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Issue 33 October 2009 £4.75

‘Success is set to continue’

Phone line costs prove frustrating By Christina Eccles THE soaring cost of installing phone lines at events is leaving organisers frustrated and out of pocket, it has been claimed. Temporary phone lines are needed at major events such as The Great North Run to transfer data and results between the start and finish of the race. But the event’s organiser said an increase in BT charges has led to him paying over £2,000 more for the same service than he paid last year. Charlie Mussett, senior operations manager at Nova International, said the lines now have to be surveyed by BT Openreach – which means that as well as the usual line costs and connection fee, the company has also been hit with a survey fee of £2265. Charlie said: “BT have complete monopoly on it and seem to think they can charge what they like. No other supplier is able to ramp up their charges by such a ridiculous amount in the current economic climate. “They have us over a barrel. We

need those lines because of the sheer level of people at the Great North Run.” Charlie added they have looked at ways round the problem such as putting in permanent lines rather than temporary ones. But he said although this would be a big cost saving, they do not have permanent structures on site to be able to do this. He added: “This is not a luxury item for us and we have cut lines to a bare minimum. We used three lines so the cost works out at nearly £1,000 per line. “At peak times the system does jam and rather than not be able to update results, we have to go with the costs as they are.” However, BT argued the costs are necessary for the work carried out. A BT spokesman added: “Openreach is proud to play a crucial role in providing temporary communications for events such as the Great North Run. “However, in a challenging economic climate, it is important that we are able to offset the costs associated with such activities, including any necessary survey work.”

Pop princess Kylie Minogue took to the stage for her only UK performance of the year at a concert celebrating the best of ABBA. Radio Two’s Thank You For the Music took place in London’s Hyde Park and included appearances from a host of stars performing their favourite ABBA classics. In a special feature, The Main Event spoke to producer Anthony Cherry who revealed the secrets of the show’s success. Picture: BBC Full story see page 8

THIS year has been incredibly strong for the UK’s favourite festivals and this is set to continue in 2010, an expert has claimed. The Association of Independent Festivals represents some of the biggest names in the industry including Creamfields and Bestival and co-founder Ben Turner said although some were worried 2009 would be a difficult year, it has turned out much better than expected. He said: “This year has been really positive. In tough times the people who are in it for the money walk away and those who are in it for the right reasons stay. There is no reason to think next year will be anything but better.” The association formed about a year ago and Ben said he is pleased with how it has been received. He added: “It has been amazing to see these rivals sitting around and helping each other to progress.” I For the results of AIF’s new report see this month’s festival round up. The Main Event is the official magazine of the National Outdoor Events Association


Song inspires Kevin to raise smiles By Christina Eccles

Katherine Jenkins

THE inspiration behind a new event in Somerset came from an unusual source – after its organiser heard Boyzone’s hit ‘When the Going Gets Tough’ and decided with all the doom and gloom about to bring a feel good factor back to the area. Kevin Newton organised the Big Gig after deciding that the song summed up how people felt at the moment and he wanted to do something to make them smile. And when he was putting together the event, the obvious choice of headliner was the group that inspired him to organise it in the first place. Boyzone will headline the Saturday night of the event – which takes place at Royal Bath and West Showground – with James Morrison performing on the Friday night and opera star Katherine Jenkins closing the show on the Sunday. Kevin hopes to attract 7-8,000 people per night but admits in the current climate, putting an event on can be risky business. He said: “I am as confident as I can be. It is a risk and we won’t know after the event if it is a risk worth taking. We are not at sell out so it will be interesting to see what happens. But there is an opportunity there. We have

Local authority spotlight Middle East Festival round-up Showman’s Show Preview

Pages 10&11 Page 29 Pages 13-28 Pages 30-35

CONTACTS EDITORIAL Kevin Newton strong names on the line up and ticket prices are reasonable.” Kevin has previous experience organising events in the area and put on similar gigs in 2001 and 2002, which attracted bands including Blue and Atomic Kitten. But he admits last time he tried to do too much, too soon and is keen to do things differently second time round. He added: “We went too big, too quick. It was a big, big show and we didn’t sell enough tickets. I said I wouldn’t do it again unless we had a strong enough line up.” This year’s Big Gig will raise money for a local performing arts school and if successful, Kevin hopes to make it an annual event.

Festival boost for Pride PRIDE in Brighton and Hove’s fundraising efforts have been given a boost thanks to a neighbouring festival. The White Air Festival set up a Pride promotional link on Ticketmaster where people could buy discounted tickets to the festival. And for every ticket sold through this link, White Air made a donation to Pride in Brighton and Hove. So far, Pride’s fundraising campaign has raised almost £3,000 but organisers say they need to raise £50,000 by the end of the year to avoid next year’s event having to be scaled down.

16 pages of Festival Round-up featuring events Bestival, Bingley Music Lives, Leeds and Reading festivals and Manchester Pride.

Group Editor Andrew Harrod Tel: 01226 734639 Reporters: Christina Eccles ( Mary Ferguson ( Louise Cordell (

PRODUCTION Studio Manager: Stewart Holt ( Tel: 01226 734414 Group Deputy Editor: Judith Halkerston ( Tel: 01226 734458 Graphic designer: Kyle Wilkinson ( Tel: 01226 734711

ADVERTISING Group Sales Manager: Paul Allott Tel: 01226 734484 Fax: 01226 734478 Mob: 07500 905717 Email: Sales Executive: Mandy Mellor Tel: 01226 734702 Email: Sales and Marketing Director: Tony Barry Email:

CIRCULATION Kelly Tarff Tel: 01226 734695 email:

Lighting company DBN Lighting supplied design services and equipment to illuminate the Port of Liverpool building as part of the city’s Art on the Waterfront event. LuminoCity – a 30 minute multimedia spectacular created and produced by Walk the Plank – was the culmination of the event also produced by Walk The Plank for Liverpool City Council. Stephen Page of DBN designed the light show which illuminated the 50 metre tall building.

If you’ve got a story for us call our reporter Christina Eccles on 01226 734463 or email You can write to us at: The Main Event newsroom, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 2AS



Pocket festival cancelled after council row By Christina Eccles

London’s largest winter event returns next month in Hyde Park – complete with new additions for the 2009 festive season. Winter Wonderland runs until January and as well as the traditional ice rink, 50m observation wheel and German Christmas Market, this year visitors can also enjoy Zippo’s Christmas Circus, which takes place in a heated big top. Over 1.5m visitors have visited the attraction to date.

DONCASTER’S Pocket Festival has been cancelled after a row broke out between organisers and the local council over the site. The festival aimed to combine all the elements found at bigger festivals but on a smaller and more affordable scale and organiser Bob Worm of Events Collective hoped to attract about 700 people to Town Fields for the event. But just weeks before it was due to take place, the local council told Bob that he may not be able to use the land and further discussions would be needed. After deciding that the risk was too high and that it would cost too much if they needed to market the event again at a different site, Bob said he was left with no option but to pull the plug. He said: “We were left with no choice but to cancel the event, as we were not comfortable with the risk we would be taking. “This was because of complications with the venue plus the possible cost to remarket the event and not having

the confidence in achieving our ticket sales.” Bob said only a handful of tickets had actually been sold and their £5 price tag meant people weren’t as interested in buying in advance and seem to prefer turning up on the day – something which he is looking to target next year. He told The Main Event he hopes to revive the Pocket Festivals as the company did have success with one held in Stockport, which attracted about 1,200 festivalgoers. He added: “I think there is a future in what we are doing with the Pocket Festivals. We have got quite a lot of the factors right but we have to start making a profit. “We like the framework of what we have done so for next year we won’t be redesigning the wheel. There is the potential to bring in camping and put together an event where people put in an investment for the whole weekend. We are pleased with what we did in Stockport and would consider producing the event there again.”



Firm bags Oxford Street space By Christina Eccles PART of London’s iconic Oxford Street has been transformed into an events space after the delay of a planned development on the land. Parklife Oxford Street covers more than 4,200sqm and will be available for use up until May next year. The space is managed by Progressive Events, on behalf of owners Land Securities and managing director Nicky Allison said there has already been a large number of enquiries from people wishing to stage events there. Events already in the pipeline include the creation of a public ice skating rink – which will be London’s largest – for the festive season and the launch of Fiat’s latest car. And Nicky told The Main Event that the size and location of the space – plus the fact that it is a blank canvas – makes it a popular choice. She said: “It is the most exciting project – in the last 50 years there has never been a blank space on Oxford Street. The owners wanted to put a positive spin on a site that was empty.

“Apart from the location, part of its appeal is also that it has only got a short life and you can hire part of the space or all of it for events.” Nicky also said that the team had discussed the idea of putting up a temporary structure on the space but decided that they wanted to do something more creative – meaning that the look and feel of the space can change dramatically depending what event is being held there. She added: “This is an amazing opportunity. The events market is quite tough at the moment and a lot of events are coming through at short notice. If you have something unique to offer it creates a lot of interest.” The space has the capacity for up to 4,000 people and Nicky added there have been enquiries about holding events including product launches, fashion shows and corporate parties. Progressive Events has been awarded the contract until next May after which the land will be used to build new retail and office space. A record number of visitors attended this year’s More Bus Bournemouth Air Festival – with over a million people watching the event. Audience figures were estimated at 1,344,000 which was up 50 per cent on last year. New additions to the festival’s line up included a record breaking three displays by the Avro Vulcan, which has never been done at any one single event. Entertainment has also been extended through to the evening to encourage people to stay longer in the resort.

