Issue 28 May 2009 £4.75
Luton Hoo looks to host festivals
Music festival cancellation sparks row By Christina Eccles A ROW has broken out over who is to blame for the cancellation of a music festival just two weeks before it was due to take place. Organisers have pulled the plug on the Homecoming Festival – which was to be held at Irvine Bay in Ayrshire – after blaming North Ayshire Council for issuing ‘unfair demands’ such as a £60,000 bond on the land and a share of the profits. However, the council has hit back claiming that the bond is a standard requirement on an event such as this and issues over public safety were its main concern. A statement from the organisers said: “It is with great regret that organisers of the Homecoming festival have announced that this year’s event has been cancelled. “This is due to new demands from the council requesting 50 per cent of the profits and a £60,000 bond on the land.” The organisers declined to discuss the issue any further. But the council argued it needed more information on vital issues such as risk assessment and traffic management for the event to go ahead.
A council spokesman added: “A £60,000 bond is pretty standard to clean up a site like that. The 50 per cent was negotiable but they hadn’t come back to us with any numbers. “The event could only take place if all public safety requirements were agreed and in place. They were not. “The Council has been waiting in vain for detailed plans of this major event so that they could be assessed and agreed. “Our principal consideration has always been public safety. “We cannot sit back and adopt the philosophy that ‘it will be all right on the night’. “A licence for the event was granted subject to conditions being met. The organisers acknowledged that they could not meet the conditions and therefore the event will not take place.” The festival was part of Scotland’s year of Homecoming celebrations – designed to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns – and organisers had managed to secure acts including Reverend and the Makers, Taio Cruz and DJs Armin van Buuren, Lisa Lashes and Tim Westwood.
The recession could prove an ideal time for organisers to look for business in emerging markets such as the Middle East, according to Qatar-based event organiser Dan Schofield. Dan has been working in Qatar for several months and his upcoming projects include a headline concert featuring Enrique Iglesias (pictured above) – which forms part of a development plan to boost the country’s profile as a destination for major events. Dan said: “The exchange rates and cheaper shipping rates mean UK companies can be really competitive in this market and if they have the superior expertise and equipment then I see no reason why they shouldn’t pick up more work in the Gulf region.” For full story, Page 11
FESTIVAL organisers are being offered the chance to hold their events on a 100acre site near Luton, after its owners decided to open it up for events. Luton Hoo – owned by the Phillips family – will be marketed as an ideal venue for festivals and major events because of its close proximity to London and good links to the M1 and other major roads. Eddie Hoare from Events Management Consultancy – who is working on behalf of the owners to find organisers interested in staging events there – said by next year he hopes to have several events in place. He said: “We will have at least one festival next year and we are looking at the whole range from festivals through to pop concerts. “The biggest thing the site has is its location as it is situated in the heart of a huge population base.” The Main Event is the official magazine of the National Outdoor Events Association
New festival ‘a sunshine holiday for music lovers’ By Christina Eccles A NEW festival is being launched this year in Croatia which organisers hope will provide a cheaper alternative to attending events in the UK. The Soundwave Festival was founded by Rob Waller and Noah Ball after they got fed up of the high prices and bad weather often seen at UK festivals. Their solution was to create a ‘sunshine holiday for music lovers’ at a site in Croatia, which costs just £60 for a four day ticket. The festival is situated close to a seaside fishing village and visitors will also be able to make the most of their surroundings by joining in on organised boat trips and island hopping excursions. Noah told The Main Event that although they do not see the event as being in direct competition with UK festivals, they hope to provide a choice for those who are looking to combine a love of music with a cheap holiday abroad.
He said: “We are not aiming to compete as we are only a 2,000 capacity festival but we are just wanting to offer something different. “We chose to go abroad because we were sick of spending £150 on a festival ticket and then charged £8 for a burger when we got in. “I must have done about six festivals last year and I realised I could have gone travelling for a few months for the same amount of money. “If you are going to spend £400 on a weekend festival in the UK, you could have a week’s holiday in somewhere with guaranteed sunshine which is cheaper than UK festival prices.” Noah also revealed some of the advantages of organising a festival abroad with one of the biggest being the cost. He added: “Being outside of the Euro zone makes a great selling point and because production and the area we are in is cheaper, it means we can afford to spend more of our budget on a line up, which we couldn’t in the UK.”
Lily Allen lined up for Radio One Big Weekend Page 6
Change on the cards at Underage festival Page 7 Campaign bids to attract Euro visitors to UK festivals Page 10
Local authority spotlight NOEA Training and recruitment Classified
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Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly was among the celebrities at Truckfest which took place at the East of England Showground in Peterborough. Katherine – Corrie’s Becky Grainger – was joined by Ice Road Truckers star Rick Yemm who signed autographs, presented awards and met fans throughout the two day event. The event also featured trucks driven by the stars of TV’s Top Gear and music from the Illegal Eagles.
Tributes paid to ‘gentle giant’ Patrick
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THE industry has been shocked by the sudden death of Patrick Jordan, managing director of the Mojo Barriers. As managing director since 1993, Patrick, 44, worked at the highest level in the live music and event industries. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Buckingham New University in recognition for his significant contribution to research into crowd safety at live events. Friend Graham Brown said: “Patrick will be remembered for the way he touched so many people on a personal level. “His genial personality led to him being known as the ‘gentle giant’, Patrick was the calm in the eye of the storm, injected his great sense of humour into every situation and was a ‘can do’ man who achieved great things in his all too short life. “Patrick was a wonderful father, partner, brother, uncle, nephew, friend and colleague who has left us too early, with a great legacy to keep alive.”
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City aims to capital of free culture OVER 100 free events and festivals are taking place in Liverpool as the city bids to be the UK’s Capital of Free Culture in 2009. The city is building on its success as the 2008 European Capital of Culture – which generated £800m for the regional economy – by commissioning several major free cultural events including a waterfront festival and a public art parade. Executive member for enterprise and tourism Coun Gary Millar said: ‘’I think this programme would be worthy of any European Capital of Culture – it’s that good. In the recession, providing so many free events is going to be a huge boost in our efforts to maintain the city’s appeal as a world class cultural destination.’’
Beautiful Rockness SCOTTISH music festival Rockness is cashing in on its highland location by marketing the event as the most beautiful festival in the world. The event is also making the most of its Scottish connections by including a highland fayre where visitors can sample traditional Lochfyne foods, dancing and cabre tossing. The festival site is situated near Loch Ness and organisers have promised this year will be the best yet.
Jamie keeps delivering REMAINING consistent and loyal to customers is key to getting through the recession, according to one festival organiser. Jamie Gilroy, pictured above – who organises The Wickerman Festival – in Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway claims that in challenging times, it is important to keep delivering what the audience wants and give them the best value for money without compromising on quality. He said that although for many festivals, this may become harder to deliver because of issues such as limited budgets, but it is vital to keep the standard of the event up. He said: “During a recession in any business you need to remain loyal to
your customers, for us that’s the festivalgoers. Don’t chop and change – always remain consistent. “As with many of the larger festivals we are having to negotiate harder, work with our suppliers and ensure we are sticking to tighter budgets than ever – yet the level of talent we have secured has not been compromised in anyway and we are enjoying one of our best line ups to date.” Jamie also said something which the festival is particularly focusing on is this year is marketing and making sure people know what is available at the event. The team strive to create a family friendly atmosphere and for this year has already secured headline per-
formances from The Human League and The Zutons. He added: “We have increased spending on marketing and advertising initiatives and increasing the level of talent to ensure that regardless of economic climes we have the best festival to date. “Festivalgoers always comment on how much they love the atmosphere here and that it has become an annual meeting place for people from all over the world. “Festivalgoers are always met with a smile. We place a huge emphasis on ensuring that The Wickerman Festival has a great family atmosphere and that there really is something for everyone to enjoy.”
Yurts will be among the boutique camping options at this year’s Creamfields.
Camping it up works for Creamfields festival ONE of the UK’S biggest festivals has revealed how introducing camping facilities after 10 years has attracted a new audience to the event. Visitors to Creamfields were able to camp for the first time last year and after 85 per cent of festivalgoers chose to do this, organisers have decided it will return this year. Dave Grindle from Loudsound, which deals with production at the event, said that by doing this the festival has been made even better. He said: ‘Creamfields has run as a successful one day show but we developed it into two days with camping. It was very successful and
we were pleased that it resulted in a lot of new customers.” Dave – who also works on events such as Rockness and Bestival – also revealed how plans are going for this year’s event and what changes will be made. He added: “It is a fantastic site in the heart of Cheshire but we are looking at changing the site around again this year. “The site is split by a wood and a stream and we are bringing everything on to the same side. “Plans are going really well. It is a great site and we are in pretty good shape.”
05 - Creative
Pride Torbay event opts for seaside theme By Christina Eccles
The Radio One Big Weekend will include a fringe festival, taking place during the run up to the main event in Swindon. Unsigned acts from the South West of
England will have the chance to perform at four live music venues before headliners including Lily Allen and Snow Patrol take to the stage in Lydiard Park.
