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Issue 32 September 2009 £4.75

V Festival security praised

Pride boss warns of cutbacks By Christina Eccles THE organisers of one of the country’s most popular Pride events may be forced to make cutbacks next year if they fail to raise enough money to cover a potential deficit of £50,000. Pride in Brighton and Hove costs organisers more than £300,000 to stage each event and as a year round charity, which aims celebrate LGBT lives, relies on donations from supporters and businesses. In previous years it has coped, but this year – despite raising more than ever in sponsorship support – a combination of the general economic downturn, increased costs and lower donations on the day due to bad weather, have led to an appeal to help them get through the winter and start plans for Pride 2010. And if the money is not found by the end of the year, organisers have warned they will have no choice but to scale down next year’s event. CEO Lesley Burn said: “Pride in Brighton and Hove is a major event and costs are increasing year on year. But we have had great sum-

mers and have been able to get through. “This year, the economic climate and an increase in costs has been compounded by a damp weather on the day of the festival, which meant we didn’t get the donations we rely on. This has left us with a potential deficit of £50,000. “It’s a very scary reality. Pride will happen next year and it will continue to be a free event but we may have to scale back our park event. “It would be disappointing for us and also for the city. The event has a massive impact on its economy.” To help raise funds, organisers are appealing to existing supporters to help them out and are also trying to attract new ones. Already over £1,000 has been raised through donations but Lesley said there is still a long way to go. She added: “We have had amazing support but we also need to work with wider supporters and reach out to more businesses. “Those who benefit from Pride in Brighton and Hove need to wake up and see that everyone needs to contribute.”

SECURITY staff working at the Staffordshire leg of the V Festival have been praised by the Security Industry Authority and local police who carried out checks at the event. Investigators from the SIA and officers from Staffordshire Police inspected staff at Weston Park to ensure companies providing security were working legally by only deploying SIA-licensed security operatives. Of the 41 security guards inspected, only one was detected working without a licence. Supt Dave Holdway said: "This is one of the safest music festivals in Europe. This continuing success is due to the hard work and dedication of a number of key agencies, not least of which is the SIA who have given considerable support this year in ensuring that festivalgoers can continue to have full confidence in the protection given to them by the security staff on site.” Man of the moment Peter Andre played a surprise gig during the seventh London Mela, which this year attracted 83,000 people. One of Europe’s largest outdoor Asian festivals, the event at Gunnersbury Park in Ealing featured seven zones of urban, classical and experimental music, DJs, dance, outdoor arts, comedy and exhibitions.

The Main Event is the official magazine of the National Outdoor Events Association


John sets up company to help with police costs By Claire Lodge THE former head of the country’s biggest criminal intelligence service has set up a company with colleagues to help organisers of events deal with rising police costs. John Jones was the head of the Professional Standards Unit for the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), which provides intelligence on serious and organised crime that affects the interests of the UK. He is now director of Global Strategic Outcomes (UK) Ltd - a new business designed to negotiate between organisers, police and local authorities on the best ways to help lower costs at big events. The company has said it has already saved one of its clients a five figure sum and believes that many more organisers could follow in its footsteps if they enlist professional advice. John said: “We’ve saved one of our clients in the midlands £52,000 overall. We did this through changing a

few things, for example, they had been having a lot of trouble with ticket touting for some years and needed some guidance on how it should be resolved. “Ticket touting isn’t illegal so it is difficult to try to stop, sometimes the police at the event were aware of it going on. We advised our client on ways they should handle it such as making it clear that there was a ticket tout operational plan in force such as ‘touts operating in this area’ reminders and just by doing something like that we saved them around £11,000.” Rising police costs have recently proved to be the biggest problem for organisers, with some even saying that they may have to cancel future events if the situation isn’t resolved. But even though John agrees he believes rather than cancelling, organisers need to look at ways round the problems. He said: “I agree that there are far too many police at events and when I worked in the police force I definitely wouldn’t have wanted my staff there

“Personally I think the security companies are good enough so let the police get on with other things.” especially when there are security people perfectly capable of doing the same job. It’s their livelihood after all. “Personally I think the security companies are good enough so let the police get on with other things. And besides, the police don’t really want to be spending their time there either so it would make everyone happy.” The company is run by John and fellow director Graham Lake-Grange - a member of the Silverstone Circuits senior management team, Kevin Shapland - a current managing director at two other firms and communications director Suzanne Coleman.

U2 concert gives £10m local economy boost ROCK band U2’s gig at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium is expected to generate up to £10m for the local economy. The venue – owned by Sheffield International Venues – held a crowd of 50,000 for the concert, which gave a significant boost to the city’s events programme. Sheffield’s public transport network, taxis, restaurants and bars also benefited from the event and concertgoers filled 2,500 hotel bed spaces – underlining the economic value of SIV hosting big music and sports events. General manager of SIV conferencing and events Dominic Stokes said: “Sheffield is the place to come for major outdoor concerts in this country. Securing a show of this scale is recognition for Sheffield and SIV that the city is further improving its profile and demonstrating its

18 pages of Festival Round-up featuring events including the Royal International Air Tattoo, Global Gathering, Wickerman, Big Chill and Cowes Week. Diwali celebrations inspired by Oz... Page 8

Local authority spotlight Page 10 Middle East Page 12 Festival round-up Pages 13-30 Preparing for Winter Events Pages 31-37

CONTACTS EDITORIAL 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: Assistant Manager: Adam Parry Tel: 01226 734485 Mobile: 07747 446923 Email: Sales Executive: Mandy Mellor Tel: 01226 734702 Email: Sales and Marketing Director: Tony Barry Email:

U2’s Sheffield gig attracted more than 50,000 fans enthusiasm for the big music names. “Our teams work hard to bring a diverse range of high profile sporting and entertainment events to our

venues. When the event features someone or a group as high profile as U2 it can help promote the city’s positive profile and bring substantial economic benefits.”

CIRCULATION Kelly Tarff Tel: 01226 734695 email:



Bloom 2009 festival fails to blossom By Andrew Harrod

Events venue Wembley City teamed up with The UK Bungee Club to host a giant jump featuring 100 daring leapers. A 160ft crane was brought onsite to provide a sky-high platform and participants jumped to the backdrop of the National Stadium and Wembley Arena.