Parklife Oxford Street covers more than 4,200sqm

More backing for campaign against scam ticketing website PROMOTER Festival Republic has joined a host of music and sports stars backing a campaign warning the public about scam ticketing websites. The launch of the Office of Fair Trading’s Just Tick It campaign coincides with new research revealing 20 per cent of people know someone who has been ripped off by bogus ticketing sites. In response, Festival Republic – promoter of major festivals including Reading, Leeds and Latitide – has joined stars including singer Kate Nash and England rugby captain Steve Borthwick to back the campaign.

According to the online survey of 3,000 UK consumers: I One in five people knows someone who has bought tickets to a music, sport or theatre event from a scam ticket website I One in 12 ticket buyers admits to having been caught out by scam ticket websites, with 80 per cent of those having fallen victim in the last year I Victims lost an average of £80 each. Just Tick It aims to increase consumer awareness of online ticket scams and also provide ticket buyers with advice on how to avoid being scammed.

Torquay talent turns out for festival A BOUTIQUE one-day festival showcasing the best of local talent has taken place in Torquay. The Riviera Live Summer Sessions

was the climax to a programme of free music events in the area, organised by the English Riviera Tourist Board.



Performers Kylie Minogue, Jamie Cullum and, right, V V Brown

Pictures courtesy of the BBC

A star-studded concert last year celebrating Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 60th birthday set a precedent for successful Sunday night events hosted by the BBC in Hyde Park. This year it was ABBA’s turn – with some of the biggest names in music turning out to perform their favourite ABBA hits in front of thousands of fans. Christina Eccles found out more.

BBC takes a chance on Abba popularity THE Thank You For The Music concert took place the day after the BBC hosted another event – Proms in Park – at the same venue. This meant that the show’s organisers were able to use the existing stage and infrastructure – a formula which worked well with the Andrew Lloyd Webber concert last year. And this year proved to be so successful that Radio Two is already looking ahead to next year and how it can utilise the space even further – possibly hosting an event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the proms weekend. Producer Anthony Cherry Nearly 200 artists took to the stage at the event. These included: I Original ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus I The BBC concert orchestra I The full West End cast of Mamma Mia! I Kylie Minogue I Jamie Cullum I V V Brown I Lulu I The Feeling I Chaka Khan I Chris Evans

explained: “We were able to use the infrastructure already in place, which meant we were halving the cost of the build by using it twice. But we had to do a bit of reorganisation in terms of the orchestra layout. This date was the obvious choice as it had worked last year when we did Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 60th birthday celebration. “We are already talking about doing something on the Friday night and could in theory have three shows over the same weekend. “The more shows you can put on, the more economical it becomes.”

Anthony was responsible for producing the show and dealt with tasks including choosing songs and running order, casting the artists and deciding which songs they were going to perform and writing the content to go inbetween performances. The planning for the concert took about nine months, with the stage going into Hyde Park about a week before. He revealed to The Main Event where the theme came from and how almost 40,000 people were encouraged to walk through the gates of Hyde Park. He added: “Hyde Park holds

40,000 people and to have a fighting chance of getting an audience in, you need something that is going to be a popular project. “In discussions, one of the names that came up was ABBA and at that point we began to think about it as a possibility. We had meetings with two of the group’s members Benny and Bjorn who were very humbled and flattered that the BBC should want to do it. We had nearly 200 artists on stage who were just doing their music and it’s the biggest Sunday show we have ever had. “We were very pleased and are now looking ahead to next year.”

Kylie wows with a Super Trouper performance ... THE night’s star attraction was Kylie Minogue who performed two songs at the event. After discussions with her record company and management, Anthony managed to get her on board – and he told The Main Event, she was the ideal choice to appear at the concert.

He added: “I always thought Super Trouper was the perfect song for Kylie. “She is a great fan of ABBA and luckily the event fitted into her schedule.” Pictured: Kylie and presenter Chris Evans at the Hyde Park concert. Picture courtesy of the BBC.


Festivalgoers’ travel habits are surveyed THE environmental impact of travelling to and from festivals has been studied in a new report – which claims travel accounts for two thirds of the festival sector’s CO2 emissions. A total of 14 festivals across the UK and Ireland took part in a study, commissioned by Julie’s Bicycle to determine the travel habits of festivalgoers. And the results revealed that three quarters of those attending events travelled by car. The report sets out suggested measures which organisers could do to encourage people to use public transport when attending festivals. These included: I Offering a free or subsidised public transport service I Car parking charges with reductions for full cars I Allocating a number of festival tickets to be combined with public transport tickets. Director of Julie’s Bicycle Alison Tickell said: “Travel is very difficult to tackle because it is not in any parties’ control. “We didn’t come across one festival

which wasn’t trying to deal with it. Some have introduced incentives such as deals with coach operators and early bird tickets. “However, most people go by car as they see it as being convenient and comfortable and they can pack up all their gear. People generally do not travel by coach but once they have they prefer to do that again. Coaches have the lowest emissions profile and there are a lot of schemes out there to make the coach experience good.” Alison added that cars in general are not the problem – it is low occupancy rates in vehicles which could be improved. She added: “If you have four people travelling in a car it’s not at all bad. We really want to see an increase in car occupancy rates and everything, such as liftshare schemes, count. “Getting people out of their cars can be really challenging so we have got to see if we can be imaginative.” Festivals which took part in the study included Download, Glastonbury, T in the Park and Global Gathering.

THOUSANDS of extreme sports fans are expected to attend this year’s Xperience Festival in North Tyneside. The festival is now in its second year and builds on the success of surfing championships held in the area in recent years. And organisers have promised that this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever. In addition to surfing on Longsands beach, Beaconsfield in Tynemouth will play host to other sports including snowboarding, BMX and skateboarding. There will also be a live music stage showcasing the region’s musical talent as well as performances by the country’s leading beatboxers.

The World Fireworks Championship has returned to Blackpool – with four countries competing to be crowned the winners. Experts from France, Ireland, China and Austria each represented their homeland by staging stunning pyrotechnical displays in the skies above Blackpool’s North Promenade. Each competing company designed and launched a display to impress the public and the judging panel by combining fireworks with their chosen piece of music. Last year’s event was won by China – decided jointly by public text voting and a panel of expert judges.




As one of London’s favourite spaces, Battersea Park has a dedicated team organising some of the capital’s most famous events. Mary Ferguson reports.

The annual Santa run

Little team with big ideas EMPLOYED by Wandsworth Council, the team is responsible for a diverse range of events that run throughout the year. Made up of events manager Alison Smith, Suzz Bell and Maria Oasis, their offices are based in converted stables in the park’s herb garden and they are also responsible for coordinating filming projects. The recent TV advert for Cadbury’s Clusters – showing a picnic area in summer infiltrated by a pack of dancing Father Christmases – took its inspiration form the park’s annual ‘Santa run’. The 200 hectare park is a popular venue for sporting events – including

the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge – and was the birthplace of the Playtex Moonwalk, which raises money for breast cancer. The walk has now moved to Hyde Park, after it outgrew Battersea when its popularity rocketed. Alison said: “There are some events I would love to host here but I know that will never happen because we just are not big enough. Ultimately I’d love to have Taste of London here and we have had approaches from people who want to do similar things.” The team has had some strange requests for the park – including a naked running event – and during

The Main Event’s visit they took a phone call from a Greek princess wanting to hire the space and fairground rides for a children’s birthday party. “Of all the London boroughs we are the smallest events team but have the largest income target and I only realised that when the London Events Forum was formed and we all got together.” Alison said they try not to ever have more than two events in the park running at the same time and that so far in 2009 her favourite has been the Bastille Day Garden Party, a French inspired festival. “It was a challenge because it was

much bigger than expected – with over 3,000 people there it was totally heaving. “It was a boiling hot day and was fun and just so sweet, like a little piece of Paris in London. Events in Battersea Park always depend on the weather, especially if they are free.” This year, August was left clear of events because there were plans to install a new electricity sub station in the park, but that’s now been postponed until next year. Alison added: “When work like this goes on we will still have to put on most events, so we will install a big generator onsite instead. The show must go on.”

How Alison ensures a sparkling evening THE annual November fireworks display is a big challenge for the team at Battersea Park, but one of the most popular events of the year. And Alison said this year’s tendering process was one of the hardest parts. “As the events manager this was the first year I’ve done the tenders myself, so it was a very big learning curve. It was interesting that we ended up going back to some of the original contractors, as it showed we already had the best.” The pyrotechnics tender was won by Paynes Fireworks and Events Management Group gained the ticketing contract. The companies were signed up on three year contracts, with a two year extension at the council’s discretion, and the tender for the pyro was advertised in The Main Event. Tickets for the show are charged at £6 and although the closest borough, Lambeth, offers them for free, Alison claims they lack the toilets, infrastructure and quality of the pyrotechnics. The music and fireworks are digitally set and the music is a big part of the show. ”In previous years we have had

radio stations come down, bringing celebrities with them, but live music means it turns into a licensed event, meaning the ticket prices rocket. “When your audience has had an amazing event they expect it to be even better the year after so that does put a certain amount of pressure on.”