THE first ever Pride Torbay event will have a seaside theme in order to promote the area as a top beach resort. Organiser Matt Newbury said he had been thinking about staging an event for a while but decided to take the plunge this year after Torquay’s gay scene was revamped to attract more visitors. It is hoped that the event will combine the vibrancy of the area’s gay scene – which includes a new hotel and rebranded nightclub – with the seaside traditions which the area is famous for. And the seaside theme has also been extended to the marketing campaign which included the local gay community sending out picture postcards to invite friends and family nationwide to the event and presence on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook. Matt said: “We have been using unique marketing tools such as giving people postcards and asking them to send them out.
“Also a lot of people are online so this is a brilliant way of networking. “We have been chatting to different groups and by marketing to them we can get a large amount of people down.” Events taking place during the festival will include beach and pool parties and open air cinema screenings but Matt insisted it will be different to some of the other gay pride events such as those taking place in Brighton and London. He added: “We won’t be doing a parade as I think it works better in bigger places. “We will still have the visibility but I didn’t think a parade was right for a town the size of Torquay. “We want to keep it a sensible size in the first year. There are an estimated 12,000 gay population already living in the area. “We want to celebrate uniting the gay community down here and showing off what we have to offer.”
Festivalgoers urged to look at online swapping scheme FESTIVALGOERS looking for somewhere to stay near their events have been urged to sign up to an online house swapping scheme. UKHolidaySwapShop.co.uk – which has more than 400 homes across the UK available for swapping this summer – is targeting families who need a place to stay near the event they are visiting. Swappers can stay in a range of homes, from Grade II listed buildings to modern apartments, by paying an annual membership fee of £14.95 to list their homes. And co-founder of the website
Jackie Wiltshire said this could be a good opportunity to encourage people to visit some of the country’s more quirky events. She said: “We have all heard of the big music festivals, but the UK has so many other weird and wonderful events on offer. “With really popular events like Edinburgh Festival we have seen a huge number of requests for our Scottish home swaps, but now more people are looking to holiday in the UK this year there has never been a better time to look into other fantastic events.”
Newbury racecourse is boosting its profile as a venue for non racing events after securing a number of high profile artists for its Party in the Paddock evenings. Artists including Björn Again, Simply Red and Madness will perform after the racing events, allowing visitors to extend their
evening to enjoy the entertainment. Marketing and PR manager Kate Walthew said: “We’re delighted to have Björn Again performing; their shows always offer a vibrant and entertaining evening and will offer the perfect end to a great day of racing.”
As the countdown begins to the third year of Europe’s only outdoor music event for under 18s, organisers of the Underage Festival are preparing to make some changes. Mary Ferguson reports.
New stage at Underage IN August, thousands of teenagers will descend on London’s Victoria Park for the annual event, which this year features a new stage designed to showcase young music talent from around the UK. Organisers have partnered with charity Youth Music to introduce the ‘Music Is Power’ stage, where the best four acts from regional heats will perform to the crowds. The judging panel will consist of high-profile experts from the BBC and NME, along with underage A&Rs. Organiser Tom Baker said: “During the first two years of the festival we worked closely with the council to put on Battle of the Band style competitions, with the winner going on to play the festival. “However, these were always held in London so our decision to run nationwide heats will help us reach a bigger audience and encourage people to come from further away.” This year, a pathway will be constructed around the perimeter of the site, meaning bands and staff can move around backstage without having to enter the main site – meaning it will be exclusively occupied by teenagers. And the festival will run on a Sunday, the day after music event Field Day, which takes place on the same site. Previously, the festival has taken place on a Friday. Tom said the decision was made to make it easier for parents to arrange transport for their youngsters, as they could travel with them and spend the day
in London while they were at the festival. It will also make the site build easier, as staging will still be in place from Field Day. For 2009 Victoria Park will see action for three days, as DJ Tiesto plays a live show on the Friday. Traders are contracted for the full three days, with bars staying shut during the Underage Festival. However this year, plans are in place for an alcohol-free cocktail cafe, hosted by Peppermint Bars. The emphasis will be on healthy fruit drinks and smoothies and seating will provide a social area for the young festival goers. This year’s bands will be given longer sets and headline acts include The Mystery Jets, The Horrors and The Pigeon Detectives, with an exclusive UK date from Santigold, Tom said: “This year the lineup is much better as we are more established. I’m actually having to turn away bands who want to play. Because this is our third year, we have won both interest from acts as well as the trust of parents, who can see that we are an established and successful festival.” 2007 saw 5,000 people attend the festival, followed by 7,500 in 2008. This year, Tom said he would happy to match that number, but would ultimately like to reach 10,000. He added: “Ticket sales are already up compared to this time last year and all in all, everyone is confident we are going to have a very successful event.”
Right: Tom Baker, below: last year’s Underage Festival and bottom left: The Pigeon Detectives
Summit to consider sustainable actions A SUMMIT focusing on making events more sustainable will take place in London later this month. The Sustainable Events Summit takes place on Friday May 22 and the aim of the day is to provide delegates with 50 practical actions which they can take back to their organisations. The summit will be chaired by Lucy Siegle, ethical living columnist at the Observer and BBC One Show presenter. Speakers confirmed so far include: David Stubbs, head of sustainability, LOCOG; Anne Hayes, head of market development – Sustainability, BSI; Neil Grange, sustainable event management consultant, Arup; Alison Tickell, director, Julie’s Bicycle. The Summit will also feature an exhibition space showcasing the latest services and solutions in event sustainability.
Newspaper launched ‘virtual event’ A THREE-day musical festival featuring appearances by Groove Armada and The Pet Shop Boys has been launched by The Guardian newspaper – but you can only attend it online.
The annual Cowes Week sailing regatta attracts more than 1,000 boats and 8,500 competitors annually. Dominic Musgrave spoke to its organiser about planning an event in the current financial climate without a main sponsor.
Regatta staff take pay cut after main sponsor jumps ship STUART Quarrie is facing up to having to organise the largest sailing regatta of its type in the world without a main sponsor, after the previous one pulled out after 14 years. The event, which combines racing and social activities, has been running for more than 140 years, but Stuart said Skandia’s decision has meant a number of cuts, including staff pay. He added: “We are having to be prudent and cautious. We are talking with several companies, but it is obviously a tough market out there for everybody at the moment. “We have had to make a lot of internal cutbacks, and the fulltime team of five have had to take a little bit of a pay cut, though no redundancies are planned. People still have mortgages to pay, but everyone is doing all they can to make it work.” Stuart, a former round the world racing navigator who has run Cowes Week since 1998, rates his chances of finding a new sponsor in time for the August event at ‘5050’. “This year is not the greatest to be looking for a new sponsor,” he said. “Longer term I don’t think we will have an issue, but this year I
Stuart Quarrie think we might be struggling. “We do have six support sponsors who have been with us for a long time, and we hope to put on an event as close as possible to how it has been in recent years.” He said one of the biggest challenges the organisers face is that the social events are dotted around the town, and they do not have a single venue to host them. Stuart added: “It would be a lot easier if we had a central place as
we cannot dictate what happens across the town. We work with all venue owners to make it happen in a cohesive sort of way – it would be much easier if we owned the whole town. “Our committee liaises with venue owners and lets them know what is happening around the pubs, marinas and clubs in and around the town. It would be silly if we had ABBA tribute bands in two different venues, so we try to make sure there is something for everybody.” The festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors to the island, and Stuart says he has seen many changes during the 11 years he has been involved. He said: “Cowes Week used to happen in a way that it always happened, and competitors’ views were never really listened to. We really strive to make sure that we listen, and try to get as much feedback as we can from everyone who visits using a digital research partner. “Once the views have been collated they go into the melting point, and we discuss what we think we can do and those which would be nice but that are not possible.”
The virtual festival will take place in Second Life, a virtual ‘world’ where people become someone else in cyberspace. Adopting the style of a traditional festival, there will be a main stage plus a dance tent, acoustic stage and chill out garden. Festival-goers will also be treated to a variety of extra activities including a roller-skating park that winds around the festival with vending machines dispensing free roller skates and fancy dress boxes with free hats, masks, alien suits and flower costumes.
The festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors to the island.
Airshows reschedule to avert Olympic clash By Christina Eccles TWO of the UK’s most popular airshows have worked together to reschedule their 2012 show dates to minimise potential difficulties caused by the London Olympics. Farnborough International
Airshow (FIA) had originally planned to hold its biennial airshow on July 16-22 but as the Olympics will take place between July 27 and August 12, organisers were aware this may cause difficulty for exhibitors and visitors in sourcing accommodation and other vital services for
the show. A joint decision has been made between FIA and the Royal International Air Tattoo – usually held the weekend prior to FIA so visitors can attend both – to move forward the dates of both shows by one week – keeping with tradition and ensuring
Farnborough’s exhibitors and visitors can benefit from fully available resources. Farnborough International Airshow 2012 will now take place July 9-15 2012, preceded by the Royal International Air Tattoo on July 7-8.