THE Bloom festival wilted just a few weeks before it was due to take place. Organisers decided to cancel, blaming the tough economy and the fact that they had to find a new location at the last minute for their decision – but they have vowed to be back bigger and better than ever next year. Dates for Bloom 2010 have already been confirmed and the licence for the event at Chepstow Racecourse is now in place, according to a spokesman. He added: “There have been a number of obstacles that our small team have had to deal with this year – having to move site at very short notice some weeks ago and difficult economic conditions have affected us in a big way and meant that we have been on the back foot for most of the year. “Under the circumstances we feel that the best decision at this juncture is to draw a line under 2009 and concentrate on staging the event we all love so much next summer. “It’s been an incredibly difficult

decision for us to make, as Bloom is an independently run organisation, built from our very heart and souls. “We have worked tirelessly for the best part of nine months on this event which makes it very hard for us to walk away from it. However we have to think of the bigger picture and feel that we are making the right decision.” The organisers came up with a package of ideas to cushion the blow for fans who had already bought tickets, including:  Negotiating discounts and ticket exchanges for admission to the Beachdown Festival or the Big Chill Festival which took place the same weekend as Bloom should have.  Free tickets for Bloom 2010 for anyone not tempted by Beachdown or Big Chill.  A special party in Bristol for Bloom ticketholders. The spokesman said the decision to cancel had left everyone involved ‘absolutely gutted’ and he hoped ticketholders would remain patient with them as they sorted matters out.



Theme park is branching out ... By Christina Eccles A THEME park in Lincolnshire is aiming to boost attendance during its quieter periods by branching out into the events market. Fantasy Island in Lincolnshire attracts large numbers of visitors during peak times such as school holidays and summer weekends but has noticed a downturn at other parts of the year. To try and combat this, the park’s new owners have employed a dedicated events manager – James

Parker – to try and bring in more business during these times. A part of his role, James is looking at how the venue can best utilise its space and facilities and he already has ambitious plans to expand the events programme. He said: “We have a big site – both outdoor and indoor – and historically the park has always relied on its summer trade. “With events, we hope to increase our quiet times of the year and if we can invite promoters in it will be good for business.

“We are a very flexible and unique venue and we are trying to focus our energy on what we are good at. But we are not promoters and do not want to take events from scratch.” James also said the park has enough space to successfully host outdoor events and plans are already underway to create a standing area in one of the car parks for 10,000 people to watch major sporting events such as the World Cup. He added that although the park

could not lose the space as car parking permanently, in quieter periods they would look at adding a stage to make it into a venue for concerts. He added: “We already have a few things in the pipeline and hopefully by next year we will have a fairly full events calendar.” Fantasy Island has already hosted boxing matches and the Pleasuredome dance event – which attracted almost 4,000 people – and are hoping to attract more in future.


The crowd at night

Sun pulls in the crowds By Mary Ferguson BLAZING sunshine at this year’s Fairport Cropredy Convention resulted in high ticket sales and a large number of walk-ups. The music festival – which suffered from torrential downpours last year – has been hailed a success by organiser Gareth Williams, who told The Main Event he couldn’t have asked for it to run any smoother. He said: “Numbers were well up on 2008, which is delightful considering we are in the middle of a recession, and we had about 1300 walk-ups because of the wonderful weather.” On the first day, police asked Gareth to open the site at 7am instead of the planned 9am, as people were already queuing on the streets, causing problems for the local residents. “Some people were already queuing when I arrived at 5am, ignoring the ‘no waiting’ cones of course. But this year we got the traffic management plans just right so people just sailed into the site for the rest of the day. And we opened the campsites at the same time instead of staggering them, so it was calm from the very first day, and that seemed to last throughout the event.” Crime has been a problem in previous years but this year’s festival saw just one theft, thanks to the presence of police throughout the night. “Apart from the odd niggles, that all festivals experience, I couldn’t

The stage

Frank Skinner on stage at the event. have dreamed for a smoother event. At one point we even thought it would be a sellout and along with the sunshine, it was a fantastic weekend.” But despite its success, Gareth said there is one problem that definitely needs tackling for 2010. He added: “There is a public bridleway that runs down the side of one of the campsites, meaning local kids have been coming in and camping for free, drinking and being rowdy. That’s something we definitely need to stop next year and we will be stepping up security around the area.”



Excellence status for university events centre THE events management centre at a Yorkshire university has been granted centre of excellence status for the quality of its training. The centre at Leeds Metropolitan University became the first in the Yorkshire and Humber region to be awarded the status by National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure. The move means employers and learners in the region can access quality assured training provision to help tackle the skills shortages. Geoff Hitchins, Leeds Met’s chief executive said earning the status was a major boost for the centre. He added: “Leeds Met has a long history of engaging with employers through our range of sporting, cultural and business partnerships, and providing excellent vocationally based qualifications and training courses. “The UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Met has developed an excellent range of provision to met the needs of employers and industry bodies. We are proud of our role within the Yorkshire and Humber Region in supporting employers as they prepare for London 2012 and other major events and look forward to working with the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure to deliver on the region’s skills agenda.” A range of accredited events courses can now be accessed via the Skills Academy on a full time or part time basis - from one year degrees to postgraduate certificate, diploma and masters programmes. These include BSc in Sports Events Management and postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or MSc in Sports Events Management.

Last year’s Diwali celebrations

Diwali celebrations looks to Oz for inspiration ... By Mary Ferguson THIS year’s Diwali celebrations in Brent will take inspiration from Down Under – headed up by a new festival director fresh from working on Sydney’s Chinese New Year. Stephen Gilby joined Brent Council this summer after working in Australia and the celebrations will be the first major events that he organises in his new role. Crowds of up to 40,000 are expected to take part in the festivities, which will be held in the Wembley area in October. Similar to the Notting Hill Carnival in terms of floats, musicians and dancers taking to the streets, the event also includes a switching on of the light ceremony,

fireworks and laser shows – as well as music, stalls and Indian food and dancing. Over the years it has become so popular that the Diwali parade is among the largest outside India. Stephen told The Main Event: “While at three weeks the Chinese New Year events go on for much longer, many of the elements with Diwali are still the same. One of the first things I have done is to introduce a parade director – which worked well in Sydney – to tie the whole show together. We will also be heightening the health and safety aspects in anticipation of the event getting bigger each year. “In the last five years the Sydney celebrations have gone through a

huge period of growth and I think the Diwali events are set for the same.” The council relies on large numbers of volunteers to help out with the festivities and and Stephen said that despite Diwali being quintessentially Indian, a huge cross section of the community get involved. He is now looking at re-routing the parade in future years to take in an even bigger area, and is concentrating on maximising sponsorship and marketing. He added: “I’m very much looking forward to working on other events with the council, as they all have such great community involvement.”