On the day of the display, the park is cleared of people at 5pm, a large fallout area is put into place, and gates reopen an hour later. The VIP area doubles up as main control and is located on the other side of the PA system. One of the biggest challenges the team faced was with the

regress, and to make sure she got the plan right, Alison attended a course at The Emergency Planning College in North Yorkshire. “I wanted the confidence to know that what I designed would work and because there were so many other event organisers there, it was really useful to work on it together.” One of the main problems with getting people out of the park after the show was with areas becoming bottlenecked, but now they have been opened up, the display area is clear just nine minutes after the last firework. Visitors are banned from bringing their own fireworks but because it’s not possible to search every single bag, some people do sneak in sparklers. In 2007 four adults were treated for burns and all of them were from sparklers. And some residents complain about the noise, especially as the display ends with a ‘ground shaker’. Alison added: “I try to explain to them that it happens just once a year, and you can’t turn down the sound on a firework.”



Battersea’s Evolution is venue to thousands

A past event held in Evolution

THE Evolution structure sits in the park for ten months of the year and houses events from sparkling dinners to trade exhibitions and starstudded awards ceremonies. Formally known as ‘Battersea Park Events Arena’, it is situated in the centre of a 15,000sqm hard-standing area and at its largest, consists of a 95 metre long by 50 metre wide clear-span main hall. Up to 2,500 guests can be comfortably seated for a dinner dance – making it the largest central dining area in London – and it is regularly enlarged or reduced in size to suit different events. Alison said: “It’s a very technically advanced structure – not a marquee – and is triple skinned and foam filled with an air filled roof. You would never think it was a temporary structure. “I have to apply for planning permission for it every two years and we have had a couple of objections in the past so it’s so nerve-racking waiting for the applications to be approved.” Evolution takes two weeks to be built and one week to be taken down and its flexibility allows it to house a variety of events, including

performances by Elton John, Christmas parties and trade exhibition The Designer Wedding Show. “The hard area is ideal to put the temporary structure on as it has a drain running down the middle and lines drawn on the tarmac to show where things like electricity points are. There is also CCTV set up around the site. It also helps that the

site is accessed from the road by tarmac tracks, so the ground doesn’t get ruined during the build if the weather is bad.” The area around the site had to be planted up to shield it from the rest of the park, and as soon as the structure comes down, the space is used for other events over the summer.



Litter crackdown keeps Edinburgh streets cleaner By Christina Eccles A CRACKDOWN on litter at events in Edinburgh ensured that the city’s streets stayed cleaner than ever during this year’s festival season. Throughout the festival period, Edinburgh Council provided a 24-hour operation for street cleaning and litter bin emptying and extra bins were installed in key locations to tackle an increase in litter generated by thousands of visitors to the city. A new scheme, which provided legal advertising sites to festival venues, has also been

instrumental in ridding the city of posters. This resulted in a cleaner city and also allowed promoters to advertise their shows in highly visible locations. Director of Festivals Edinburgh Faith Liddell said: “It's not only the artists and performers, but Edinburgh itself that is the centre of attention in August. “We sincerely appreciate the commitment of the Environment Team, who put in a five star performance to make sure that Edinburgh looked deserving of its reputation as the world's Festival city during one of our busiest years ever.”

Organisers bidding to make event a Hole lot better ... By Andrew Harrod

About 2,000 people took to the streets to celebrate Barnsley’s first ever Gay Pride festival, which kicked off a week of diversity events in the town. It marked the start of the seventh diversity festival which celebrates communities and individual cultures in Barnsley. The event included music and on stage entertainment, fairground rides and food and drink.

THE organisers of the Hole in the Wall concert are looking into suggestions on how next year’s event could be improved. Chris Woodward invited the audience’s feedback on the 2009 concert and has vowed to act on the recommendations. Key suggestions were: I Speeding up the queues at

the admission gates. For next year, the gates will open earlier, with a DJ opening the proceedings half an hour later. There will also be two entrances, I More toilets – cleaned more often. Chris said: “My aim is to provide the maximum quality entertainment at an affordable price. “The tickets this year were

£23 online right up until 3pm on the day of the concert. “For that there is five-anda-half hours of live entertainment, which by anybody’s reckoning must be good value for money. “I wish I could charge less but the fact is that the cost of running events like this keeps going up and up and people require more facilities which all have an on cost.”

Floating structure on the lake LEADING temporary structure company GL Events Owen Brown has recently installed a 15m X 25m structure, quite literally on Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake. The structure, from the new Absolute range, was constructed on a giant floating pontoon over the lake itself and featured Absolute’s distinctive curved roof profile, making the perfect venue for the official unveiling of the new Isis sculpture on the lake’s shore. The site chosen for the unveiling ceremony did not have sufficient space for a temporary venue to be erected on the shore of the lake, so a precision weighted, floating pontoon was constructed for it to be built upon. As access to the proposed site for Owen Brown’s vehicles and heavy plant was impossible, the pontoon was built on the far side of the lake, where the structure was carefully constructed on top of it. Both struc-

ture and pontoon were then floated across the lake into position. Thanks to the skill of the eight strong crew, the structure stayed firmly in place and formed a stunning temporary venue for both a press launch and an evening function. Absolute was launched earlier this year as part of a £4.5m investment in new equipment, including Absolute and the new pagoda style Ultimate range.

Festivals generate £135m THE UK’s independent festivals generate over £135m for the country’s economy, according to a new survey. The Association of Independent Festivals surveyed over 3,000 festivalgoers at its members’ events – which include Secret Garden Party, WOMAD and Glade – to discover their behaviour and spending habits at festivals. And the results showed that the 19 AIF member festivals alone attracted about 340,000 people this summer. AIF co-founder Ben Turner said: “Overall it has been an incredibly strong year for the festival industry. A year where people who may have travelled abroad before stayed at home. We had the year we all needed.” The association launched last year and Ben told The Main Event one of the reasons why it conducted the survey was to highlight the value which festivals bring to the country. He added: “We wanted to show the value of what we do and it helps the industry as a whole by making people understand how vital festivals are to the economy and to consumers. The interest in what we represent has been fantastic and we have made great progress in our first year. We are now ready to move up to the next level.”

Bestival is a member of AIF

Respondents spent an average of £408 each per festival THE results of the survey revealed: I 60 per cent said the general atmosphere and overall vibe of the festival is the single most important reason for choosing which to attend. I 42 per cent of festivalgoers spend 50 per cent or less of their time at a festival watching music. I Camp Bestival and Secret Garden Party audiences spend least time watching music.

I Creamfields and Underage are most popular for music. I 60 per cent spend three to four days in the local area of the festival. Glade visitors spend most time at the festival with an average three days,16 hours. I Respondents spent an average of £408 each per festival, which includes ticket, travel and subsistence. I On average, festival goers spent

£48 in the local area surrounding the festival. Big Session and Belladrum attendees spend most in the local area with £62 and £63 respectively. I 60 per cent of the audience travel to festivals by car. I Field Day had by far the largest response for people travelling by public transport, with just under 80 per cent taking the tube or bus to Victoria Park.

I Outside London, Summer Sundae Weekender and Big Session festivals scored highest with more than 50 per cent of their audiences using public transport or walking. I 79 per cent of festivalgoers camp on-site overall. I The official festival website is the most common place for audiences to find out about the festival, with 65 per cent of respondents using that.



‘What a fantastic year for Bestival’ PEPPERMINT Bars worked alongside Bestival for the 6th year to deliver a total of 15 bars on site – including the popular flagship cocktail bars, The Black Dahlia and Pink Flamingo. Other bars included the Wonderland Inn with huge furry animals sitting on the bar, the Village Pub serving Bestiv-Ale, space-aged bars for Red Bull and Jim Beam and 80 metres of

bar for the newly-located main stage. Alex Brooke from Peppermint said: “What a fantastic year for Bestival. It was so good to see such a great turnout and people enjoying themselves in the good weather despite the current climate. I think being on an island helps people to really escape – we certainly didn’t see people holding themselves back at the bars.”

New measures to ensure good interaction with police NEW measures were introduced to reduce crime at this year’s Bestival and to ensure good interaction between festivalgoers and police. Dog Sgt Dave Steele of Hampshire Constabulary explained: “A key initiative this year was to establish good early relations with the public. “We made sure our first interaction with them was a positive one, which we achieved by distributing 10,000 clip on lanyards that people attached their phones or wallets to their belts.

“This not only helped prevent theft, it also reduces the lost phone (at 3am mid party mode) being reported as theft and distorting the crime figures. “We have our statutory responsibilities that include disrupting organised criminality, particularly drug supply (and possession), tent thefts and counterfeit ticketing, with the need to maintain the safety of everyone on site. “We have mounted a very successful operation using around 80 officers per day, with around 35 support officers off site, which keeps costs down for the organisers.”