09 Hard Rock
One-stop shop to Scottish information A WEBSITE dedicated to the Scottish events industry has been launched to provide free access to events information and contacts. Operated by Aberdeen-based businesswoman June Ross, scotlandlaunch.com will be an online onestop-shop to enable organisers to source and create any event. Membership includes a company profile, detailed search facilities, statistic reports on traffic to the site and a virtual consultant for inquiry referrals. Businesses pay an annual fee to have their profiles listed on the site and membership also includes networking events and an event industry newsletter.
Sonisphere deposit scheme TICKETS for the first Sonisphere Festival were available to buy using a deposit scheme after similar schemes proved successful at both Glastonbury and Bestival. The scheme was available until the end of April and a payment of £40 per person could secure a ticket order. The full balance of the ticket plus any extras such as car parking, early arrival and lockers would then be due by June 30.
£1.8m campaign bids to attract Euro visitors to UK festivals By Christina Eccles EUROPEAN visitors will be offered a 20 per cent discount to some of the UK’s biggest festivals as part of a new £1.8m marketing campaign organised by national tourism agency VisitBritain. The European Value Campaign has been rolled out across 18 countries and aims to encourage visitors to make the most of the weak pound and Britain’s compact area, using the slogan ‘see more for less’. As part of this, members of the Association of Independent Festivals – which include Beautiful Days, Bestival and Big Chill – will be offering the discount on festival tickets which are purchased through the VisitBritain site. AIF co-founder Ben Turner said: "We're delighted to announce this deal. VisitBritain have been completely open to our thinking and ideas and share a similar understanding of the true importance of the great British festival to UK tourism and creative culture. I'd like to think this is a relationship that will grow and grow as we mirror the trend of
people wanting to base international holidays around music festivals. We believe that this new genre of tourism is now officially recognised through VisitBritain." VisitBritain’s regional director for Europe Laurence Bresh added: “The link-up with the Association of Independent Festivals is an exciting development for us, as the organisation have opened up the door to over 20 of Britain’s finest festivals. “The Great British festival is a major tourist attraction for our target audience so this deal is a great value added addition to our annual campaign.” Each of the 18 countries included (with the exception of Russia) has a local language website where the tickets can be booked and the campaign will also include press advertising, direct mail and pr support. Countries included in the campaign include France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden.
AIF co-founder Ben Turner
Organisers still willing to keep budgets high PEOPLE will be looking to tighten their belts during the current financial situation but it remains to be seen what effect this will have on the entertainment aspect of event organisation. Undoubtedly, some organisers will cut their entertainment budget and look for no-frills options but others will maintain it to ensure they secure the desired act. Slashing the entertainment budget will impact on the
kind of act you are able to get and with celebrity culture so prominent at the moment, organisers are willing to keep budgets high to ensure a well known name is the main attraction at their event. As a business, it is vital we monitor this situation closely but what we may see is certain types of acts becoming more popular than others. Those with the most impact and lower cost, such as circus performers,
In the final part of a series, David Hill and Dan Kujawski from E3 Group reveal how the credit crunch will affect entertainment booking at events – and how they plan to deal with this. may see a surge in popularity while other, more expensive options decrease in their popularity. In this economic downturn, value for money is going to be paramount for suppliers and consumers alike. The E3 Group launched its new website earlier this year and as the web continues to replace more traditional methods of choosing goods and services, we have invested a significant amount of money in a web-
site fully integrated with social media tools. This year, we intend to intensify our marketing and promotional activity to try and combat the economic downturn with more qualified leads and greater awareness of our products and services while continuing to grow the E3 Artists’ team. A big emphasis will be put on web content development after previous successes in this department.
Cornish celebration AN award-winning Cornish event management company has celebrated its first successful year in business by recruiting some home grown talent. Event Cornwall has enjoyed a busy 12 months since being established in early 2008 and has taken on graduate Amy Weeks to support its growing client base. Amy has joined the team as proj-
ect administrator, working closely with director Claire Eason-Bassett. She said: “At the moment, it doesn’t feel like a job because I’m enjoying it so much. It’s a real inspiration to work with the team. Claire has so much energy and knows so much about the industry, so I’m certainly learning from the best. It’s great to be with a company that is keen to nurture young talent.”
The Event Cornwall team, from left: Chris Alexander, Amy Weeks, Claire Eason-Bassett and Clare Hearn.
Boosting Qatar’s live music scene is high on the agenda for organiser Dan Schofield as he explains in this month’s column ...
Working to boost Qatar’s live music scene QATAR pretty much has no live music scene. The only things that happen over here are monthly beach parties with some top name DJs which are great but they aren’t live music. Over the past few years only a handful of artists have played in Qatar and ticket sales have been poor, people expect a freebie or to only pay a token amount for a ticket but we’re working on changing that mentality and developing more of a gig scene out here. In the first of hopefully a long line of sellout shows with international artists, we’re bringing Enrique Iglesias over to play a show in May. If all goes well with that we’re looking at other artists with a view that Qatar can form part of the international touring schedules for artists visiting Dubai or Abu Dhabi – it’s all part of our event development work out here to promote Qatar. The day before the Enrique show we deliver Qatar Foundation’s flagship event, the Senior Convocation which is a kind of graduation ceremony for all six of the American Universities with campuses in Qatar. It’s a huge event where the entire student community comes together to celebrate the seniors transition from university life into working life. Each of the seniors receive an Osprey graduation ring and it’s a huge celebration played out in front of the
101 Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. By delivering the Convocation event it means we can utilise the infrastructure brought in to deliver the Enrique show the following day, albeit with some significant changes made overnight. The entire set-up changes from a stage that accommodates over 300 people (full 101-piece orchestra plus all 200+ graduating students and the Emir and Her Highness who come to stage for a group photo) to a concert venue with catwalk and satellite stage for one man and his band. It’s going to be a long 48 hour period but all the changes that need to be made are prepped and ready to go so they should seamlessly fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Just before these shows, I’m over at the Palme / Event 360 exhibition and conference in Dubai and it’s great to see more and more UK based companies taking an interest and having a presence at these shows. I keep hearing about the declining economic climate in the UK and maybe now is the time for companies to be looking further afield and seeing the gulf as more of an emerging market. The exchange rates and cheaper shipping rates at the moment mean that UK companies can be really competitive in this market and if they have the superior expertise and equipment then I see no reason why they shouldn’t pick up more work in the Gulf region.
Airshow takes off in Middle East THE organisers behind the successful Farnborough International Airshow have revealed plans to launch a new show in the Middle East next year. The Bahrain International Airshow will take place next January after the country’s Royal family approached organisers Farnborough International Ltd to put on an event. After extensive research into the Middle Eastern market, it was discovered that the events market in the country is growing and both potential visitors and exhibitors were keen to capitalise on this. FIL exhibitions and events director Amanda Stainer said: “We did some research and the feedback was strong. There is a lot of activity going on in Bahrain. Planning the show gave use the opportunity to ask the industry, if we are doing a bespoke event what should we be doing.”
Amanda also said that although Farnborough International Airshow has a successful formula, they will not be copying this for the Bahrain show. The show will be much more focused on networking and conducting one to one business, so instead of the traditional exhibition halls, exhibitors will display products in individual chalets. These have been limited to 40 units to keep the event exclusive and small enough for visitors to spend time on each exhibit should they need to. Amanda added: “The event is going to be very different. It will be about getting business done but in five star luxury surroundings – it will be very much a networking event.” The first units have already been sold and Amanda said it has been very well received: “There has been a real willingness in Bahrain to make this event successful. ”
Rubber chippings to protect showground ENVIRONMENTALLY-friendly rubber chippings will be used at this year’s Nantwich Show to protect the 100 acre showground against summer downpours. Organisers of the show, which is held at Dorfold Park, have decided to use the product for a second year after noticing improvements to the state of the ground last year. Dunweedin’, which produces the chippings from 100 per cent recycled tyres, supplied 50 tonnes of the rubber chippings in 2008 and a further 50 tonnes have been applied for this year’s show, held in July. Show director Roger Mills said: “We have been astounded by the difference in the turf and other areas of the showground where Dunweedin’ has been applied. Using the rubber chippings has meant there has been much less ground to be renovated and reseeded in the last year, which has saved a lot of time and money. “We are probably one of the first agricultural and public shows to use such a product so extensively. We want to provide the best conditions for exhibitors and visitors. “The rubber chippings have given us a highly durable, eco-friendly, cost effective solution by creating a well drained and resilient soil structure.”
Gathering prepares to bounce back from cancellation By Christina Eccles
Dunweedin’s Bob Jones carrying out the first trials of using recycled rubber chippings at events to stop showgrounds being affected by summer downpours.