Steam fair on track to use million litres of water a day THE five-day Great Dorset Steam Fair consumes almost a million litres of water a day, it has been revealed. It is used for drinking, hygiene, campsite welfare, back-up fire protection, catering and replenishing the thirsty steam engines at what is widely regarded as the largest preserva-

tion show of its kind in the world. A three-year contract to provide the water has been awarded to Wincanton, cementing a relationship between the company and the organisers dating back more than 20 years The event is held in a 600 acre

showground near Blandford and attracts worldwide interest. Over 200,000 people visit the show to experience nostalgia and entertainment including; steam engine exhibits, vintage vehicles, heavy shire horses and working rural craft displays.

The operation to ensure an uninterrupted water supply is complex and time critical requiring close working relationships between the organisers, Wincanton, Wessex Water, the local council and the Environment Agency.



As part of the launch of the new Manchester City kit, Ear To The Ground staged a free gig for football fans in front of the stadium. In the second in a series of features on their work, Mary Ferguson spoke to co-director Jon Drape about what was involved.

Free kicks for football fans HEADLINED by Doves, the ‘Live From City’ concert featured musicians who are proud supporters of the team. The event was open to the first 2,500 fans who pre-ordered the new 2009-10 home strip online, and were then able to request a pair of tickets. The evening was hosted by Manchester City and Umbro, their new sportswear partner, and organised by Ear To The Ground. Jon said: “Doves are all big City fans and one of their tracks is always played before each game, so they were an ideal choice for the headliners. All the supporting bands are fans too and Kid British are absolutely obsessed with foot-

ball, so they were an easy decision. “To do a show for 5,000 diehard fans the acts needed to be appropriate and the bands needed to be really passionate about the game.” The heavens opened on the concert and Jon said although it didn’t dampen people’s spirits, it may have kept some of them away. “With any free ticketed event it’s always a bit tricky to ensure you get a big audience and although we gave out 5,000 tickets of an allocated 7,000, only 3,000 turned up, which I blame on the weather. But because the site was a car park, with good drainage systems, the rain didn’t cause any problems.”

The day after the concert took place, when the strip was officially launched to the public, the area was made ready for 3,000 people that descended to watch City play in South Africa on a giant screen. On the back of the Umbro events, Ear To the Ground have now secured more work with both the brand and the football club. Jon – who along with co-director Steve Smith is a United fan – added: “The club told us this has been the most successful shirt launch ever, exceeding all their targets and expectations. “And it really was a seamless gig – the team were absolutely flawless.”

Umbro contacted Ear To The Ground to help with the kit launch because of their background in music. Other elements of the campaign organised by Jon and the team included:  A ‘media reveal’ of the kit featuring a live set by Kid British  Promotional squads handing out flyers at gigs around the city  An ‘influencers meal’ to witness the unveiling of the new kit, with guests including Noel Gallagher  A street marketing campaign that involved the distribution of thousands of flyers, CDs and posters.




Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture saw the city host 7,000 events and receive 3.5m new visitors. But the challenge for the council’s events team is still to come – how to capitalise on the legacy of 2008 and ensure that the high standards achieved last year do not drop. Christina Eccles reports.

No Capital of Culture hangover

Katy Perry opening the MTV Europe Music Awards at the Echo Arena

What Liverpool is going to do next ... AFTER a packed programme of events in 2008, the people of Liverpool now expect nothing less – which leaves the events team with the job of keeping the bar raised when it comes to putting things on around the city. 2008 surpassed all expectations in terms of the quality and quantity of events taking place but according to events manager Judith Feather there is plenty more to come. She told The Main Event that the success achieved last year was only the beginning and it is now up to the team to deliver more and ensure that this legacy is built on. After several major events under its belt – such as Sports Personality of the Year and the MTV Europe Music Awards – the city also has a new confidence to bid for events – with a bid

already in place to be a host city for the World Cup in 2018. A tourism and events strategy has also been developed to drive Liverpool forward in the next few years. Judith said: “Not many cities are doing what we are doing. We know we have a strong programme. But we must never lose sight of the fact we are paid for by the people of Liverpool. “The city is much more confident now when it comes to bidding for major events. There is pride in Liverpool and it has taken a massive leap. It is now about how we keep that momentum. “Now we have set that benchmark, people know what we can achieve. We want to see a very strong legacy from 2008 and we are ready to meet

these expectations. “In terms of events, we are punching above our weight and people recognise that. We have been opportunistic and we don’t play it safe. We like to do things that are different and special.” Judith also said how pleased the team was with the reaction to events that have been put on in the city and how keen local people are to participate. She added: “Local people clearly have an appetite for events and really get involved in them. People want to participate. They are not just content with being spectators. We get thrown different challenges – you are only as good as your last job and the bar is set very high. There is still a lot more to show people of what Liverpool is all about.”

EVENTS in Liverpool also have a wider impact on the city – generating income and publicity for the area’s visitor attractions. News officer Mike Doran said: “Events have got to be seen as having economic benefit to the city. One million hotel beds were sold last year and people like Hilton and Radisson SAS have come to the city. That must be because the demand is there. It is about maintaining the momentum of 2008 and making sure visitors who come have an enjoyable experience. “Most cities after they have been Capital of Culture experience a ‘hangover’ but within three months of it ending we had launched our 2009 programme which had over 100 highlights. “The political agenda of the city has changed. 10 years ago the arts organisations didn’t really work together or have a platform. Being Capital of Culture has completely transformed that. Culture has leapfrogged to the top of the political agenda and is acting as a platform for regeneration.”

Communication key WHEN it comes to raising the profile of what Liverpool has to offer in terms of culture and events, good communication is key. This involves pre event information such as printed guides, bespoke leaflets, email marketing and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. However, communication during and post event is just as important to find out what did and didn’t work well. Visitors to major events are given questionnaires on site to rate how satisfied they have been with their event experience. The results are then collated and used to shape how future events are planned.

