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Music Festival Staff Communication on Live Event Days.

Andy Robertson

All music festivals experience a host of organisational challenges on the dates the event takes place. Efficient communication and collaboration between festival staff, volunteers, artists and support services is vital on these days. What can organisers do to ensure that communication and collaboration efficiency is maximised during event dates.


The smooth running of any music festival located on a remote site will depend on efficient communication between everyone involved in the organisation of the event. The ability to quickly deal with medical emergencies and security issues will always be a priority. In addition, maintaining service levels like regularly cleaned bathroom facilities and rubbish collection can enhance the festival-goer experience. Moving artists set times around can be a huge challenge for producers and stage managers and requires accurate communication between artists, their managers and the production team to help maintain smooth set transitions.

Walkie Talkies. 
They’ve been around for years and are the mainstay of music festival organisers for efficient communication on any remote site. With sometimes hundreds of walkie talkies used the user allocation and training will be key to their successful deployment. Organisers must plan walkie talkie usage carefully to ensure that all users understand communication protocols along with priorities and acceptable use. The units need to be fully charged and available throughout the site on all live event days.

Runners. 
Getting volunteers allocated as runners can provide an essential back up when all other communication protocols fail. Sending messages using runners can be subject to misunderstanding at times so any staff using runners must ensure that any messages are clear and succinct.

Mobile Devices. 
Using mobile devices is more and more common but is heavily reliant on a stable Wi-Fi network, the reliability improves year on year but problems can still be encountered. Connecting to online services where contact data and schedules are shared and updated in real time may be the utopia for organisers, however, this does rely on users checking their devices on a regular basis.

Planning.
Rather than relying on a single system of communication organisers are more likely to use a combination of methods. For comprehensive management of schedules and reference to other key data using mobile devices with access to shared information should be the priority. However, for urgent messaging the use of walkie talkies will remain the key tool for staff and volunteer collaboration on-site. They are instant and enable accurate information to be transferred between users in all conditions. When all else fails the runner will probably be the last resort. Planning and prioritising how communication flows on a festival site during an event is essential for festival organisers and must be conveyed to all staff and volunteers along with good training.

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 Ron Lach via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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