THE organisers of the Big Green Gathering have revealed how the event has got back on its feet after being forced to cancel last year. Increased security costs caused problems for the event in 2008, but according to festival director Penny Kemp it will be back better than ever this year. She told The Main Event that the team have been working hard to come up with solutions to ensure that the festival could go ahead this year. She said: “Security costs came to over £200,000 but we have budgeted it in our ticket price and this is one of the reasons why the price has had to go up to £125 from £90.” Penny also added that to try and raise extra funds, festivalgoers were given the opportunity to buy a share in the festival – and this has proved successful. She added: “We have well over 1,000 shareholders but people can only
hold one share so no-one can ever take over the gathering. We wanted to make it as democratic as possible. “Despite all the problems we had with extra costs and security conditions imposed on us, we have made remarkable progress.” Penny also revealed some of measures which have been put in place to make the event sustainable. These include a car park charge and a festival shuttle bus to encourage people to leave their cars behind and a detailed recycling policy. The festival also prides itself on its accessibility and helping disabled people to enjoy the festival experience. “We have a green access and mobility area which means that people who are disabled can play a full part in the event. We make our trackway suitable for wheelchairs and make sure that medicines can be looked after safely. We also have a large print programme and carers can come for free.”
Festival’s online green calculator A FESTIVAL in Derbyshire is encouraging visitors to look after the environment by offering incentives to those who go green. The organisers of the Y Not Festival have developed an online green calculator where festivalgoers can input where they are coming from and the method of transport they used to get there. It then provides a breakdown of other alternative methods and what the rewards – items such as t shirts and lanyards – would be for using them. Festival organiser Ralph Broadbent said: “A lot of a festival’s carbon foot-
print comes from people getting there and although using things such as biodegradable cups is good, it doesn’t address the biggest issue. We have come up with something innovative to encourage people to come to the festival in a greener way – such as four or five in a car or by public transport – and we will reward them by how green they are.” The festival is also introducing a recycling initiative to make sure that items such as cans and bottles are recycled and is also looking at using alternative fuel sources and low energy lighting.
Festival takes the green route HEAVY metal festival Bloodstock has teamed up with the Festival Tour Bus to offer affordable environmentally friendly coach travel to this year’s festival. The coach will have 35 pick-up
points across the UK and will drop off right outside the festival – allowing visitors to reduce their carbon footprints while travelling to and from the event with like minded festivalgoers.
Going’s good for festival at Cheltenham racecourse By Christina Eccles THE organisers of a festival which takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse have revealed how they manage to host a successful event without causing damage to the site. The Wychwood Festival takes place at the racecourse at the end of May and organisers E&MS said that one of the challenges of planning the event is making sure the racecourse is not damaged. According to managing director, Peter Allison, racing is the venue’s core business so when organising the event, they always have to take this into account.
Peter said: “Racing is a very serious business for the venue. But they don’t race between May and October so basically hand us the keys and walk away on the basis that we know how to look after the site. As long as you understand that if something changes which affects the racing, don’t fight it.” Peter also said that a big part of the festival is its site as it is somewhere which is accessible for the whole community. He added that when they were looking to launch an event, Cheltenham Racecourse was the obvious choice to host it as they had used the site before and were familiar with its
New events management certificate available at university BUCKINGHAMSHIRE New University is offering a new certificate in sustainable events management – the first in a series of short courses promoting environmentally-friendly events. The certificate has been developed by the university in partnership with Yourope, the European festivals organisation and A Greener Festival and is supported by Julie’s Bicycle. Speakers at the first one-day course included: Andrew Williams of Seventeen Events Alison Tickell from Julie’s Bicycle
Penny Kemp, director of Big Green Gathering. Head of music and entertainment management Teresa Moore said: “We see this course as an important step in supporting the work of many music festivals and events organisers, who are spearheading innovative solutions to ensure that their events are more sustainable. “Topics covered included environmental law, traffic and transport, benchmarks and standards and planning sustainable events.”
needs. He added: “We looked at all sorts of sites but I knew I could put a festival on there without too much stress. When putting on an event the more stress you can minimise the better so we decided that was the best way forward.” Although the credit crunch has been a worry for Peter and the team, he also said that there are some positives which the industry can take out of this period. “It will be a difficult year as it is a very volatile state of play. But there are also lots of very good things happening as it is inspiring a lot of creative thinking.”
LOCAL AUTHORITY SPOTLIGHT
With a reputation as one of the country’s most culturally diverse cities, it is important that Leicester City Council’s events calendar reflects this. Christina Eccles found out why community involvement is so vital and what other local authorities can learn from Leicester’s way of doing things ...
Celebrating cultural diversity ACCORDING to festivals and events manager Maggie Shutt, one of the best things about the events programme in Leicester is its cultural diversity. All sections of the community are given the chance to use events as a way of coming together and celebrating their own cultures while also experiencing new ones. Events range from a Caribbean carnival to celebrations of religious festivals – such as the Hindu festival Diwali and Jewish festival Hanukkah – and one advantage of having such a mixed local community is that the team never have to worry about filling gaps in their events programme. As more sections of the community become keen to get involved, more events spring up in the city – meaning that the calendar for the year soon gets booked up. Maggie told The Main Event that one of the most important considerations when putting the programme together is that events represent the
different cultures living in Leicester and allow them to share their celebrations with each other and with other parts of the community. She explained: “It is important that the events programme reflects different cultures as events help to raise awareness of the cultures and communities in the city. We are a city of culture and are lucky that we have got people of different backgrounds in the community. “The council has got a commitment to festivals in Leicester, which is why we have a year round events programme.” Maggie also said although the build up to the city’s major events can take a lot of planning, it is worth it to see the end result. She added: “For the big scale events we hold multi agency planning meetings. Any event is a jigsaw so it is about pulling all of the pieces together. “Events involve a lot of planning but the end result is about what we
Monarch Marquees PA and audio Equipment: Leicester Sound & Lighting Power generating and Emergency Lighting: Ashtead Plant Hire Company Longville Ltd T/A SLD Pumps & Power Security and crowd management services: Various Companies Ticket offices: Wernick Event Hire Toilets and showers: Andy Loos Tardis Environmental UK Wernick Event Hire Trackway: Prima Direct International
Major events on the council’s events calendar include: The Riverside Festival Caribbean Carnival Castle Park Heritage Festival The Hindu festival of Dashera Diwali Bonfire and firework displays Christmas light switch on
Extending a helping hand
Contacts book Some of the organisations which Leicester City Council works with on its events: Barriers, fencing and towers: Red Herring Event Services Speedy Hire Communications: Special Events Communications Mike Weaver Communications Fireworks: Bright Spark Fireworks Furniture: The Marquee Company Monarch Marquees LED screens: ARB Audio & Visual Hire Light Media Displays Marquees: The Marquee Company
are doing for the city – helping the community to showcase its skills and backgrounds.” The festivals and events team consists of eight permanent staff but Maggie is always keen to bring on board students who wish to gain some work experience. “I enjoy training and giving people opportunities and we have had students with fantastic knowledge and experience. “We are also contacted by a lot of local schools who are doing projects and we do educational workshops with them.”
Diwali delight LEICESTER’S Diwali celebrations are a massive event for the city and the second biggest outside India. The two-day event attracts 40,000 people on one day and 30,000 on the other with one of the main attractions being the switch on of the lights on Belgrave Road. The celebrations also include a firework display and live cultural entertainment on stage – marking the start of the Hindu New Year. The planning for Diwali is a year round process and the council works with partners such as the Leicester Hindu Festival Council and the emergency services to ensure its success.
ANOTHER important role held by the festivals and events team is giving guidance to organisers wanting to put on events in Leicester. As part of this, they issue an information pack for anyone wanting to book a park or public space – providing a guide to some of the most important issues surrounding event organising. Maggie added: “The council also gives a lot of support and advice. There are some organisations we need to work with
to help their event happen. We have a resource of kit which organisers can also use for free. There is so much support out there so we are helping to direct people in the right way. “There is also a booking pack for parks and open spaces which gives information on issues such as risk assessment. If putting an event together, that pack gives the support to organisers. The council’s advisory role is key. It is important to us to filter down the information and communicate.”
Festival makes it to the record books ONE of the city’s biggest successes was the One Rhythm Dance Festival – which ended up being a record breaking event. It was awarded a Guinness World Record for performing the most styles of dance to one track and
brought together dances ranging from hip-hop and Bollywood to ballet and salsa. Maggie added: “The dancers were brilliant and the event brought everybody together. We got really good feedback on it.”
CARING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Bringing new audiences into the UK’s forests is a key factor behind the Forestry Commission’s concerts – but they also provide a unique set of challenges to ensure audiences enjoy a relaxed and safe event, according to AP Security’s John Phillips.