Recent key events in Liverpool have included:  Liverpool Sound Concert – Sir Paul McCartney’s homecoming gig at Anfield Stadium.  MTV Europe Music Awards – held at the Echo Arena and attended by about 10,000 fans.  The People’s Opening (pictured left) – 40,000 people attended a city centre event to mark the start of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture.  La Machine – one of the highlights of the 2008 outdoor programme was this 50 foot mechanical spider which roamed the streets of the city.  The Tall Ships’ Races (pictured below) – over 1m people flocked to the waterfront to see the ships.

The European Capital of Culture year in numbers:  13 Royal visits.  20 miles of event barriers.  62 Tall Ships.  1,000 volunteers.  7,000 events.

 1m hotel beds sold.  £200m global media value.  £800m economic benefit to the Liverpool City region.


Organisers of The CLA Game Fair are celebrating after attracting 136,000 visitors to the event and defying a gloomy weather forecast. Christina Eccles found out more.

This year’s show took place at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire

A moving celebration of rural life THE CLA Game Fair aims to be the best celebration of the countryside and rural life and according to head of operations Nick Brooks Ward, what sets the show apart from its competitors is that fact that it moves around the country. The venue for this year’s event was Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire and next year it is trying out a new home, Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. Nick told The Main Event that for visitors this means that there is always something new to see and do – but not having a permanent home also presents some interesting challenges when it comes to organising the show. He said: “The fact that the show moves means that it doesn’t get stale in one location. Moving creates a fresh atmosphere but it also creates its own individual challenges. “We are going to Ragley Hall next year and that will be a challenge in

itself as it is a new venue. At our other venues it is a lot easier as we are going back to somewhere we have already done and planned the infrastructure for.” The venues chosen to host the show are all historic visitor attractions in their own right – meaning that organisers also have a responsibility to look after the sites and to ensure minimum disruption during the set up and after the show when tourists may want to visit them. He added: “We want the site to look immaculate and it should look no worse on Sunday morning than it does on Friday morning. It is very important that we leave it in the same condition as we find it. “At the end of the day, we are going to historic houses so we have to be aware of our heritage. This is a very important aspect of our event. We have a very good partnership with the estates and work closely with

Fine weather attracted 136,000 visitors them.” To prepare for this year’s show, Nick’s 35 strong team started work on the site in April – doing everything from marking it out to putting up tables and chairs. One area which organisers are also focusing on is the environment and

each year they are introducing new initiatives ranging from recycling to a new water system. Nick added that he was very pleased with how everything went this year – particularly as they had been concerned about the weather and the current economic situation.

Farm moves into the rock chick business THE Hop Farm in Kent has introduced ‘Rock and Pop Weekends’ to its line-up of late summer events. The entertainment venue is targeting families with the camping festivals, which feature artists including XFactor favourite Amy Connolly and tribute acts The Merseybeat Legends, Abba Arrival and The Great Pretender. The Hop Farm, owned by Peter Bull, has other events lined up including Paws In The Park, the UK’s largest outdoor dog show, and a huge fireworks display in October. Pictured left: Peter Bull at The Hop Farm Picture: Matt Evans




In his second column for The Main Event, James Kemp, event organiser for Nova International, talks about how he finds suppliers in Africa – and why things are very different from back home.

Why Africa’s a world away from UK IN the UK there’s a plethora of options for every conceivable hireable service, but Africa’s a little different. It’s not like we can do a Google search or flick through the pages of the White Book and expect to find hundreds of options for crowd barrier, or a million options for printers. No, we have to do things a little differently. Crowd barriers for instance – not the most interesting of topics but when you are organising a road race they’re a fairly useful item. The problem is having not had the need for them, Zambia is lacking in the barrier department. So far our hunting hasn’t proved very fruitful and we’ve come across zilch. The solution is to find someone who’s willing to invest to have them built locally, ship them to Tanzania for our next race, and sign them up for a three-year deal. It would be a little out of order to say suppliers of banners and print materials don’t exist at all in Africa, but I wouldn’t be unfair in saying quality is generally poor. Although I’ve actually just found myself a fantastic company, Associated Printers in Zambia, who are now going to supply all our branding for Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. This means I no longer need to smuggle flying banners in as fishing rods, or roll out branding in my suitcase. I certainly wont have to bribe a small child to carry 20 kilos of publicity material onto the plane as hand luggage because I’m already way over my quota. However there are just some things that aren’t available, and there’s just some knowledge that you need to bring from home. We are lucky to work with a fantastic agency who support us with all our traffic management woes. Hatton Traffic from Gateshead assist our team on the whole Great Run series. Upon hearing of our African expansion Andy Ross, their events and contracts manager, will be assisting us with closing down one of the busiest cities in Africa, Dar Es Salaam and while he’s at it Lusaka in Zambia. Sport Systems from Tadworth who currently look after all our official race timing at the Ethiopian event will be flying down to Lusaka to help us with our Zambian race. All our TV production and distribution for our international audience is managed and directed by Peter Brown at Film Nova in Newcastle. Apart from these usual suspects we rely on freelance camera operators from every corner of the continent, audio and rigging from South Africa and T-shirt manufacture from China.

Pictured right: James Kemp and, above, The Great Ethiopian Run

Organiser feels ‘let down’ by police By Christina Eccles THE organiser of one of the UK’s biggest festivals has criticised local police for neglecting other issues at the event in favour of concentrating on drugs related crime. James Algate, who organises dance festival Global Gathering in Stratford upon Avon, said that although drugs can be an issue at festivals, there are also other problems which need police attention. According to Warwickshire Police, a total of 435 people received police

cautions at the festival after they were found in possession of controlled drugs and a further 40 people were arrested for drugs supply offences. This was an increase on last year when 360 cautions were issued. But James told The Main Event he felt ‘let down’ by the way the police handled the event and wished they had looked into some of the other issues on site that were not drugs related. He said: “There are arrests at

every festival and drugs are a problem with society not just festivals. But the police like to dwell on that at Global Gathering which is disappointing. They seem to be more interested in catching people coming in with illegal substances than any other crime in the area. “We have other issues such as counterfeit tickets, ticket touting and fake merchandising – other crimes which the police should be responsible for. “But it seems these issues are not

as important to them as catching people with a couple of pills. And this year we do feel a bit let down by them.” This year’s festival attracted a record number of visitors, with 51,000 people descending on Long Marston Airfield over the weekend. James added that he was happy with how things had gone this year and was already looking forward to next year when the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary.  Gathering picture special, Page18