BESTIVAL According to festival director Jim King, Bestival is the hardest show he manages – but also one of the best. The Main Event caught up with him on site to discover what makes it so special.

Why Jim thinks it’s one of the best in the world JIM has been responsible for the site infrastructure at every Bestival and he has seen the event develop year on year. This year, the event – which takes place at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight – sold out three months in advance and its capacity grew by about 25 per cent – creating an interesting challenge for organisers who had to introduce a new site layout to cope with extra festivalgoers. Jim explained: “The park is a very intricate event site with different land around the contoured site, but the challenges it presents are worth it for the beauty of the show. “The main stage position has changed radically (from the 10,000 crowd days) and we have moved it this year in to the main arena. “This show is logistically the hardest show we manage. Being on an island, all the event infrastructure has to come in via ferries, which is an additional logistical operation in itself. “There has been a huge increase in camping facilities and we have laid on some additional entertainment for the considerable number of people who now travel out on the Thursday. With the island’s limited accessibility via ferries it makes a Star Events supplied staging at the festival this year. Spokesman Phil Addyman said: “We supplied a 20m Morbit stage with a front of house tower and camera tower in the main Outer Space arena and the stage platform in the Big Top stage. The position of the main stage has moved into the main part of the site, so it feels more condensed in the main Outer Space Arena. In all we’ve supplied 13 crew on site for four days.”

Jim King huge difference to get those 20,000 on site a day earlier.” Jim also revealed what sets Bestival apart in a crowded market place which is full of rival events. He added: “I think this festival is one of the best in the world because it has maintained its relationship with the public throughout its substantial growth. There’s so much to see and do with the line-up and installations that you can never see it all in one year, so everyone wants to come back.”

Good relationships between organisers, suppliers and key personnel such as the local council and police are also vital to ensure the smooth and safe running of the event. Jim said: “We work with a core of trusted suppliers, such as Eve Trackway, APL site and Star Events. Showsec has been with us since year one and Steve Reynolds has become part of our senior management team, creating and working a crowd management plan. On the other hand we’ve introduced some new suppliers, such as Eat To The Beat who have also done a great job in their first year with us and have been very popular with the crew. “Through the years of continued growth Loudsound has had to accommodate, we have also maintained the ‘Bestival brand’ and festival experience while integrating it with a stringent health and safety culture. “We’ve built good relations with the local council and police, who have both trusted and enabled us to implement our plans. We’ve introduced some focused initiatives this year to reduce crime on-site and make the festival as safe as possible; it’s our role to give people a good time and so protecting them and their property is part of that.”

Strategy sees drugs worth £150k seized DRUGS to the value of over £150,000 were seized at this year’s Bestival after police launched a strategy to clamp down on drug related crime at the event. This year, officers operated a larger team of searchers as part the festival’s drugs denial strategy, with a total of 944 searches conducted on those entering site gates at Robin Hill Country Park. The number of positive searches this year was 323 and a total of 26 people were arrested for possession with intent to supply. Tactics used by police included searching individuals and putting passive drugs dogs at the entrance gates. Chief superintendent Dave Thomas said: “The increase in drugs seized and arrests represent an increase in the size of the drugs operation and demonstrates our determination to rid the event of illegal drug use and those that come to Bestival to deal. “By working closely with the promoters, our partner agencies and experienced qualified security staff, the event passed as peacefully as possible, and we are very pleased with the results.”

Five nominations BESTIVAL has been nominated for five awards at this year’s UK Festival Awards – including the prestigious Best Medium Sized Festival. The event has also been nominated for Best Dance Event, Best Toilets, Best Headline Performance – for all three of the festival’s headliners – and Virtual Festivals Critics' Choice Award. Festivalgoers can vote using the dedicated awards website and as an extra incentive, one voter will win a pair of tickets to every winning festival next year. The awards will be announced at a special event taking place next month at the O2 in London.


BESTIVAL The welfare of the Bestival crowd was important to MRL which had the challenge of dealing with an enlarged site this year. The company had to think carefully about where to position concessions and water points to suit the thousands of festivalgoers on site. Other key areas MRL focused on included the emergency liaison, which is the hub of communications for the site, and traffic management. Pictured: Nigel Haley

Contractors’ list Showsec – crowd management Nu Kleen – litter clearance Star Events – staging MRL Limited – health and safety Eat To The Beat – artiste and crew catering Rock City – crew Medroc – medical Tower Event Power – power Tempsite – plumbing NRB – radios Peppermint – bars

Partnership brings cut-price festivals for Euro visitors A PARTNERSHIP between VisitBritain and the Association of Independent Festivals allowed European visitors to enjoy some of this summer’s best festivals at a knock down price. The European Value Campaign offered visitors from 18 countries a 20 per cent discount to AIF mem-

ber festivals – which include Creamfields, Bestival and Big Chill – when tickets were purchased through the VisitBritain website. Festival fans in countries including France, Germany and Spain were able to take advantage of the offer. AIF co-founder Ben Turner said: “This was the first year

of what we hope will be an annual collaboration. It worked well enough for us to want to do it again and gave us the chance to dip our toe in the water. “Next year we will be doing something with more cohesion and we believe the uptake will grow.”

Providing power solutions across the globe TOWER Event Power has been supplying the industry with temporary power solutions for over 14 years and in this time has built a comprehensive stock of cabling and distribution

equipment to handle the most demanding of projects. Tower has been involved with a diverse range of installations across the globe including distribution systems around the

canals of Venice and temporary systems atop the mountains of Klosters, putting Tower in the ideal position to deal with power requirements over a wide range of events.

Order of the day was precision FOR the first time this year, Eat to the Beat worked on Bestival – providing production team and artist catering. Team leader Anne Crawford, pictured above, said the Isle of Wight based festival was the perfect place to source local produce but the biggest challenge for the team was getting all equipment and staff to the site. She said: “Precise planning and logistics were the order of the day as we needed to get our kitchen equipment and 11 staff on to the island. Our vast experience of providing event catering on this scale was invaluable in ensuring this happened.”


Promotion proves a Re-winner THE promotion of a new music festival proved so successful that organisers increased its capacity by 10,000 people. The 1980’s themed Rewind Festival in Henley on Thames originally hoped to attract 20,000 people but interest was so high that organisers decided to allow crowds of up to 30,000. Promoter David Heartfield told The Main Event teaming up with partners such as radio stations and newspapers helped to generate interest in the event. As did a dedicated festival website. He said: “The

promotion was very heavily internet driven and we also had tie ups with lots of promotional parties such as Heart FM and local newspapers. It is very difficult when you are selling a festival because it is not just about the artists. We also had other features and were trying to sell an entire package so it was about driving people onto the website to see for themselves.” David also said that previous experience promoting concerts and picnic shows at stately homes revealed a growing interest in 1980s’ revivals, which had the

potential to be turned into a dedicated festival, celebrating the best of that era. Artists performing included Gloria Gaynor, Sister Sledge and Kim Wilde and the event even had its own restaurant and cocktail bar. He added: “We had about 30,000 people over the weekend which is a fantastic result. We attracted a lot of people who are not catered for in the festival market. “There are many festivals about but a lot are going for the youth market. We are offering a slightly more civilised event.”

Picture courtesy of Western Counties Police Air ops Unit

CTM continues to grow A CHALLENGING year for all in the events industry saw Cash and Traffic Management (CTM) continue to grow and develop services with new and existing clients. The company has risen to the challenges of the recession by offering additional services to existing clients and providing quality services to new clients, to maintain positive growth in difficult times. CTM provide traffic systems, parking operations, ticketing sales and transport plans to a number of clients across the industry and have added production traffic operations to its list of services. A team of supervisors and staff took on active management of onsite traffic at Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading Festivals with great success and are looking forward to offering this serv-

ice to a number of other clients next year. In addition, we were able to assist new clients applying for festival licenses and were able to successfully argue the case for an increase in the license numbers for the Hop farm and a new license for the Rewind festival in Henley. We are also looking forward to helping Donington Park Race Circuit as they develop the circuit and strive to bring F1 to the venue. Cash and Traffic Management’s operational team has worked hard to continue supplying top quality services and to work with organisers throughout this year, as pressure to cut costs without impacting on services increase. We look forward to next year and developing our services to meet new and existing clients’ needs.

Contractors’ list Power – Vital Spark Ltd. Dressing Rooms – Movie Makers Marquees – Piggotts, Just Right Marquees Big Tops – Roustabout Toilets – A1, Comfy Crappers Showers – Posh Wash Showers Waste – Estate Cleaners Fencing – Wight Fencing Medical – Location Medical Fire – Cannon Fire Road Signage – AA Traffic Management – C.T.M Security – S.P.A. Trucking – Conference Haul International Staging – Serious Stages Sound – Capital Sound Lighting – P.R.G. Trackway – Trac Site Signage – Volaire Plant/Cabins – A Plant Cranes – King Lifting

Stage Crew – C.C.C.P. Crew Catering – Eat to the Beat Video – XL Video Furniture – Spaceworks Tower Lights – Brightlights Silent Disco – Silent Arena Comedy – Comedy Store Kidzone – Big Top Mania Arena Musicians – Friday St Music Fireworks – Fantastic Fireworks Merchandising – Front of House Organisation Advertising –TCS Media Public Relations – Lisa Denning Associates Design – T.M.A. Insurance – Sebastian McLean International Glamping – Tangerine Fields Site Transport – The Quad Centre



The last three years have seen Bingley Music Live grow rapidly and this year organisers celebrated their biggest, most successful event to date. Christina Eccles found out the secrets of its success.