Ensuring the audience and the woodland are safe THIS year marks the ninth year of the concerts and there will be 22 shows at seven venues up and down the country. AP has been involved at a number of sites for the last six years – working closely with DB Event Services and the Forestry Commission – but this year is in charge of security at every one. The brief is to ensure that neither the audience, nor the woodlands, come to any harm during the events. No two sites are the same, so the team assesses the number of staff required for each show, taking into account special considerations needed for the layout of the site and the type of audience expected. John said: “There are many variables to take into account in terms of site layout, entrances, exits, car parking and so on. “For example, at Bedgebury in Kent there’s a high brick wall along one side, so we don’t have to worry about fencing or unauthorised access for that particular area. At Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire - which is the biggest venue at 7,000 capacity – we have over 80 staff, but at
Delamere Forest in Cheshire, which is only a 5,500 capacity site, we have more. “That’s purely because of the different layout of each venue. “Similarly, at Westonbirt there is just one entrance and one exit, at Bedgebury there are three entrances and two exits, while at Thetford Forest (Suffolk) there are two and three respectively. The quirks of each mean that every venue has to be managed in a unique way and our planning has to take that into account. “We have to make sure the events are managed safely and smoothly, but not take over. “There are always many Forestry Commission staff on site, but we have to bear in mind that their staff haven’t had the training in crowd management that we have. It’s a delicate balancing act of doing our job efficiently, but not treading on their toes. After all, it’s their show and their venue. “Working on these shows is really popular with our staff. “On a lovely summer’s day, there’s absolutely nowhere you’d rather be and year after year, they ask to come back.”
CARING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Responsibility to treat location with respect AS well looking after the public, it is also important the public looks after the site. Although the Forestry Commission employs wildlife and habitat experts who carefully vet each venue, there is a responsibility among all on site to treat the location with respect. John added: “Of course people like to bring picnics to the shows and that’s encouraged. But china and glass are out of the question, both for the sake of the site and for people’s safety. “For the same reasons no metal cutlery is allowed, so if any of these items are brought, people are given the choice of putting them back in
their car, or they can get a ticket, deposit them and collect them at the end. In place of them, they are given paper plates, plastic or wax cups and wooden cutlery. “There is also now a no umbrellas rule. If it rains, of course people want to stay dry, but if you’re sitting behind someone with a whacking great big fishing umbrella, you can’t see the stage. We tried limiting the size of umbrellas one year, but then people tried to argue the toss over if their umbrella was big or not. So to make it easier for everybody, we all agreed that the rule is no umbrellas.”
Pulling in the middle class, middle-aged crowds ... ANOTHER major variable is the artists booked to perform at the concerts which tend to fall into two categories – pop or picnics. This year those in the former category include Sugababes and McFly, while the latter include Vanessa Mae and Jools Holland. John added: “In the main, these shows tend to attract middle class, middle aged England. “Overall we don’t get a young audience, because the Forestry Commission team very carefully chooses the artists. Even what we’d regard as pop acts like the Sugababes, Status Quo, Simply Red, the Human League and Paul Weller – all booked to play in 2009 – have a significantly 30-something audience, so there is very little trouble.” AP’s Adam Scott added: “They are very much family-orientated events, they don’t have anything that attracts a controversial or big, heavy drinking
crowd. “Last year McFly was booked for one of the shows, for the first time bringing the average age of the audience down by a reasonable amount, and of course we had to plan differently for that. A significant proportion of youngsters in the audience meant that there was much more potential for lost children, children running about being a nuisance or possible alcohol-related problems. “For that show we also had to tighten up the generally relaxed pass out system, because the last thing you want is kids wandering off into the forest. Plus, of course, with youngsters involved you have to look out for lone adults acting suspiciously and so on. “But they were all things we built into our planning and it was such a success that McFly is back this year for three shows, all in different Forestry Commission venues.”
What do event organisers need to consider when thinking about security at an event? By Clayton Dean, Red Carpet Security EMPLOYING and working with a professional security company is one of the key aspects of an event. Along with many of the other service providers, security harmonise and help maintain a peaceful, relaxed and enjoyable environment. More often than not, many of the guests at an event are not even aware of their presence and the important role they play, particularly if the night is smoothly run by a professional team. The only time they may be aware is when something may go wrong or if they are needed. Producing an event nowadays is so much more than it ever has been with the array of facilities, services and products that are available continually growing. For any of these to work cohesively there is one thing that all involved need to have in common and that is communication. Whether the communication is verbal, written or visual it has to be direct, clear and concise. Health and safety – Are there sufficient fire extinguishers, has a risk
assessment been done, have you a detailed evacuation route? Details of all suppliers at the event must be given to the security so that when staff arrive or if security need to find them they know who to ask for. Signage – whether it is for the toilets, cloakroom, parking, smoking or exits etc ensure they are up and clear and plenty of them. Event information – ensure start and finish times are clear, entry requirements and location is clear, the dress requirements are clear. Allocated areas – VIPs, smoking, staff etc – make this clear. Uniforms – All staff should be clearly identifiable wearing appropriate uniform, wrist bands or other obvious clothing. Be advised of any other extra duties that security may be required to take care of. It is most important that there is a representative there who can brief the security before the event begins. With larger events a security company should always provide a team leader and a pre-event recce would have been carried out with the security team being briefed prior to arrival.
CARING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
When it comes to staffing major events, making a good first impression on visitors is key, according to specialists Event-Staff ...
‘We are well-aware that our staff may well be the first and last people that your customers see at your event, and those first and last impressions will be the ones they take away with them’ WE have provided staff – ranging from crew and technicians to crowd management and backstage security staff – to a whole range of events across the UK for almost 10 years. Customer support is a key part of our induction session and features throughout our training process – we are well-aware that our staff may well be the first and last people that your customers see at your event, and those first and last impressions will be the ones they take away with them. Making a good first impression takes two approaches – firstly, in the planning stage we will advise clients on the best way to minimise prob-
lems that we all know can cause issues – queuing to get into the car park or at ticket check, for example, is never fun, and we work with organisers to try and minimise queuing, by the design of parking areas and access routes and with the use of prominent signage at entry points to direct people efficiently. Equally, we are well-aware that many of the venues we work at were not designed with thousands of cars in mind and there will inevitably be some delays. We rely heavily on our staff to handle the first contact – finding that, with most customers, a greeting from friendly staff, who can park them effi-
ciently and direct them to the nearest entry point, will go a long way to defusing the frustrations we have all felt when arriving just that little bit too late to beat the queues. During the event, our staff will tend to be the first point of call for customers who have issues and their ability to assist effectively relies on the quality of the pre-event briefing and the associated staff handbook that we produce for each event. Containing basic information and site maps, this is an invaluable tool and allows us to answer the majority of questions quickly and efficiently. Our staff are also taught how important it is to be honest with cus-
tomers – some problems cannot be fixed instantly and instead might need to be passed further up the chain, perhaps to be dealt with by the organiser post-event. Whatever the outcome, it is crucial that customers are assisted and informed, not just left waiting for a response. One of our key selling points to clients is that, although we will suggest ways of working that have proved effective in previous events, we always remember that it is your event, and as such, we tailor our services to your exact requirements, not our standard operating procedure.
CARING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Get an expert opinion on the correct medical staff EVENT organisers should consult the experts to ensure they employ the correct medical staff at their events, according to MRL’s Judy Jackson. The company has worked on some of the UK’s biggest events including Creamfields, Bestival and Live 8 – providing safety and medical advice to organisers – and Judy said it is important for organisers to take on people in this role to make sure they get the right number of people and the right mix of skills on site. She said: “I would advise organisers to consult the experts – the Purple Guide is a guide rather than a definitive rule. When that was written, emergency care practitioners and emergency nurse practitioners didn’t exist so if organisers go just by the Purple Guide, they could be missing
out on skills.” Judy also said that different events need different kinds of medical provision – for example a pop concert with a young demographic will have different requirements to a classical concert where the audience may be older and that is also something which needs to be taken into account. She added: “A risk assessment will point you in the right direction as it is about having that mix of appropriately qualified people. “A lot of this is based on the size of the event. Also a music event, for example, would have very different issues than a motorbike event. “It is important to identify what you are faced with and put in the people who can deal with that.”
Airshow wins NOEA ‘safe and secure’ award FARNBOROUGH International Airshow (FIA) has won a Friendly Venue Tribute Award from the National Outdoor Events Association for its efforts in keeping its premises and visitors safe and secure. The award was presented to Farnborough operations representative Jonathan Smith at the awards ceremony at the Oxford Belfry. CEO Shaun Ormrod said: “We were absolutely delighted to win this award and even more so
because the NOEA Council actually recommended us for nomination. Farnborough International Airshow is the largest temporary exhibition in the world and a colossal amount of work goes into producing it, in areas none more so than the welfare and safety of our visitors and exhibitors. “It is very satisfying indeed to receive this tribute to the hard work and efforts of our fantastic team who achieve these excellent standards.”
New product from CCTV specialists is ideal for major events EVENT CCTV specialists, Spindlewood have a new product – the Ranger Cam – for use at major events. Ranger Cam is a lightweight body mounted system which adds new meaning to the rapid deployment of a live video capability to any location within a 1.2km radius of a CCTV receiving station. The system can be deployed for: Routine surveillance Hot spot coverage at potential problem or incident locations Covert monitoring and evidence gathering Spindlewood provides live CCTV coverage to organisers, local authorities and police throughout the year for events, ranging from New Year and November 5th celebrations, carnivals and Christmas markets to sporting occasions, religious festivals and concerts. The size of these events and the
need to have continuous surveillance for safety, security, crowd control and access management demands the latest technology to overcome the problems of distances, line of sight and ease of access. Spindlewood – with its range of digital wireless equipment – is able to meet these challenges and provide effective coverage to the most difficult locations. As digital wireless technology requires no power or cabling, it offers many other benefits to the customer: Rapid set up time Relieves the customer of the cost and hassle of providing power Reduces the heath and safety issues associated with camera cabling around the site Can be moved quickly to cover any emergencies or hot spots occurring during the event.