The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford is the largest military airshow in the world. Dominic Musgrave went behind the scenes to find out the secret of its success. Contractors’ list A3 Events – Marquees De Boer Structures – Marquees Owen Brown – Marquees Event Furniture – Furniture Andy Loos – Toilets Wessington Cabins – Toilets Greenham Trading – Loads of Equipment GLD Productions - Furniture Hospitality M & A Cleaning – Cleaners JPN Cleaners Event Management – Reception Trailer and various booths Rola Trac – 310 LMTR Trackway Container lift – ISO Crane lifts and various lifts HSS Hire – Ground Equipment Hire Pallet trucks etc Thorns – Furniture Hire Owens Cycles – Bike Maintenance Blackfords Fencing – All gate and campsite fence breaking and gate installing SGB – Crowd Barrier and security fencing Water Direct – All on site water ISS Waterers landscapers – All ground maintenance grass etc PHS Group – Sanitary Units Blok ‘N’ Mesh cones traffics separators etc Portakabin – ALL Cabins Jongor Ltd – Specialist Furniture units County Marquees – Social Marquees Danco – Social Marquees Floorex – Carpets Indisplay – Showcase Units Blackpool Council – All Deck chairs Grundon Waste – ALL Waste Everywhere Hewden Plant Hire – Forklifts A1 Hire – Commentary Tower and LPG Gas Austen Lewis – Grandstands Portaloo – Toilets Alistage – Centre stage Mobile Freezer rentals

Air show soars to success in 2009 A SELL-OUT crowd of more than 160,000 attend the Gloucestershire event, which was cancelled at the last minute in 2008 due to waterlogged car parks. But, despite changeable weather, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises’ chief executive Tim Prince told Main Event magazine that new measures the organisers had put in place meant there was no chance of a repeat this year. He added: “Without a doubt last year was the most depressing day of my life when I had to announce to all the volunteers, the pilots of the planes and the industry that we were going to have to postpone. “I have a motto ‘it can be done’, and what it did do was give the team and myself the drive to prove ourselves and put on the best show ever in 2009, and I think we have managed it. I wasn’t worried about the planes coming back because aviators are used to being messed about by the weather, but I was about getting the general public to come again. “I think had we cancelled the show for a second successive year it would probably have signaled the beginning of the end because we would have lost their trust and people would have spent their money on going on holiday this weekend instead of leaving it open

to come here. “There have been traffic problems in the past, but over the last three years or so we have got people back on side, and to postpone would have been disastrous.” The organisers worked closely with the US Air Force, who use the site as one of their European bases, on improving the car parking and routes into the site. Director of ground operations Chris Murray said the changes cost approximately £200,000 to put into practice. “We had to make sure that what happened last year could not possibly happen again this, and we looked at a variety of different models, including

parking all of the cars on the runway and only having the planes flying over and not landing. “Some of our contractors were also particularly helpful, and offered us a lot of advice, but what we came up with was parking a lot more cars in the site on concrete, and using more track way than ever before in the fields to ensure they weren’t waterlogged. “We have also used more perimeter fencing, something in the region of 10 kilometres, on the site to ensure that it is secure. Traffic problems have been kept to a minimum. All of the cars were in here by around 12.30pm, and we were able to lock the gates at around 8.30pm.”


The Italian display team wow the crowds

No tickets on the day for Tattoo THE biggest change to this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo was the decision by the organisers to only sell tickets in advance of the day. Organiser Tim Prince said it was a huge risk to take, but one that appeared to have worked. He added: “In previous years the public have been able to buy weekend tickets in advance, and have been able to wait until the weather forecast to see which day they want to attend on. This has caused its own problems so this year we opted to change and put a limit on the number of tickets available each day. But given the recession we couldn’t have chosen a worse time to do it. “I have to admit I was very nervous at first, but I think the British public are brilliant. They trust us to put on a good show whatever the weather, and

know that there is always a friendly atmosphere and that we will look after them.” Tim said that planning of next year’s show has already begun, and that members of his team were gathering feedback from visitors. He added: “We had a team out on the site looking at how we can refine things for next year, and once this year is put to bed we will sit around the table and decide what works and what doesn’t. Usually most of the changes that we put in place do work out for the best with a bit of tinkering, but the challenge we face is raising the bar again for 2010. “We do want to raise as much money as we can for the charity, but if some of the youngsters that come here leave wanting to join the RAF then we have done our job well.”



Sonisphere stage plan is a winner By Christina Eccles

Stuart Galbraith

ORGANISERS of the first Sonisphere festival managed to keep the crowds happy – by putting acts on alternate stages so that festivalgoers could watch everyone on the line up. The festival took place at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire and by breaking with tradition and laying out the site in this way, they delivered an updated format of the one previously used at rock festivals such as Monsters of Rock. Organiser Stuart Galbraith told The Main Event that because festivalgoers could switch between the stages, they didn’t have the dilemma sometimes seen at other festivals where they were torn between watching two acts which were both on at the same time. He said: “We had two stages that alternated and that worked very well.

The advantage of that was for the customer as they didn’t have to miss any of the bands or make a decision over who they wanted to watch. “But it meant we had to lay the site out differently – people needed to be able to move safely between the two stages. It also meant it was important that everything ran on time.” The festival has moved around several venues in Europe with the UK leg of Sonisphere headlined by Linkin Park and Metallica – and after attracting a crowd of 80,000 people over the weekend, Stuart said plans are already underway to bring the event back in 2010. And he added that although events at the venue have previously had a reputation for bad traffic management, this was an area they worked hard to iron out at Sonisphere. Continued on Page 17

SONISPHERE ‘I think there is room in the marketplace for a late summer rock festival. Our objective for year one was to give people a good festival experience and I think we have achieved that. We couldn’t have asked for more in our first year.’ Continued from Page 16 He added: “Overall we were very happy with our initial plan and contingencies. There was an accident on the A1M on the Sunday which meant that the slip road had to be closed. We reverted to our contingency plan of taking people up to the next junction and within 30 minutes we were back to the normal plan. “Knebworth has a history and reputation of bad traffic but it is a different scenario running a festival with people coming and leaving over several days rather than a concert.” He also said he was very pleased with how things had gone and revealed where he thinks Sonisphere will fit into the festival market. “I think there is room in the marketplace for a late summer rock festival. Our objective for year one was to give people a good festival experience and I think we have achieved that. We couldn’t have asked for more in our first year.”



