clearspan marquee gives festival organisers flexible options to create a large covered space. Stage construction and sensitive backline equipment can be protected from the elements and marquees provide endless options to fit most budgets. 

For festival organisers planning their events 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 Wendy Wei from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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