Stage branding is often the first space considered at outdoor events. But it is not the only option, according to Sunbaba’s managing director Jan Booth, who reveals what organisers may be overlooking.
Look beyond the obvious WE always encourage our clients to look around an event site for other branding opportunities and suggest innovative ways of doing this whilst also taking into account the cost, sustainability and recyclability. Heras fencing, PA towers and crowd barriers are essential elements at an outdoor event site and are prefect for branding. For all outdoor signage it is essential that the fabrics used are lightweight, tear resistant and air permeable so that they can cope with the unpredictable British weather. We use specialist Ultramesh and Austronet fabric ranges to help clients with these areas, perfect for heras fencing and crowd barriers as they encompass all of the above. The Austronet fabric can be bought in a range of colours and screen printed in single colours, rather than digitally printed to reduce the cost of creating eye catching branding. For speaker PA towers sound reproduction is a priority so organisers should look at sourcing fully printable Digisound which allows the sound to pass through with
SUNBABA has for over 10 years been one of the UK’s leading suppliers of event branding solutions. A combination of the latest technology, our years of experience and a wide range of plain and printable materials, enable us to deliver outstanding results. We print on a wide range of substrates including PVC based UltraMesh and DigiSound, rigid
At Sunbaba we have always been conscious of our carbon footprint and an increasing number of organisations are requiring that events demonstrate how ‘green’ they are. This can be achieved not only through recyclability but also through sustainability. Where possible signage and branding should be designed so that it can be kept and reused at future events. minimal distortion. One effective method of keeping costs to a minimum is to turn the signage into a self funded aspect of the event. The advertising space can be sold as part of sponsor packages, to media partners and even to local companies. VIP areas are often sponsored and present extensive branding opportunities both internally and externally. Marquee exteriors can be adorned with printed panels and internally can feature printed carpets, branded chair covers and panels which can be hung or can stand alone.
materials including Correx, Foamex, DigiPly and a full range of Dye-Sub printed soft fabrics for both internal and external applications. If you are looking for a solution to a project, then please give us a call. Tel: 01638 507 684 Email: email@example.com www.sunbaba.co.uk
For example, directional signage is essential to any event site and due to the location of banners it makes them a key element for branding. We suggest that things such as entrance and exit signs are kept as a single generic panel which can then be reused and surrounded either side by a branded panel which can change more frequently if necessary. Heras fencing panels can be designed to alternate one branded with one plain therefore reducing the numbers needed to be reprinted if there is a sponsor change.
Scottish clan gathering looks to De Boer TEMPORARY structures for one of the largest ever celebrations of Scottish clans will be provided by De Boer. Taking place in July, The Gathering will bring together representatives of around 125 clans and family societies for a succession of spectacular events including a Highland Games, Scottish Festival and pageant, as well as a parade along the city’s historic Royal Mile. De Boer will provide 88 Pyramide tents, each measuring 3m by 3m, as well as 40 5m-by-5m Pyramides, to house a clan village and five Acropolis pavilions for attractions such as whisky tasting and food sampling. The company will also provide Alu Halls for use as an entertainment venue and a VIP hospitality area. Sales director – events John Cochrane said: “De Boer is delighted to be part of this inaugural gathering and I am personally very pleased to be involved especially as my clan will be represented. With many years of experience working on similar festivals, we have been able to assist the organisers in creating what will be a truly memorable occasion.”
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES Choosing the right temporary structure is a vital part of event planning. Claudia Bordogna, senior account manager at Logistik gives an insight into what organisers need to know ...
How to select the right structure for your event What makes a good temporary structure? A good temporary structure is one that suits its environment and its purpose. There are so many different types available these days that it is often easy to over specify the structure and choose one that is unsuitable. An example of this was evident at the Archant Music Festival in 2006, where hard paneled structures were unnecessarily used for beer tents and shelter from bad weather. Instead, soft sided Chinese Hats would have been a much more appropriate solution that would have suited the creative theme and been easier to install and erect given the time frame. What are the biggest challenges of working with temporary structures at outdoor events? Working in a temporary structure in a green field brings many daily challenges. As by its nature it is ‘temporary’, which means on occasions the interior walls and doors need refitting on site due to wear and tear; the carpet may have lifted due to the level of footfall and need replacing before it becomes a hazard; or the fencing may have fallen down due to high winds and fierce rain. All of these elements need to be considered
Claudia Bordogna when working in this environment and contingency plans put in place. What are the current trends? The current economic downturn has brought accessorisation into play
with businesses making subconscious choices shaping their spend and clients seeking best return on assets and looking for new value generating innovations and ideas for savings. By this I mean clients are looking for ways to hold an event, engage an audience but ultimately get value for their investment. An example of this could be the use of a simple and cost effective structure, which is then styled and themed inside adding a touch of wow factor and glamour to make it an atmospheric and inspiring experience for guests. The props and accessories need not be expensive either, most events agencies have a variety of props and staging available to hire, which can help keep costs down. Longevity is another key trend, with clients looking to erect a temporary structure for a longer period of time in an appropriate location, which they can then use across a number of different types of events over several months or more. When the structure is not being used by the client it can then sell the space to other local businesses as an unusual / bespoke venue providing a great return on investment.
Providing fast, reliable solutions to all industry sectors for 149 years WATKINS Hire Events are the name behind the power and temperature management of many of Europe’s highest profile large-scale events. The business has been around for some 149 years providing fast, reliable solutions to all industry sectors. The events division – comprising Graham Evans, James Bowers and latest addition to the team Steve Platt – have enjoyed considerable success since its formal introduction into the market place 18 months ago. Watkins Hire Events utilise trane chillers and heat pumps for all year round use and brand new innovations that have never been seen – including the event industry’s first bio diesel heaters. Other products include new design internal heaters and air conditioners for temporary structure and marquees, air handlers in all shapes and sizes and remote fuel monitoring on all fuel tanks for heating and power installations. This enables the client to monitor fuel levels from their office and see exactly what is being used and for how long. It will ensure that fuel will never run out as the fuel tank will actually send a report and even a purchase order to the delivery company stating how much is required and when.
With the introduction of Steve Platt to the team, who has 15 years experience within this specific market, the events team are very optimistic about the future. Managing director Mark Hills said: “Steve is a well respected individual throughout the events industry and has worked on many of Europe’s largest events. He is an important factor in our future growth strategy.” Steve added: “I am very excited about joining Watkins, the quality of equipment, impressive standards and most importantly the way the company is looking to the future made it a very easy decision to join.” Graham, James and Steve understand the demands of the event industry, the importance of relationships, client liaison, working to specific budgets and deadlines and gaining a true understanding of each individual project. Graham added: “We are constantly improving and innovating our services and equipment. “We know that offering the latest in house designs are very important to the events industry, making our clients already busy life easier on site will be of enormous help and one less thing to worry about.” James added: “We actively look for feedback and talk to our clients about what they want, then simply go and do it for them.
“We are not afraid to try new ideas when it comes to air conditioning and heating and welcome all comments.” With growth on the team’s mind – as they can now supply event power to an already exhaustive list of available kit – and with Graham and James’ experience within the power supply industry, Watkins can now supply a full package to any project, including distribution, temporary lighting, as well as standard and biodiesel site power.
Agricultural show in the frame ALMOST 10,000 sqm of tentage will be used at the Lincolnshirebased LAMMA show – an event serving the agricultural machinery market.
Temporary structures will be used at this year’s space themed Standon Calling in order to give visitors an out of this world experience. The festival – which takes on a different theme each year – will include a 28m domed structure complete with mirrored walls and ceiling which will give visitors the feeling of floating in space. A cow shed will also be turned into a space station – allowing festivalgoers to completely absorb themselves in the theme. Picture: the concept design for one of the structures – Planet Standon.
The annual event takes place at the Newark and Notts showground and GL events Snowdens has a four-year contract with its organisers to provide a range of aluminium frame tents to house some of the 540 exhibitors. LAMMA organisers introduced marquees to the event six years ago, as the show was rapidly outgrowing the venue. Since then the event has enjoyed an annual growth rate of over 10 per cent. The show’s sales and marketing director Cliff Preston said: “The current worldwide recession has not hit the agricultural sector as badly as others, plus the fact that we are able to augment the showground’s facilities with the addition of highly cost effective temporary exhibition space has enabled us to offer both large and small exhibitors additional indoor space.”
If you plan well, there’s no reason why the events industry can’t be profitable and use the current economic uncertainty to its advantage, according to temporary structures specialist Danco.