This year’s festival attracted a record number of visitors, with 51,000 people descending on Long Marston Airfield over the weekend.

THE BIG CHILL Eastnor Castle in Hereford spends most of the year as a deer reserve, but for four days in August its grounds were invaded by hordes of zombies, a giant burning wickerman, drum-banging Hare Krishnas and successful modern music acts. Mary Ferguson joined revellers at The Big Chill.

Sun shines on sell-out Big Chill CELEBRATING its 15th anniversary with blazing sunshine, the festival was a sell-out, laying to rest organiser Katrina Larkin’s fears that the price increase would put people off. Despite tickets costing an extra £16, 40,000 fans descended on the site to enjoy music by artists including Basement Jaxx and Friendly Fires, as well as celebrations of all things artistic. Katrina said: “I was very nervous about ticket sales and we had to work a lot harder than ever before to engage people before the event and convince them it was worth the money. “But because it was the anniversary we put so much into it this year, and there was more going on than ever before. We really went to town and I felt huge pressure to make it the best it’s ever been.” A popular addition to the festival was the Film Four tent – showing movies throughout the weekend – and the ‘enchanted garden’ area was extended so much that Katrina compared it to a mini festival of its own. “Walking round there this year was like walking round The Big Chill as it

was in the beginning, especially as the people working there have been with us for ten years. It was amazing.” Despite the sun shining all weekend, the site build was hampered by torrential rain that caused machinery to get stuck and forced the stages to be moved back from the lake that sits in the middle of the grounds. “It was only the second time in 15 years that I had to wear wellies during the build but it turned out ok and I actually think the space between the lake and stages worked well, as it meant people could sit by the water while they listened to the music.” As well as retaining festival goers that have been attending since the beginning, The Big Chill has begun attracting a much younger audience and to cater for the large numbers of families attending, a new kids zone was built this year. Katrina said the best moment of the festival was sitting in a tree house at the whisky bar in the early hours of Sunday morning, looking out across the site and seeing what they had achieved. She added: “We had a ball this year, myself and the crew. We really did love every minute of it.”

Contractors’ list Festival directors: Katrina Larkin, Nigel Foster, Chris Greenwood Festival manager: Caroline Babington Site and production manager: Claire Sampson Sound: Dobson Sound Lighting: GLS Lighting Video: Bluman Associates Limited Stages: Serious Stages, UpStaging, Alistage Site and stage crew: Rock City Security: Show & Event Security Bars: CreativeEvents Recycling: Network Recycling

Noah and the Whale Picture: Tony Thompson

Picture: Mary Ferguson

Invasion of the zombies ON the first night of the festival, the area around the main stage was invaded by 4,000 zombies, as organisers aimed to break the world record for the largest gathering of them in one place. Festival-goers visited makeup stations around the site to transform themselves into the un-dead for the event led by The Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding and filmed by Channel Four. The record was smashed by over a thousand. The event was part of Katrina’s plan to make more of the festival’s opening night, which included a film score performed by British Sea Power and a presentation by Woodstock founder Michael Lang. She added that she is already planning ways to make things better next year, with extra sculptures around the site and even more ‘weirdness’.

Picture: Chris Wallace



Scottish farmer Jamie Gilroy faced anger from local residents when he decided to allow a music festival to be held on his land – and after a disastrous first year, he considered giving it all up. Now seven years down the line, his perseverance has helped turn The Wickerman Festival into one of the UK’s most popular events. Christina Eccles reports.

Contractors’ list Event Traffic Management – traffic management Festaff – campsite crew Mooreworks – site crew Securigroup – security Tower Productions – site lighting and Summerisle Stage/Scooter Tent/Headphone Arena showlLighting Taylored Sound – Summerisle Stage, Scooter Tent, Bass Camp, Ho Down Wendy House & Headphone Arena Sound. Orbit Roofs & Staging – Summerisle Stage hire Limelights – Scooter Tent stage hire Blue Apple Music – merchandise Chambers Catering – crew catering Drumbreddan House Catering – backstage catering Portakabin – public sanitation and Down ‘n’ Dirty toilets and showers K-9 Event Waste Management – litter picking crew Amicable Marquees – clearspan and traditional style marquees A & J Big Tops – big tops and pagoda structure The Tipi Co – tipi and bell tent hire for Luxury Accommodation Field Yurts & Squrts –Yurts & Squrts hire for Luxury Accommodation Field

How Jamie ploughed on and won THE idea for the festival came from a group of local kids who approached the council wanting to put on a music festival in Dumfries and Galloway. After being told that the site they had in mind was too small, they were forced to rethink their plans. The festival’s now artistic director Sid Ambrose – who was involved in the project – met with Jamie’s wife who is a councillor and requested a meeting with Jamie to have a chat about what sort of land would make a good festival site. And after deciding that Jamie’s farm would be the perfect location, Sid persuaded him to allow the event to be held there. Jamie explained: “When Sid came to the farm, I asked him what was an ideal festival site. He told me it would be somewhere near a main road, which was well drained, not too near a central population and with a willing farmer to let out the land. “Farming had been going through a rough time and we were looking for ways of diversifying – the whole concept fitted very nicely into our plans.” Jamie admits that after receiving complaints from neighbours and a first event in 2002 which was a “considerable financial disaster” he was prepared to call it a day.

After deciding to carry on Jamie, Sid and the team managed to improve the site and the event itself and this year, despite a difficult economic climate, have seen an increase in visitor numbers of over 14 per cent. But although this year’s festival was enjoyed by 15,000 people, he still has to work hard to win over the neighbours. Every resident in the parish is sent an invitation to attend the night before the festival opens to the public and drinks and entertainment are laid on for them – something which Jamie hopes will encourage them to support the event. He added: “If we don’t get more support from local people, we might be forced to move to another area. But we want to keep the event’s atmosphere, keep its reputation and make money. So far we have managed to do the first two and if we can make money so much the better. “If the festival became too big it could lose its atmosphere and that would be a pity.” This year festivalgoers enjoyed performances from acts including The Human League and The Zutons plus the traditional burning of the wickerman which takes place on the Saturday night of the festival.