Bigger and better pays off at Bingley FOR three days last month, Myrtle Park in Bingley hosted some of the biggest names in music as part of Bingley Music Live. The event was organised by Bradford District Council and this year attracted record audience figures – about 40,000 people over the three days. This year’s event was also bigger than ever after organisers decided to add an extra day to make it a three-day event. Traditionally the event has been held over two – with one day being free and the other, involving a more high-profile line-up, being ticketed. After an increase in demand for this year’s event, it was decided to have Friday as a free day and Saturday and Sunday as paid-for concerts. And although day tickets could be bought for £15, organisers decided to incentivise festival-

goers to stay for the whole event, by making weekend tickets just £10 more. Festival manager Andrew Wood told The Main Event that although the event faced competition from the many festivals taking place over the summer, what set it apart was its affordability. He said: “The main appeal was the low prices, as the event was subsidised by Bradford Council, plus a very appealing line-up. “This year we said let’s take a risk and put on a weekend ticketed event. Previously, we have put quite a bit of funding into the free day but we limited the programme on that night and made it more of a family event which worked very well. “Then we introduced the ticketed weekend which gave us a good, balanced programme of bands.” Although the festival takes

place in a residential area, its organisers work hard to ensure that those living near to the site are not affected by the event being staged there. Letters are sent out to local residents with a number for them to call if they have any queries – though Andrew says compliments about the event outweigh the complaints. He added that this year’s format worked well and the plan for next year is to build on that. “It would seem silly to change the format as it can be successful again. The ticket price will be reviewed but we aim to keep tickets at a low price. “We may go up to £30 but £40 would be the maximum and we would be reluctant to go up that much. “It’s all a learning curve. We are now pulling the event apart and deciding how we can improve it Calvin Harris who performed at the event. Picture: David Ward for next year.”


How Rachel raised profile of event IMPROVING how the event is marketed was a priority for organisers this year who brought an expert on board to maximise ticket sales. Rachel Hill’s role was to increase sales by tapping into potential target markets and developing awareness of the event. To do this she attended many other events taking place over the summer, leafleting and speaking to people who were there. She also took over the festival’s Facebook page and used that and other social networking sites such as Twitter to ensure the word spread. But Rachel revealed that although the internet marketing was useful, she actually found that the face to face approach was more successful. She said: “Social networking is another way forward and using Facebook and Twitter did undoubtedly help. “But most of the feedback I got was from word of mouth and from meeting people so they could find out more.” She added that she would like to be involved in the event next year and already has some ideas on how to raise the profile of the event even further and increase media coverage.

Andrew also said that the venue – Myrtle Park – provides the perfect backdrop for the event because of its location and good transport links. He added: “Myrtle Park has been used as a music venue for the last 18 years and has always been a suitable venue for music events. It has a wonderful backdrop and nearby rail network with great links to Leeds and Bradford. Public transport is something we want to work on for next year, to get more trains put on during the event. It would be nice to increase the capacity of the event to 20,000 – as long as we can then get 20,000 people out of Bingley when it is over.” Picture: West Yorkshire Police.

Contractors’ list

Despite being up against competition from bigger festivals such as Leeds and Reading and V, the event still managed to secure its strongest ever line up. Performers over the weekend included Calvin Harris, Editors, VV Brown, Reverend and The Makers (pictured) and The Zutons.

Audio – Coast to Coast Concert Production Lights – Zig Zag Stage – Orbit Roofs and Staging Electrical and generator power – TM Newburn Video Screens – Light Media Marquees – Event Equipment Hire Portable Roadway – TPA Hoarding – Eve Trakway Fencing and Barriers – Event Plus Clearance – Leisure Services Parks Toilets – William G Search and GJ Toilet Hire Road Signage – TMS Tour Catering – Popcorn Bars – G&P Events and Mobile Bars Catering concessions – Marshall's Amusements




Creative Bars (a Creativevents company) has had a busy summer season working on events including Cornbury, T4 on the Beach, The Big Chill & Sonsisphere. The Main Event caught up with the company’s Larry Keep who revealed trends in bars and consumers’ drinking habits and what organisers should consider when choosing bar companies for their events.

Introducing Creativevents ... LARRY and the Creative Bars team have become regular features at many of the UK’s outdoor and indoor events – ranging from music festivals, concerts, sporting events and indoor venues. According to Larry, each one provides a different set of challenges for them to work with. He explained: “Each event has its own needs and requirements so special attention needs to be paid to this or else you can become complacent. Gone are the days when you could take things for granted, which certainly keeps you on your toes, especially in the current environment. You also have to consider the British weather as this demands respect – too hot and you’re constantly cleaning dust off your bars, providing more water for the staff, and can even have a detrimental effect on sales as was the case in the hottest summer on record in 2003, too wet and you can be in mud up to your knees, laying down tonnes of wood chippings and again considering the impact on sales as no one enjoys drinking in the rain!. From this experience we work so hard to cover all eventualities and planning is crucial.” Organisers are becoming more demanding with how they want their

food and drink to look at their events, with the quality of product and service becoming more than ever an integral part of the festival experience. Larry adds: “Consumer tastes and consumption patterns vary a lot and you need to cater for these. At the same time organisers are increasingly expecting to see more production elements and design integrated not only into the stage and merchandising but also to include the food and drink bars”. “We spend a large amount of time designing signage and dressing which is tailored to the events to ensure that the bars that we build sit in harmony with their temporary surroundings. This year we have also created indoor areas with a feel of their own to offer customers somewhere to sit down and relax, away from the other high energy areas of the festival experience.” With consumers feeling the effects of the recession, the public have become more choosy about the

events they go to. “As the public are becoming more discerning about the amount of events they visit so too have their demands on the quality of the services they receive. There is nothing worse than in the old days when you could expect to go to a festival and have to queue for ages for a drink only then to be served a warm flat pint for all your hard work. We

have invested heavily into the equipment we use as well as focussing hard on reducing queuing times by introducing better systems of service. Better technical equipment such as multi dispense units, better staff and developing queuing systems has really drastically reduced serving times so customer satisfaction is certainly on the rise.”


Choosing the right bar supplier LARRY also revealed what organisers need to be aware of when choosing a bar supplier for their events and how to make sure the company has the necessary qualifications and understanding required to make their event succeed; he added: “The organiser should choose a company who has a great deal of experience with Health and Safety legislation as it is essential for the company to demonstrate due diligence and undertake event specific risk assessments. Companies need to provide a safe working environment for all their employees and customers. Pre-event build-up and break down experience is key to working on event sites as they can be congested with other companies all working towards delivering their production or services on time. This means they can easily become potentially hazardous places so once again planning is essential. Have regular meetings and demand proof of specific training qualifications. Also ask for personal licence holders certification and make sure the company has sufficient product, public and employers liability. Most local authorities now require liability insurance of around £10,000,000 to cover any potential claims for whatever reason.” “Recommendation is everything and it is always worthwhile asking other event organisers advice or opinions as if they have had a bad experience they won’t hesitate to voice their opinion and similarly if they have had a good working relationship then they will not hesitate to recommend a company. This can also confirm

whether or not the bar company has valid experience in the field and a proven track record for delivering what they promise. Also ask about the bar company’s financial credibility and what reconciliation systems they have in place as organisers will want peace of mind especially where financial accountability is concerned!” There are more sponsored brands investing into events than ever before “There has been an explosion of brands gaining access to festivals and concerts and you really have to go that extra bit further where they are concerned as in many ways they are significantly contributing to the success of the event, especially in these trying times. “Never compromise the brand’s value as they have worked hard in building up their reputation and they are very particular in the way their brand is delivered to the customer. It is all about the experiential delivery and the perfect serve is essential! Creativebars works very closely with many of the UK’s universities and col-

leges and invests heavily into staff training throughout the year. As a result when it comes to the summer season we have a large number of experienced staff members who go that bit further in adding to the customers’ overall experience. “Overall I would say that the organiser should use a reputable bar company who has a good reputation for working closely with the event before, during and after. A company who will go that extra mile and one that is prepared to work hard at integrating their services with that of the overall event experience. The best part of this business, in my mind, is when you get customers saying that they really enjoyed the event from start to finish and it is then that we know we contributed to this and have done a good job.”

21 Cornbury Music Festival “We finally saw sense in the 5th 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. We’re very pleased that Creative have joined the Cornbury family and we’re looking forward to a long and successful relationship.” Hugh Phillimore – Cornbury Music Festival The Big Chill Festival “From our earliest meetings we were immediately impressed with the team at Creative Events, their reassuring knowedge and experience giving them justifiable confidence. Bearing in mind The Big Chill Festival is a sizeable event of 40,000 people each day over 3 and a half days in a new site for them – a valley in Herefordshire – we think they did an exceptional job. There was thorough calm professionalism in everything they did, and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with Creative over the next few years.” Richard Bigg – Cantaloupe Group



It’s been a big year for Benn ... WHILE other organisers have struggled with their events this year, Melvin Benn claims that 2009 couldn’t have gone better for him. He achieved sell out crowds at all his events and says this is quite simply because his are the best festivals in the world. He added: “All our festivals in the

UK and Ireland have sold out this year and I couldn’t be happier. We have the best festivals in the world. I have witnessed the excitement at other festivals and the excitement at Reading and Leeds is dramatically stronger. “I couldn’t have asked for a better year.”