‘The current uncertainty may be a cloud with a silver lining’ IN the current economic climate, many companies are battening down the hatches, preparing to take shelter from what they expect to be a difficult year. Danco are taking a more positive attitude and planning to put themselves in a position to benefit from a year which may well turn out brighter than many expect. The current uncertainty may be a cloud with a silver lining and the economic downturn could help the events industry if we approach it in the right way. With many people choosing to stay at home, festivals, shows and the events industry will have a greatly
enhanced client base to attract. As an industry we have to be ready to respond to this opportunity in a positive manner, make the customer experience as enjoyable as possible and leave them wanting more next year. Danco has worked with many event organisers in planning for a worst case scenario but we are also consciously planning to enable us to respond to increased capacity at many events if required. We have invested in new equipment and significantly increased the amount of hard sided structures as their popularity has increased drastically in recent times. We have also been careful to choose
the right type of product investment – many hard wall marquees rattle in the wind, detracting from the event taking place within the structure. Our walls are tongue and grooved with rubber connecters to negate this effect. We have re-launched our website with greater pictorial examples showing what structures are available and allowing our clients to visualise how they can maximise impact with the variety of structures available. It is often a case of keeping the event fresh for existing guests as much as attracting new ones. Always look at an event from a guest’s perspective. If they have an enjoyable day, they are
going to provide all the advertising you need and at a fraction of the cost. With uncertainty in the air, many events are holding back on committing to full orders, however our advice would be to work out a minimum order and book it as soon as possible. If you don’t, late demand will mean many events will need to be supplied through a variety of contractors leading to logistical nightmares and increased costs as economies of scales are reduced. You can always add to the order later and this is far easier than trying to find all the resources required with a short lead time.
23 - Watkins
Fireworks offer added incentive for crowds A FIREWORKS display at the end of an event is still a popular way of drawing in the crowds, according to an expert. Jon Culverhouse said that fireworks have a lasting popularity and at events his company works on, such as open air concert West Wycombe Live, they provide an added incentive for people to attend. He said: “People still love fireworks and in 25 years of working in the industry, I have seen no falling off of people’s interest in them. They have an enduring popularity and every new generation want them as much as the previous one. “Fireworks have become a tradition at our open air concerts and people see it as one of the reasons to come to an event. “People enjoy firework displays and they are an uplifting experience which allows the event to finish on a high.” Jon also said fireworks work particu-
Guaranteeing wow factor FIREWORKS are the only visual effect that guarantees a wow factor at the end of any event. At the final curtain call of any outdoor concert, a firework finale cannot be beaten. The impact of fireworks is immediate, a professional staged roar of colour, with mortar shells bursting to heights of 300 metres – an instant impact suited to any budget. Classic Fireworks are able to execute both large and small scale firework displays individually designed for your venue. Safety is a key element in all our work and should there not be a sufficient safety area for the larger fireworks at your event, we are able to execute a finale of low dross, close proximity fireworks that do not compromise visual impact. We cater for all. Our team at Classic Fireworks staged a firework finale for the Rolling Stones end of world tour at Slane Castle, which held the audience for 10 minutes resulting in a tremendous cheer at the end. It is also evident from a safety point, a firework display can successfully captivate your audience, easing congestion at the end of any event. Normally a blast at the end of a concert will create the effect you are looking for, however, a speciality of Classic Fireworks is our ability to choreograph fireworks to music leaving an explosion of fire and dance to end your event with a bang.
larly well at all round events where there isn’t one main headliner because those events are more about the full experience rather than just seeing a headline act. He added: “A lot of pop concerts don’t do fireworks because the promoters don’t think it is relevant as people go to see particular bands. But at picnic and proms concerts, fireworks form part of the overall experience and they provide an added incentive to come.” However, according to Jon, when fireworks do become a large part of an event, one of the biggest challenges is making sure they continue to delight the audience year on year. He added: “If you undermine the quality, people do notice. You have to create the wow factor by making them bigger and longer. “Fireworks need to impress and emotionally involve and if they do that, they send people home happy.”
SCREEN HIRE Events XL Video will be working on this year include Download (pictured)
Screens’ main role to give good view to all audience THE most fundamental role that screens play in any event is facilitating a good view of the stage action for all its potential audience – no matter how many, even if they are some distance away. Additionally, they can be utilised for fun stuff like text messaging, to relay general information like scores and statistics or for studio links during sporting events and all importantly, to display public service announcements and safety information. Organisers should consider the number of screens required to offer a good viewing experience to all their audience – wherever they happen to be in proximity to the stage/performance space. The organiser also needs to determine the reason for having the screen in the first place. Is the screen the
centre of attention – i.e a film première or a relay of sporting action? – or is it supporting the event? The amount of screens needed to achieve this and their positioning can be calculated by the expected crowd numbers, the layout and terrain of the site which denotes the sight-lines and the nature of the event. It’s also important to ensure the right type of screen is used, that it looks good and is easily viewable at all times of the day – daylight, dusk, dark and in bright head-on sunshine. The trend is definitely that screens flanking a main or second stage at all types of live events are now expected and almost mandatory for mainstream music festivals. There are also more and lighter weight LED products constantly coming to the market.
‘Very best screens with maximum value’ ADI operate the world’s widest, newest and most advanced range of mobile screens. However, getting the best doesn’t necessarily mean paying over the odds. As well as being competitively priced, ADI help event organisers to maximise value from their investment in a number of ways.
Our view is that it’s in our interests to assist you in any way possible. By their very nature, LED screens offer the ideal way to promote products and services, enabling event organisers to subsidise the cost through sponsorship. ADI’s in-house media division is on hand to help by finding suitable partners (we currently do the same for football clubs and race courses across the UK) and our iCONIC screens offer a range of different sponsorship opportunities, including dynamic banners on the screen and static advertising across the trailer side, as well as traditional full screen advertisements. Again, ADI’s production department can assist, with the ability to create high quality adverts for customers at extremely competitive rates. Our iCONICs also have a number of other cost saving features. Because of their quick setup times (within 30 mins of arrival), the hire time is minimised. Additionally, because they need only a single person to operate, staff costs are kept down, whilst on-board generators negate the need for a separate power source. Most iCONICs come with full production facilities for up to four cameras and multiple other inputs – more than ample for most events and saving on the cost of a separate outside broadcast vehicle. All of this ensures that ADI’s customers get the very best screens and the maximum value.
CATERING & BARS
The Creative team at events last summer and new addition Larry.
How Creative team raises the bar ... WHEN it comes to providing bars for festivals and events, the team at Creativevents really have got pulling power ... Their expertise has made them the toast of organisers of some of the UK’s biggest events – everything from the Red Bull Air Race and the Epsom Derby to Henley Regatta and Hyde Park’s spectacular Winter Wonderland. And as well as quenching the thirsts of millions of visitors last summer, they built up a list of glowing testimonials from satisfied clients. Among them is Hugh Phillimore of Cornbury Music Festival who explained they were just the tonic Cornbury needed: “We finally saw sense in the fifth year of our festival and employed a professional bar company.
“Creative joined our team and quickly liaised well with all our production people, were always flexible and patient with our sometimes unusual demands, and overall made a major contribution towards making this year’s festival easily the best so far.” Richard Bigg of the Cantaloupe Group – the people behind The Big Chill Festival – also raised a glass to the Creative team, saying: “From our earliest meetings we were immediately impressed with the team, their reassuring knowledge and experience giving them justifiable confidence. “Bearing in mind The Big Chill Festival is a sizeable event of 40,000 per day over three-and-a-half days in a new site for them – a valley in Herefordshire – we think they did an exceptional job. There was thor-
Hilary put the healthy into festival food ENJOYING a wide variety of food and drink has become as much a part of the festival experience as watching bands, it has been claimed. Hilary Goodfellow – project manager of T in the Park’s Healthy T area – said festivalgoers are becoming more selective when it comes to catering at events and expect to be able to choose from a number of options. The event introduced the area three years ago in conjunction with the Scottish Government to promote healthy eating at events and Hilary claims the demand for this is growing. She said: “Traditionally getting food at a festival was about sustenance rather than enjoying it but now it is as much a part of the festival as watching bands. “Festivals can be frantic affairs so we set this up so people could relax and enjoy healthy food. All the food meets the government’s health criteria and proves that healthy eating does not have to be boring or expensive.”
Options available at Healthy T range from fresh fish to haggis and fresh fruit, with the emphasis firmly on local produce. However, Hilary warned that for a healthy food area to work, organisers need to make sure that the price is right. She added: “People are becoming more aware of what they are eating and we have seen an increase in demand for healthier options. It makes sense for events to explore new foods but for it to work, it has to be competitively priced with other events.” She also said as the area grows, so does demand from traders who want to be a part of it: “We have expanded the range of options available and we are looking at more seating and different forms of entertainment. Including the entertainment increases dwell time so this is also good for the traders, who are asking to go back into that area.”