Jamie Gilroy

Hard roads show worth JAMIE also revealed some of the changes and improvements which have been made to the event over the years. He added that when rain hit during the build, preparations that they had made in advance eased the situation. “Unlike a lot of other sites, the soil is very thin and the ground is well drained. We have put in nearly three miles of hard roads over the years and I always thought they were a waste of money but they came into their own this year.” The festival has also developed a

new traffic management plan to make it as easy as possible for people to leave once the event is over. Jamie added: “We have fantastic roads – with a main A road running all the way from Carlisle to Stranraer. “We have developed a new system for getting people out of the festival where everybody exiting on the right goes to Kirkcudbright to access the A75 and everybody on the left side goes to Castle Douglas and then on to the A75. This meant we got the site cleared in about three hours.”


Become a member and enjoy NOEA’s benefits SEPTEMBER is the start of our new financial year and this is an opportunity let you know what you are missing if you are not a member but also a reminder of the great benefits available to the current membership. Established in 1979, the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) is able to connect you to some 500 members covering local authorities, festival and event organisers, universities, suppliers of equipment and services together with practitioners generally in the world of outdoor events. Please see information below on how NOEA helps its members and what is available to you. This includes: ■ Business networking opportunities • NOEA annual convention and tribute celebration evening - Wednesday 24th February – Friday 26th February 2010 in Derby. • Organising regional conferences annually (including AGM) • Participation in the major trade shows – Showman’s Show, Newbury, The Event Show, London, The Main Event Exhibition, Glasgow and the EVENT UK Exhibition, NEC, Birmingham. • Local authority seminars. ■ Major savings • Complimentary copies of The Main

Event magazine saving £47.50 per year • Discounts on convention and conference delegate rates (20 – 30 per cent) • Complimentary admission tickets for trade shows • Discounts on advertising rates in NOEA Yearbook • Online rental marketplace – special NOEA scheme ■ Support services • A pro-active website: – hyperlinked to members’ websites • General enquiry service • Weathercall services • Insurance services panel • Bulk direct mailing facilities • Debt collection services • Website development advice. ■ Legal advice service • Initial free 30 minutes consultation with solicitors Horsey Lightly Fynn • Croner’s Business Telephone Helpline Service ■ NOEA’s working groups including: • NOEA General Council • NOEA Scotland group • Local Authority Network Group of nearly 100 Members • Universities and Students Group Promoting Event Training Courses

• Technical Committees - British Standard for Event Management Sustainability, Standards for Outdoor Events, etc. • Entertainment Agencies Group • Leisure consultation committee, Skills for Security ■ NOEA’s publications (free to members) • Regular News Digests by email • The Main Event magazine - NOEA’s official publication • NOEA Members’ Yearbook ■ Special areas of interest • Olympics, London 2012 • Training courses • Government lobbying • Event security guide ■ Affiliation with other organisations • Events Industry Forum – supporting member • The International Festivals and Fairs Association – Europe (IFEA) • Irish Association of Fairs and Festivals (AIOFE) • The Tourism Society • Security Industry Authority • VisitBritain and other government bodies - Olympics 2012 ■ Marketing promotion • NOEA logos by email • Lapel pins – upon application. • NOEA website

NOEA calendar September 22 – 23 Event UK Exhibition, NEC, Birmingham - NOEA stand October 21 - 22 Showman’s Show, Newbury - NOEA stand October 21 NOEA Local Authority Meeting, Showman’s Show (tbc) November Regional conferences to be announced (Perth/Leeds) 2010 February 2 – 3 The Event Production Show, Grand Hall, Olympia, London - NOEA stand February 24 - 26 NOEA Convention & Tribute Celebration Evening - Derby Conference Centre Other conferences to include Teesside, Liverpool, Bath, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands and Cornwall, (tbc) = all to be confirmed



This summer, Bristol City Council placed the city firmly on the map with record attendance figures for the annual Bristol Harbour Festival. Main Event spoke to the festival’s Production Manager Jess Noakes about the development of the festival for 2009...

Musicians and circus entertainers wowed the crowds at the 38th Bristol Harbour Festival

Record numbers attend festival NOW in its 38th year, the Bristol Harbour Festival has become a pinnacle summer event in the South West calendar with a record number of visitors this year soaring to 250,000 across the weekend. The festival boasts seven stages dotted throughout the harbour area, filled with a programme of international and local talent from the worlds of music, dance, circus and art. As the city’s flagship event, produced and funded by the Bristol City Council Arts & Culture team and the festival’s sponsors, it is a celebration of arts and the historic harbourside at the heart of the city. Production Manager for the festival, Jess Noakes heads up the on site elements of the event’s build and management, where the urban location and complexity of the festival site makes it an exciting but challenging experience to work on. “Planning for the festival begins in September, with the focus through to December being on sponsorship and key strategic decisions about the direction of the event.

“Detailed planning begins in January and by April we have chosen the suppliers and hold the first in a series of full operations planning meetings. The biggest challenge is turning the urban environment of the heart of the city into a festival site with as little disruption to local businesses and residents as possible.” She added: “We set up seven stages in different areas of the city, using Bristol’s purpose built Amphitheatre for the main stage and then other ‘natural performance’ areas including a stunning Georgian square – Queen Square, Cascade Steps and Redcliffe Wharf to host different elements of entertainment. “Across the site, concessions, two continental markets, a fairground and the sheer volume of visitors means the festival spills out across a very large area around the harbour and we have to organise road closures to keep the festival vehicle free. “Add to this the removal of permanent city features such as bollards and bins and it becomes quite an operation.”