Police praise for Leeds visitors LEEDS festivalgoers have been praised by West Yorkshire Police for their good behaviour over the festival weekend. Although by the end of the event, recorded crime was higher than last year’s figures – 102 crimes recorded compared with 76 in 2008 – the police put this down to increased pro-activity in confronting drugs offences. 39 arrests were made for drugs and minor offences compared with 17 last year.

Chief superintendent Andy Battle, commander of the police operation said: “This was a very successful event and will be remembered for all the right reasons. This year saw the introduction of a new traffic plan which made a huge difference to people’s enjoyment of the event. We have also worked closely with the event organisers to tackle drugs and this has resulted in a significant increase in the number of arrests we have made, making the event safer.”

Firm moves into festival market Q-SYSTEMS have moved into the festival market this year, operating their unique Q-Bar EPOS system at all the bars at Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and Latitude, to name a few. We spotted a gap in the market and decided our product was the right one for it. The fact that our system can operate in the conditions associated with any outdoors environment means it is the ideal choice. Operators can have a full system installed giving real-time data to a ‘back office’ PC, or have a totally wireless set-up and retrieve all data

once the bar is shut. We found the most common feedback comments were, the speed of service and ease of use. Also because the system can operate totally stand alone and wireless, power outages were of no concern as Q-Bar carried on working. The staff loved it as it is so simple, very quick and easy to use.


Changes improve festival experience for visitors CHANGES were made to both the Leeds and Reading festivals this year to improve the experience for visitors. At Reading, improvements were made to the site which involved moving and rotating the second stage to open up the site more and at Leeds, a new traffic management plan was put in place. This year traffic for the Leeds Festival was brought straight off the motorway to the site, meaning cars were no longer diverted into the city and back out again as in previous years. This helped both visitors – who benefited from reduced travel time – and local residents who didn’t have to

cope with a large volume of traffic. And promoter Melvin Benn from Festival Republic, said he was really pleased with how the changes worked and what they added to the festivals. He said: “I am delighted with both events. We made quite a lot of changes – to the actual site at Reading and to the traffic management at Leeds. “The new plan worked so well and certainly reduced the queuing times. There was also a reduction on the impact on Leeds city centre and ring road – there was no traffic there this year. We shall be sticking to it.” Melvin also said that the festivals’ popularity this year was partly due to

the strength of the headline acts – which included Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and Kings of Leon. He added: “The bands worked fantastically well. The headliners could not have been better.” Melvin’s predictions for next year are that things will get tougher for the event industry but he is confident that his festivals will continue to do well. “The market is overcrowded and that’s why festivals are failing. I think next year will be harder than this year – there is more unemployment and that is going to have an impact. “We have already started planning and will be trying to put on the best line up that exists.”

Little Boots was one of the acts performing at Leeds and Reading.


Contractors’ list Mojo Barriers – Barriers Mobile Stadiums Ltd – Big Tops Bunk-a-Bin Ltd – Bunk a Bins Search – Cabins Artist Liaison – Carling Pictureworks – Carling Stage Screen Cash on the Move – Cash Machines Central Catering – Catering Eat To The Beat – Catering Crime Secure – CCTV Clean Event – Cleaning Beau Nosh – Crew and Artist Catering Absolute Events – Crew Catering Ad Lib Audio – Dance sound GLD Productions – Décor Attitude is Everything – Disabled Access Cover It Up – Drapes Midland Fire – Fire Protection Gore and de Koning Fun Fairs – Funfair BE Event Hire – Furniture Alex Cook –Guest Area A&A Weatherhead – Gullysuckers Artist Liaison – Lock up / dance A1 Mobile – Lockers Neg Earth – Main Stage Lights Creative Technologies (screenco) – Main Stage Screens Concept Products – Man that Can Instant Marquees – Marquees W A A P – Marquees Events Medical Services – Medics

Firebrand – Merchandise CTM – Offsite Manager Hunts Contractors – Plumbers Templine – Power 2CL Communications – Radios Outback Rigging – Rigging AA Signs – Road signs Amazing Tent Company – Saddlespan Event Safety Shop – Safety Beaver 84 – Scaffold and Fencing Acre Jean – Scrims Imaginators – Scrims and Banners AP Security – Security Gainsborough Security – Security Special Events – Security Specialized Security – Security A1 Mobile – Showers SSE – Sound ESS – Sound CBA – Sound and telephones Motley Crew – Stage Crew Star Hire – Stages Serious Stages – Stages Ali Stage – Staging Steelshield – Steelshield Fencing See Tickets – Tickets A1 Loo Hire – Toilets Eve Trakway – Trackway TPA – Trackway Arte Viva – Urinal Q-Bar – Wireless till systems

New venture for promoter THE promoter behind Reading and Leeds has also taken on a new venture – majority ownership of The Big Chill Festival. The festival will now be co-produced by the company and the existing Big Chill team from the Festival Republic offices, with Katrina Larkin and her team re-locating there. Katrina will remain creative director

of the festival. Managing director Melvin Benn said: “This marks an exciting time for The Big Chill and I am thrilled to welcome Katrina and her team into the Festival Republic family and even more thrilled to have the opportunity to develop this fantastic festival, both here in the UK and internationally.”



MANCHESTER PRIDE Manchester Pride saw 42,000 people celebrate LGBT life over the August bank holiday weekend, creating challenges with road closures and logistics. Mary Ferguson reports.

Pride team still learning FOR the eighth year running, Ear To The Ground teamed up with Nine Lives Productions to produce the city centre event, which has been running since 1980. Jon Drape, co-director of Ear To The Ground said: “When we were first approached about doing Pride in 2002 it was quite last minute and it was the Commonwealth Games year. We were very busy so a joint approach worked well – and has done ever since.” Jon said Pride is one of the biggest events on their calendar, and claims that every year they learn something new. “In some ways the event does get easier to deal with year on year, but we do always have the same constraints, particularly with time and road closures “We can’t close the roads for any longer than we do and although we pick up different bits of land during the lead-up, for example for the stage and parking, we only have a short amount of time to get all the perimeter fencing up along the roads. Time is always a big challenge for us.” The event finishes at midnight on the Monday night and the team then has six hours to return all the car parks and open all the road closures to get everything back to normal for Tuesday morning traffic. This year was the largest parade to date, and Jon admitted it threw up a few problems. “We will be looking at some changes for next year. The assembly point for the floats is a three quarter mile length of Liverpool Road and we couldn’t ask for better, but where the parade ends it’s only a quarter of that size. We have to get the floats to make themselves safe as quickly as possible before joining the main traffic.” Another problem can be keeping the parade together and some gaps did form this year. “It doesn’t help that it has to cross a tram line, and the overhead cables mean that any floats above 14ft have to stop and get under safely, so that can create a space. “And this year we had a casualty at

Scenes from Manchester Pride and, right, Jon Drape. co-director of Ear to the Ground the side of the road so we had to break up the parade while the ambulance came, creating a large gap.” However, this year saw the lowest number of casualties over the weekend and a big priority for Ear To The Ground was limiting the risk of homophobic crime – which has been a problem in the past. Jon added: “Prior to us taking over, the event was renowned for this. So fencing off the gay village creates a safe area for the LGBT community and although maintaining 24-hour security costs a lot, it means we have complete control.”

‘It’s not ideal for the residents’ EAR To The Ground handle the procurement, production management and site logistics and Nine Lives take control of accreditation, staffing and cleansing. Nine Live’s Sarah Rowland said: “I work with Jon and his team on other events, but Pride is the only one we do as a partnership. You can’t put on an event like this without odd problems popping up but we have such a good group of contractors that we have been with so long – and who know the environment so well – that we all know what to expect.” This year, 42,000 tickets were sold and Sarah said they were very pleased. “We always sell some day tickets over the weekend and how

many tends to depends on the weather, but we sold quite a few this time, despite there being a bit of rain. And the budget compared with other events is very tight because we know that any extra we make goes straight to the charities.” Sarah added that working with businesses and a large residential area inside the site is a challenge every year, so a sophisticated accreditation process is put into place. “You don’t have those considerations with a green field site. Although Pride provides a good income stream for the businesses, it’s not ideal for the residents, as we are basically putting ourselves on their doorsteps for 72 hours.”

Contractors’ list Main Stage – Star Events Group Ltd Additional Staging and structures – Manchester Light and Stage, Orbit Roofs and Staging, Fox Staging PA – Audile Stage Lighting – Audile Exhibition Lighting – DBN Power – Collinge Engineering Perimeter fencing – Steelshield

Toilets – Elliot Loo Hire Marquees – Smiths Marquees Cabins / Box offices – Search Site Crew – Handball Security – G4S First Aid – Manchester Medical Services Crew catering – Bread & Butter Bars – International Promotions



Picture: Melmif Photography

A recession busting offer on weekend tickets saw a sell out crowd flock to this year’s Creamfields to watch a line up including Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris and Basement Jaxx. Christina Eccles found out more.