Trading within Healthy T this year will be: Food From Argyll Tea and Toast Multley’s Crepes Johnny Baghdad's world food cafe Fresh Sushi J’s Jackets Rissotto 2 go Fire in the Hole
Stoats Porridge Oats Chai Chapel James Mackie Fresh Fruit Goodness Gracious Healthy Food Now and Zen Smokies Highland Hog Roast Smoothie Shack
ough calm professionalism in everything they did, and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with Creative over the next few years.” The Creative team is headed by company directors Andrew Snell and Oliver Mcginn, staffing manager Claire Chidgey, food and beverage manager Luke Barlow, health and safety and security manager Terry Brown, event planner Lyndsay Smith and operations manager Larry Keep. Andrew said: “We are responsible for overseeing all aspects of our events. We develop, implement and monitor standards of service in order to coordinate all bar activities ensuring that a high quality of production and a tailor-made service is consistently maintained whatever the event size. We believe client
communication and developing a relationship will play a crucial role in the success of all our events.” For more information visit www.creativebars.co.uk or call Andrew Snell 0207 370 8685.
Some of the events served by Creativevents in 2008/2009 included: Big Chill – 40,000 Cornbury Festival – 40,000 Red Bull Air Race – 60,000 Royal Ascot – 100,000 Thames Festival – 300,000 Freeze Festival – 30,000 Lords Cricket – 80,000 Epsom Derby – 40,000 T4 On The Beach – 45,000 Henley Regatta – 110,000 Sonisphere – 80,000 Bloodstock – 10,000 Winter Wonderland – 400,000
CATERING & BARS
Thrifty theory flawed claims Adam THE amount of money spent at events could rise this year as festivalgoers look to escape the doom and gloom of the credit crunch, according to Peppermint Events director Adam Hempenstall. According to Adam, the industry is in for a successful summer season – despite claims that visitors may buy tickets but not spend money once inside the festival gates. Adam said he believes this theory is flawed because if people can find the money for a festival ticket, they will want to enjoy themselves so won’t be cutting back on buying food and drink. He told The Main Event he thinks that those who swap their summer holidays for a festival will save up to have some spending money in the same way as they would if they were going on holiday. He said: “If they have managed to buy a ticket then I don’t think people will be conscious of the money they will spend at the event. People will be looking for a better value option but
the actual spend at events won’t change. “Some may be saving the money which they usually spend on frivolous items and redirecting it into fun and pleasurable activities such as festivals, so we may actually see an increase in spending.” Adam also revealed the current trends in festival bars and what is proving popular at events which the company works on such as Cowes Week, Bestival and Lovebox. He added: “We have been noticing a trend where people really want more value right across the board and a movement towards concept and themed bars. People want to experience their drinks in a nice atmosphere. “I am confident for the season ahead. People aren’t going to go abroad so I can see them spending their summer in the UK. There is so much to do at events and I am really positive that summer festivals are a cost effective way for people to have fun.”
A helper in the kitchen from starter to finish ... SPECIFYING a kitchen for an event can be a daunting task. There are a number of issues that need to be considered such as the menu, covers, equipment requirements, what onsite services are available, the logistics, installation and what happens if something goes wrong? PKL are Europe’s leading supplier of portable kitchens and temporary catering facilities and are on hand to help you through all the issues involved in specifying a kitchen for an event of any size.
Our dedicated events team are on hand to help you from the very early stages of planning, even if you’re not completely sure about the total event requirements. We offer a no obligation site survey, so we can fully understand the requirements of your event and overcome any difficult issues at the very beginning. We also provide kitchen design, delivery, installation and even the services of an onsite engineer for the duration of your event if required.
NOEA calendar Next major event for NOEA: Commercial Opportunities from the Olympics in London – COOL How the events, hospitality and tourism industry can profit from the Games IndigO2, London – June 2 and 3 2009 Exeter conference – Tuesday April 21 2009 – Unfortunately even NOEA may have fallen a victim of the recession. Six days before the event we had to postpone this event owing to lack of sufficient support. However we hope to announce another date later in the year. NOEA website – This is undergoing a major reconstruction and a full report with photographs on the recent convention will be ready soon. Watch this page. Calendar of events: June 2- 3 The Commercial Opportunities from the Olympics in London 2012 – COOL2012 IndigO2, The O2 Centre London September 22-24 Leisure Industry Week, NEC, Birmingham (tbc) September 22-23 Event UK exhibition, NEC, Birmingham (tbc) September 24 3rd annual event industry golf day, Newbury, Berks October 21-22 Showman’s Show, Newbury – NOEA Stand October 21 NOEA local authority network meeting, Showman’s Show November Regional conferences to be announced. 2010 January The Event Show, London February 24-26 NOEA convention and tribute celebration evening – venue to be confirmed February 25 NOEA Golf Day (convention) – being considered Other conferences to include Teesside, Bath, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands and Cornwall, (tbc) = all to be confirmed Please note comments about the golf day next February – if you want NOEA to retain this event in our listings please email John Barton with your support latest by Monday May 18 2009 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tribute to former NOEA president Alan Bell Alan Bell NOEA President 1997 – 1999 WE are very sorry to report the death of Alan Bell early April – a personal tribute by John Barton – full text appears in NOEA News Digest April edition. Alan joined the council in 1992, was appointed hon treasurer and vice president for a few years and elected president from November 1997 through to November 1999 when he had to step down owing to ill health. He was then appointed the honorary life president of NOEA with immediate effect and “would carry out certain presidential functions when circumstances permitted.” He remained on the NOEA council for another year until 2000. I first met Alan at a special relaunch meeting of NOEA at the House of Commons, hosted by Tony Speller MP for North Devon in 1991. At that time, many in the events industry said that NOEA had had its day and was about to fold up. There should only be one association for the events industry but it was not to be. These comments hit a serious nerve and drove us on a course of activity that changed the way forward for NOEA for ever. We had a passion and belief in the long term future of the association and the outdoor events industry and we never
Alan Bell looked back. First of all, we resuscitated the work of the NOEA code of practice for outdoor events which was published in 1993. The main credit for its official acceptance had been due to the sterling work of Alan Bell and his committee of stalwarts. In recognition of this, Alan was made a fellow of the association and was the recipient of the association’s
prestigious award, given to the company or person who has contributed most to the outdoor events industry.” – the only member ever to receive such an accolade. Alan was a family man with a sporting background. He was passionate about music and he played the trumpet in the Salvation Army Band and became bandmaster at Brighton & Hove. In business, he worked for over 40 years in access equipment and temporary structures undertaking major projects such the Farnborough Airshow and still continued by Michael Bell. He also travelled to many parts of the world such as Hong Kong as a consultant and was a technical expert on various BSI committees and chairman of a few. Alan was a director of SGB and many years ago set up his own consultancy business – Bellensen Associates which is still going strong today. There is so much more I could say about him but on behalf of Richard Limb, NOEA President, general council and members of NOEA, we send our deepest sympathy to his wife Anne, Michael and the rest of the family. He will be sadly missed by those who knew him well – it was a real privilege to have known him.
Association rides the recession ... DESPITE the recession, there continues to be tremendous interest in the association with a number of former members now wishing to rejoin NOEA and an ongoing growth in membership. Over a hundred new members have joined NOEA since last September
although over 70 had resigned mostly connected to these recessionary times. With the substantial increase in work generally, the association is considering ways of restructuring its activities and services particularly in the running of the annual convention
and tribute celebration evening. The work will be allocated more to others in addition to those who are already involved. A series of meetings are taking place in May on these various matters and NOEA will keep you in touch with developments.
TRAINING, RECRUITMENT AND TENDERS
Wegot two new staff ... WEGOTTICKETS has two new members of staff – Ben Eppel as IT developer and Lucy Wise as customer/client support. Current staff member Steven Endersby has been promoted to account manager. Business development director Dave Newton said: “We’re really pleased to welcome our
two new recruits to WeGotTickets – extending our team to 11 people. We moved into our current offices a little over three years ago when there were just four of us on the team and we’re relishing the challenge of rearranging the furniture, once more, to squeeze in yet another two people.”
Partnership offers new opportunities STUDENTS from London South Bank University have been given the chance to get a foot in the door of the events industry thanks to a partnership with experiential specialists iD. The company has joined forces with the university’s department of arts and
media, offering students the chance to work as part of the virtual creative department. Those joining the scheme will work on live briefs from iD’s client base and it is hoped the best will the join the team permanently after completing their studies. Head of arts, media and
english Jenny Owen said: “I’m delighted to have entered into this partnership. It can be difficult to get that first break after graduating and the experience our students gain here will be really important. I’m looking forward to seeing the programme develop.”
David Stringer has joined The Global Infusion Group as international sales and marketing manager. He will be responsible for driving the company’s expansion into the Middle East and China. David said: “I am delighted to be working with such a vibrant and well respected company. I am looking forward to building on the foundations already in place in Dubai and America and expanding operations in China and the Middle East.”
365 - SUPPLIER DIRECTORY
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TOILET HIRE EVENT BRANDING
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HEATING & COOLING
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