So for some of you following this blog you have been checking in to grab useful information as to where and how to buy tickets, which hotel to stay at and so forth. For a few, it's for pure entertainment to catch a rant or two of what it's like to work behind the scenes of a festival of this caliber. All I can say at this point is WOW. So of course I will take about what it was like to walk into an event of this caliber. Over the following blogs in the next few days I will be letting you know about what we are doing to increase the value of your event experience. So like I said, stay tuned!!
So the production office was loaded into the Convention Center Thursday night and we went to work. I had emails to answer, phone calls to return and boxes of information to organize. Everything from what the stage managers needed (they make sure the bands have everything they need from passes to equipment, food, rider requirements and guest wristbands among many other tasks) to the Lead volunteers. The Lead Volunteers and our Stage Managers were the most amazing and kindest people I have had a chance to work with. Our system was flawed but they took the punches and rolled with it! I will probably say this a dozen times in the next few days, but I love you Volunteers & Stage Managers, and thank you for making this festival the best it could be. So for each lead volunteer received as much information as we were able to produce as to who was volunteering on such day, their position and shirt size (if we had it available), cash boxes, wristbands, will call lists.... You name it. So you see how these Lead Volunteers were on my highest tier right next to the Stage Managers this weekend because in some instances we did not have everything available. They rocked and rolled it anyway, and again I am so thankful for everyone!
So I went home Thursday night knowing what was in store for me, or so I thought! We would have to make sure that all of our boxes were correct and distributed to the correct person, make sure ticketing opened when it needed too, make sure merch was set up, bands were loading in, bands were checking in to their hotel, vendors were setting up, catering being delivered at their set time for VIPS, green rooms setup for bands... you name it... there was enough for 20 people to join me in pacing the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center lobby. We had 8 venues and 10 stages to setup, no easy feat for anyone.
Oh, by the way if you didn't happen to catch me on what I called the Bat Phone (The Production Office Phone) I was running around the venue all weekend in a Grey and White striped sweatshirt and a Canary Yellow beanie. I found it amusing, whenever I had a ticketing issue that only could solve, I would say, I'll see you in three and a half minutes (they put our office on the 7th floor of the convention center) And I will be wearing this awkward canary hat... As soon as I entered ticketing, I'd see a hand go up and there we would go... Problem Solved. (At least I hope was able to solve most of your problems over the weekend!)
Okay back to the case in point. To let you in on where everyone was... Sam Campbell is the Head of Operations. Sam has more responsibilities than I can even imagine to list. He did a great job over the weekend trying to make sure everyone was fed, all of the banners were up, all of drivers were set and if I had a question: he was the one I was the first one to call. Sorry for all my calls Sam but you were my lifesaver! Our Volunteer Coordinator was in charge of the volunteers in 8 venues and I tried to help as backup as much as I could. Then the owner Rich was in charge of so many things he was running around with his tux on too make such the festival was to standard, doing interviews and introducing bands. His responsibilities were endless as I would only call him in dire moments and anytime I would catch him in an elevator it would be.... "You okay?" "Yeah, I'm okay. You?".... and the weekend would continue.
Oh Goodness, Where am I? Friday?!
I awoke and immediately felt overwhelmed in the best way possible. So many things to be done, the band Live loading in with a 2 hour sound check to start and a festival to help make happen in only mear hours.
I get to where the Production Office was loaded into in the what would soon be the green room in what seemed to be minutes which actually was 4 hours. So everything including all Volunteer and stage manager information, printers, computers, merch, staff shirts and all that you could imagine would be my lifelines over the course of 48 hours were moved from one floor to the 7th in loads.
Insert: My heart beating out of my chest. Granted I had had two large red bulls at the time (not a coffee drinker) but I then realized that you know what, I had the best people helping me out all morning sorting and making sure those boxes were correct. We shall figure everything out once we get upstairs.
I have talked about this in past entries that I have worked in different types of events before. As an event planner or manager it is your job to predict every problem before it actually happens.
That was me back when I started this blog. We know that no many steps you follow in any handbook that no event will ever be the same. That no roses will be the same amount for one bride from the next and if the spot light doesn't shine on your main performers mark at said point, she will refuse to go on.
And with this teaser I will leave you with thoughts of how TGIF completed and how Saturday surely began. With thoughts and information on the next festival coming and so much more. Thank you for stopping by and this is one Blondesheep thankful for YOU!