Creamfields celebrates a sell-out THIS year organisers decided to reward Creamfields’ loyal festivalgoers by putting weekend tickets on sale for £100 – a decision which attracted 30,000 people on site per day. The site was also changed this year, with a move for both the main stage and the camping area which reduced the amount of walking for festivalgoers between the festival site and the campsite. Event manager Jim King told The Main Event that introducing changes such as these ensures that the show stays fresh and is able to stand out in what has become a competitive market for festival organisers. He said: “This year we reconfigured

the whole arena space which opened up a new field, allowing the main stage to sit in its own environment. “Cream has also invested more in adding value and decoration, which meant the whole site looked a lot better. It’s a very competitive market and acts are touring more than ever. You can’t rely on just your line up to differentiate from competitors. “Instead of going to Ibiza for three or four days, you want people to come to your festival. It has to offer a whole weekend experience.” Camping was introduced for the first time at last year’s event after 10 years as a one-day show and Jim said this has also created a new dimen-

sion to the event. He added: “This was the second year of camping and since it was introduced the audience profile has changed. More people come from all over the country as coming for two days makes it more attractive for them and also for European visitors. “Creamfields is an international brand and the show’s close proximity to Manchester and Liverpool airports also definitely helps. The event offers a compelling case for European visitors to come to the UK. “We are extremely happy. We had a sold-out show which was an important milestone for everyone involved in the event.”

Picture: Dominic Pascal Picture: Dominic Pascal


Firm faces language barriers and intense heat in Taiwan TAO Productions overcame challenges including language barriers and intense heat to complete work on the spectacular opening ceremonies for the Deaflympics in Taiwan. NewSubstance Creative Agency employed the TAO Group to provide services including logistics support, production management, health and safety and event consultancy for four shows in Hsinchu and Taipei. The company also provided event consultancy services for the Italian Extreme Theatre Company KitonB and its performance of Carillion – which involved six aerialists performing from a crane 80 metres above the stage, a vocalist and 12 dancers. Head of TAO Andy Cotton said: “It was an interesting set of events with language barriers between Chinese, Italian and English providing challenges; particularly at one point

TAO’s Ben Price and Andy Cotton when specifying the PA equipment. Quite frankly I could have been ordering a Big Mac and chips.” The performances in Hsinchu played to a packed crowd of in excess of 15,000 people with the Taipei shows topping 40,000 over the three nights. On one of these nights Taipei was one of the hottest places on the planet at well over 40 degrees.

The Human League

Liverpool idea heads for Dubai THE organisers of Liverpool’s Sound City have created a similar event to be held next month in Dubai. It is hoped that over 50 artists and 50 keynote speakers will come to Dubai Sound City to take part in the event, which combines conferences with live music events. Acts already announced include the Human League, Happy Mondays and Super Furry Animals. Liverpool Sound City festival direc-

tor Dave Pichilingi said: “The aim is to draw in business from countries such as South Africa, Australia, Japan and other areas within three or four hours’ flying time of Dubai. “The city is a hub for the rest of the world. It'll be similar to the way we’ve done it in Liverpool. “By day, we’ll discuss the issues affecting the industry, and by night we’ll put on amazing parties and events.”



Industry experts to judge stand awards THIS year’s Showman’s Show will include the traditional stand awards, which will be judged by three industry experts. This year the judges will be Trevor Barratt, chief executive of The Ocean Media Group, organisers of the Event Production Show, who will be judging the external stands and Duncan Reid, portfolio director of Confex, who will be judging the stands within the

exhibition hall. Many of the structures also have elaborate interiors, which is why this year a third judge has been appointed who is an expert in this field. Marion Falchi-Pereira of Falchi Interiors will be focusing specifically on the interior design of the stands and awarding prizes for the top three stand interiors on the showground.





Providing a bespoke service EVENT Security Solutions Ltd was formed in 2007 by a group of security and crowd management professionals with the aim of providing clients with a bespoke service that offers high quality with good value for money. Although the company is relatively young, our collective experience within the company at all levels is vast, encompassing all types of events from high profile international events such as the European Jumping and Dressage Championships and Leeds Festival to smaller local shows such as Cleethorpes Rocks. Our philosophy is to provide our clients with trained, quality personnel that are handpicked to suit their event or venue. We recognise that a steward or security person who does a very good job at a music concert is not necessarily suited to an event such as a trade exhibition. This is

achieved by working closely with the client, listening to what they want, our experience and not overstretching the company resources. All our personnel are vetted using British Standard 7858:2006 as the bench mark. This ensures we have a 10 year history, giving peace of mind to our clients. Additionally they will be qualified in or working towards an NVQ level two in Spectator Safety, this includes personnel who hold licences in accordance with the Private Security Industry Act 2001. This is the base level – we then have a number of continuation courses, such as customer care and first aid to name but a few. As a company we have no desire to `rule the world’. Our aim is to become renowned as a supplier of high quality services that retains the personal touch. To paraphrase an old adage, `size doesn’t matter it`s the quality that counts.`



Plans well underway for 24th show ORGANISERS and suppliers are once again preparing for the Showman’s Show – which takes place in Newbury on October 21 and 22. This year’s show is the 24th and organisers – Lance Show and Publications – are already gearing up for its 25th birthday celebrations in 2010. The show attracts over 350 exhibitors and 4,500 visitors over two days and exhibitors are looking forward to its start. Chris Wilkey of ID&C said: “The show is an ideal venue for us as it provides a wide portfolio of clients from the event industry, both at home and abroad. “Also, the timing of the show is just right as we have found that the Europeans who visit the show place their orders by January well in advance of the event season, with UK orders tending to arrive later in March.”



Company to display new and established products LAMATA Contract Furniture will again be hosting a stand at this year’s Showman’s Show – displaying both new and well established products. The company is a manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of contract and hospitality furniture and the product range includes everything from folding trestle tables to outdoor event furniture and hotel banqueting products. A large exhibition stand

will be used to display all of the products which has kept this UK company alive for the past 40 years and also a new innovative range of products which are getting a lot of attention in the UK. Products on show will include modular lounge furniture, illuminating tables and lightweight folding screens as well as the extended range of folding and stackable furniture.

Mini festival area will offer ideas SUNBABA’S stand at this year’s Showman’s Show will offer organisers ideas on how to maximise branding opportunities at outdoor events. The company will be creating a mini festival area at the show – exhibiting products including

perimeter branding and DigiSound – PA scrims with a special weave to allow sound to pass through with minimum distortion. Visitors to the stand will also have the chance to win one of Sunbaba’s new branded deckchairs to jazz up their office meeting area.





How show grew to be what it is today

EVENT UK NEC BIRMINGHAM SEPTEMBER 22 - 23 This was a successful participation by NOEA as a first time event. Richard Limb, NOEA president, pictured above, and John Barton, NOEA general secretary manned an information stand. We met many new outdoor event contacts and also many NOEA

members past and present. It was a very busy time for us and included some important meetings onsite. There were many quality exhibits and visitors and no doubt the organisers will be sending us a post show press release. We will be making our recommendations to the next NOEA Council meeting.

NOEA Scotland conference heads for Falkirk NOEA SCOTLAND ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Falkirk Community Stadium, Westfield, Falkirk, FK2 9DX, November 10 2009 (TBC) Survival Guide for the Scottish Events Industry? 9.30 - 10.00 Registration, refreshments and exhibit viewing 10.00 - 10.10 Welcome – Richard Limb, NOEA president and Tom Clements, acting chairman, NOEA Scotland 10.10 - 10.30 Introduction - Peter Eadie, Falkirk Community Stadium 10.30 - 11.00 Event Scotland 11.00 - 11.30 Homecoming Scotland live debrief 11.30 - 12.45 Scottish events and venues Main Event Exhibition Glasgow March 2010 T in the Park Murrayfield outdoor events 12.45 - 1.45 Buffet lunch and exhibit

viewing 1.45 - 2.45 International events Commonwealth Games 2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles 2014 2.45 - 3.30 HSE Event Safety Guide – what is the position 3.30 - 3.45 Refreshments and exhibit viewing 3.45 - 4.15 Annual General Meeting - to elect a Chairman and Committee - to report on current activities - any other business 4.15 - 4.30 Final comments and close Informal Reception after Conference – networking to meet NOEA Council Members and NOEA Scotland Committee Speakers to be announced shortly – Programme subject to change. Delegate places and exhibit display spaces are available upon application to NOEA Scotland by email:

THE SHOWMAN’S SHOW, NEWBURY, BERKSHIRE OCTOBER 21-22 THE show is the only outdoor show of its kind in the UK. The first Showman's Show was held in 1984 at the Newark Showground, with only 80 or so exhibitors. Until 1989 the show was held every two years but due to demand, from exhibitors and show visitors alike, the then Lance Publications made the decision to hold the event annually. Initially it moved around the country but eventually settled at the Newbury Showground, which has been its home for the last 14 years. Today the show attracts nearly 5,000 visitors over two days and has in excess of 350 exhibitors, who show the most sophisticated structures, equipment and entertainment demanded by the event industry at large. NOEA has manned an information stand there since 1991 when John Barton was invited to be their consultant and of course once again NOEA will fly the flag for its members. Take time out to visit the NOEA Stand in the Marquee Exhibit Area where you will be assured of a warm welcome. NOEA ANNUAL CONVENTION AND TRIBUTE CELEBRATION EVENING, DERBY CONFERENCE CENTRE FEBRUARY 24-26 2010 BEHIND the scenes the Convention team has been working very hard in recent weeks to bring you a new programme concept – after the 30th Anniversary Convention in February 2009 it was felt that something completely different had to be brought to the table, bearing in mind the effect of the current recession for many of us and listening carefully to what members wanted from this next convention.

Further information will be available very shortly – If you wish to be a delegate, exhibitor, awards evening dinner guest and/or a sponsor, send an email to or phone the secretary’s office on 01237 473113. The NOEA annual Industry Tribute Awards are being completely reorganised by a special sub committee and once again if you are interested as a potential nomination or sponsor please contact the secretary’s office. NOEA CALENDAR OF EVENTS October 21 – 22 Showman’s Show, Newbury - NOEA Stand November 10 Falkirk Conference (tbc) November 23-25 Leeds Conference & Annual General Meeting (main day 24th) 2010 February 2- 3 Event Production Show, London – NOEA stand February 3 Spotlight on Local Authorities (Event Production Show) February 24 - 26 NOEA Convention/Tribute Celebration Evening – Derby Conference Centre March 11th The Main Event Exhibition, Glasgow - NOEA Stand April Exeter Conference (tbc) Other Conferences to include Teesside, Bath, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands and Cornwall, (tbc) = all to be confirmed

Event and tourism groups meet for discussions EVENT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION SUMMIT THIS was arranged by UBM, organisers of EVENT UK, Leisure Week, Confex etc to bring together event and tourism associations to discuss matters of common interest. This took place at the EVENT UK Exhibition on September 21. NOEA was represented by Richard Limb, president and John Barton, general secretary together

with 27 other associations and groups. Subjects included government legislation/regulation, education, continuous professional development, industry research and measurement, marketing of the industry externally and shared calendar of networking/education events. A report will appear in the next edition.

NEW MEMBERS ... RICHARD Limb, NOEA president is pleased to announce that the following have applied for membership over the last few weeks (visit our website for full details)

I Max WiFi (UK) Ltd


I Musicians Insurance Services

I Coach House Entertainment

I Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers

I Shopsafe Ltd

I Securion Services Ltd.

I The Sealed Knot Ltd, I Chaos Management (UK) Ltd

I Up Front Security I Bournemouth University (Affiliate) I Meridian Park

If you require any further information please email:



New chair at Association THE Association of Event Organisers has a new chair and deputy chair – Douglas Emslie and Paul Byrom. Douglas is the group managing director of Tarsus Group and Paul Byrom is managing director of Upper Street Events. Douglas said: “I am very pleased to be part of the new leadership team at the AEO at this interesting time for our industry. There will be exciting growth opportunities for our members as we come out of recession. The launch of the new industry promotion campaign is a key step in the association’s drive to grow our industry for the benefit of all members.”

Douglas Emslie

Company becomes latest to join safety scheme By Christina Eccles THORNS Group has become the latest company to join a scheme designed to recognise high standards of health and safety. The group has received SAFEcontractor accreditation, which certifies the health and safety competency of contractors and service providers by auditing their systems and checking their health and safety arrangements. Director Joe Frazer said: “This accreditation aims to reduce health

and safety risks to our clients and help them fulfil their legal obligations by ensuring our staff working on their premises operate in a safe way. “Health and safety has always been a key focus for Thorns Group. Joining the SAFEcontractor scheme has allowed us to independently prove this commitment and increase the confidence of our clients.” SAFEcontractor has a membership of more than 16,500 contractors and service providers and is used by major clients including Sainsbury’s and HSBC.

The G4S Events team: Chris Burr, Nyree Cooper, Mark Hamilton, Karen Ferry, Andrew Kelly

Four team members gain crowd safety degrees FOUR members of G4S Events’ staff have graduated from Bucks New University after completing foundation degrees in crowd safety management. The qualification is a part-time distance learning course and is open to all those working within the different sectors of the events industry. The study is a mix of work-based

learning, specialist skills development, tutoring and project based studies. The four employees from G4S Events were Chris Burr, Nyree Cooper, Andrew Kelly and Karen Ferry. The company’s managing director Mark Hamilton also received an MA in Leadership and Management from the university.



Audio Visual FMX Fenwick By-pass Ayrshire KA3 6AW T: 01560 600271 SRD Group Limited The Studio Shipbourne Road Tonbridge TN10 3DJ T: 01732 373920

Bars Creativevents Earls Court Exhibition Centre London SW5 9TA T: 0207 370 8685 Peppermint Bars 7 College Fields Business Centre 19 Prince George’s Road London, SW19 2PT T: 0845 226 7845

CCTV Etherlive Brinkworth House Chippenham Wiltshire SN15 5DF T: 01666 511862 In Focus Communications & Vision Ltd Unit P Part L Hadrian's Enterprise Park, Haltwhistle Northumberland NE49 0EX T: 01434 322162

Communications Midland Radio Links Unit 4, 181-187 Moseley Street Birmingham B12 0RT T: 0121 7667661 Murphy Comhire Ltd Communications House Sheffield S9 1LD T: 0114 243 4567 Smye-Rumsby Limited 123-125 Snargate Street Dover Kent CT17 9AP T: 01304 248900


Crowd Management A.P. Security (North) Ltd. 33 Metro Centre Dwight Road Watford Herts WD189SB T: 0870 412 2232 G4S Events Sutton Park House 15 Carshalton Road Sutton Surrey SM1 4LD T: 0800 085 9899 Specialized Security 4 Fairways Business Park Deer Park Livingston EH54 8AF tel: 01506 442255

Emergency Heating & Cooling Cool Services Building 26 Bay 4 The Pensnett Estate Kingswinford DY6 7TB T: 0800 9705656 Carrier Rental Systems Wigan Road Leyland Preston PR25 5XW T: 0800 026 4717

Event Branding Piggotts Branding 43 London Road Stanford Rivers Ongar Essex CM5 9PJ T: 01277 363262

Insurance Services Event Insurance Services Limited Event House 20A Headlands Business Park Ringwood BH24 3PB T: 01425 470360 Robertson Taylor 33 Harbour Exchange Square London E14 9GG T: 020 7510 1234

Marquees Piggotts Marquees 43 London Road Stanford Rivers Ongar Essex CM5 9PJ T: 01277 363262

Marquee Accessories Ansell Hand Tools 72 Catley Road Darnall Sheffield S9 5JF T: 0114 244 8098

Medical Management SP Services (UK) Ltd Unit D4, Hortonpark Estate Hortonwood 7 Telford Shropshire TF1 7GX T: 01952 288 999 F: 01952 606 112 Venture Event Medical Management Copperfield House 47 Leeds Road Gawthorpe Ossett West Yorkshire WF5 9QW T: 07988 388461

Event Production Revolving Sledge Stages The Mill House Millers Way London W6 7NH T: 020 8743 3232

Movetech UK A division of British Turntable Co Ltd Emblem Street Bolton BL3 5BW T: 01204 537682

Health & Safety Screen Hire Event Safety 12 Vale Avenue Bury BL9 9LW M: 07812 159 339 T: 0161 763 7020

XL Video 2 Eastman Way Hemel Hempstead Herts HP27DU T: 01442 849400

Staging Centre Stage Events Unit 108a Leyland Trading Estate Irthlingborough Road Wellingborough T: 01234 783234 CPS Seating & Staging Co Brunel House Brunel Close Harworth Doncaster DN11 8QA T: 01302 741888 Steeldeck Rentals Ltd Unit 58 T.Marchant Estate 42-72 Verney Road London SE16 3DH T: 020 7833 2031 The Outdoor Staging Company Ltd 1 Langley Drive Castle Bromwich B35 7AD T: +44(0)7866 470 293

Temporary Fencing Beaver 84 Beaver House Crompton Close Basildon SS14 3AY T: 01708 861821

Ticketing Performance Ticket Printers Ltd The Smithy Brownlow Heath Congleton CW12 4TJ T: 01260 276164 www. Tungate Group Brookhouse Way Cheadle Staffordshire ST10 1SR T: 01538 755755 F: 01538 756062

Venues Fabric London Level 2 Greenhill House Cowcross Street London EC1M 6B T: 020 7549 4844

Waste Management Morris Holdings (UK) Limited 17B Mile Oak Industrial Estate, Maesbury Road Oswestry Shropshire SY10 8GA T: 01691 680373

To advertise here call 01226 734 456









The Event Medicine Company Unit D, Central Estate, Albert Road, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 1SZ Tel: 01252 313005 Email:











The Main Event (October/November)  
The Main Event (October/November)  

The magazine for event organisers.