More than 35,000 people attended the fireworks display

Contractors’ list Main Stage Production - Richmond Event Management Event Control/Safety – The Event Safety Shop Staging – Serious Stages, Network Audio, SXS, King PA, A1 Entertainment Power - Powerline

Marquees - DANCO Toilets - Alide Plant Fencing - Deborah Services Ltd Sitewide PA - WE Audio Waste Management - Network Recycling Traffic Management Signage - AA Signs Fireworks - Pains Fireworks Bars - Zero Degrees and Colston Hall Welfare - Welfairies St John’s


Team uses specialists to manage site areas THE Bristol City Council team works with some of the event industry’s specialists to manage different site areas and bring their specialist knowledge and experience to the event. The 12 metre orbit stage from Serious Stages hosted Candi Staton and VV Brown amongst the line up. Jess said: “The build begins on the Tuesday with the main stage in the Amphitheatre, with the rest of the site including fencing, other stages and concessions brought in across the week ready for the festival’s Friday night opening.” “We have a strong network of suppliers that have been involved with the event for many years, so making developments and growing the site is an organic process where we can discuss the possibilities with specialists in their field.” Richmond Event Management (REM) is one of the festival’s key suppliers, this year responsible for the management and production of the main stage, including the

installation of the productions services, stage management and artist liaison. Other production companies involved in the event include Kambe Events, who produced the children’s play area in Queen Square, GMC Concepts and Events who coordinated the youth area on Redcliffe Wharf, and Cirque Bijou who produce the circus and street theatre in Millennium Square. Jess added: “The Bristol Harbour Festival is free to visit which means managing people on site and movement around the festival is key to its success. On the Saturday night we had VV Brown performing followed by the legendary fireworks display, with an estimated 35,000 spectators, getting people safely on and off site is one of the festival’s key concerns.” A joint agency event control with a team from the Bristol City Council, AP Security, The Event Safety Shop and REM as event controllers ensured the safety and

Jess Noakes security of the public whilst at the festival. “Preparation is the key to the festival’s success and we are already looking at ways to develop the site for next year. It is a really exciting time for the festival as it is attracting more people year on year and is putting Bristol on the map as a city of arts, music and culture,” she added. Singer VV Brown was one of the performers at Bristol Harbour Festival

rem plan and run every type of event...

Carefully. Thoroughly. Meticulously. Maybe the secret is little more than the years of experience or maybe it’s an obsession with getting things right. Richmond Event Management,

59 Prince Street, Bristol, BS1 4QH. t: 0117 927 6614 f: 0117 922 1497



The annual Cowes Week sailing regatta has defied the lack of a major sponsor and been declared a success by the organisers. Dominic Musgrave found out more.

Stuart confident that the tide will turn in time to secure sponsor Financing the fireworks THE organisers of this year’s Cowes Week came up with a new way of paying for the traditional fireworks display. The island’s council traditionally paid for the fireworks, but due to budget problems had to withdraw, leaving the organisers to find the money if they were to continue. Stuart and his team were left needing to find the £50,000 to pay for the event, which attracts approximately 75,000 people, so they asked local businesses who boost their takings or entertain people on the night to make donations. He added: “When the council approached us and asked if we

could afford to pay for them we said yes, which we shouldn’t have done. “A mystery donor gave us half of the money and said that he would pay for the fireworks, leaving us to find the remaining £25,000 to pay for the organising. “We felt it was unfair to use the competitors’ fees to pay the remaining half if only half of them actually stayed to watch. So we decided to approach local businesses who either enjoy or make money from the fireworks to donate instead, telling them that they wouldn’t happen unless they contributed.”

STUART Quarrie is confident that he will have a main sponsor in place for next year’s event, after using this year as a showcase to potential backers. The event, which combines racing for more than 8,000 competitors on the Solent with social activities had been sponsored by Skandia for the previous 14 years, but they decided to pull out in 2008. But Stuart, the event’s chief executive, told Main Event that the visitors to the island, which total in the region of 100,000, will have noticed very few changes around the town. He added: “The main difference in this year’s event to previous years has been the reduced number of companies doing corporate entertainment here, and the only difference the general public will have seen of that is the reduced number of people walking about in branded clothing. “Companies do not want to be seen to be spending their money on entertaining in the current financial climate, and this in itself has led to a very good feel being created around the town.

“But a lot of companies seem to be moving out of the doldrums, and we spoke with several over the week. I am very confident that we will have a title sponsor in place for 2010, although if we didn’t we would still go ahead without any problems.” The event takes two weeks to put together, with the town then returned to normal in just a week. Stuart said the planning process has already begun for next year’s event. He added: “We are not interested in making the event any bigger, but certainly will be looking at making it a better experience than it currently is, and more alluring to the people who visit. “We are also looking at embracing technology more on the sailing side of things, because we did have one or two small problems this year. “We have tried to get as much feedback as possible from both competitors and spectators, and once they have been collated we will discuss what we think we can do and those which would be nice to do but are not possible at this stage.”

Lions test player Joe Worsley with team mates Tim Payne and Simon Shaw

Company wins five-year Wharf contract WORLD cup-winning England rugby international and recent Lions test player Joe Worsley was joined by team mates Tim Payne and Simon Shaw at a special barbecue at Peppermint Shepards Wharf. The trio competed on board one of Clipper Ventures’ Round the World 68ft yacht, and were joined by eight guests who successfully bid in an auction at Joe’s testimonial year dinner at Twickenham. Peppermint Shepards Wharf has been run by Peppermint Events for the past six years, with the highlight event being the annual Mount Gay Red Cap Party.

Director Adam Hempenstall told Main Event that the company has recently signed a new contract to run the Wharf for a further five years. He added: “The official event site is wholly focussed on the sailing and the crews taking part during the week, and facilities include a bar, sailing related trade village, event TV, race declaration kiosks as well as live bands every night. To put something back into the island and reduce our carbon footprint, 99 per cent of our suppliers are island based – everything from the marquees to stock suppliers to staff. This is something we feel very strongly about.”

CAMBRIDGE Eddie Barcan, Cambridge Folk Festival manager talked to Main Event about the challenges associated with this year’s event...

Beating the recession and flu challenge APPROACHING the summer, we were not only facing the challenge of the recession, but the threat of swine flu seemed very real as we lost a few key members of staff ahead of the festival. Fortunately they went through the quarantine and were back with us in time. We also sold out all the tickets, so in the end the economic climate didn’t keep people away. Cambridge Folk has a very established identity, but we’re constantly looking to evolve and this year we brought in a new production manager, Andy Keighley. He was familiar with our overall aims and ethos having worked with the festival previously in a different capacity, so he didn’t feel the need to make wholesale changes this year. He retained a lot of the regular key suppliers (Cane Green – sound,

Pearce Hire – site power and lighting, John Anderson- toilets, Owen Brown – main stage marquee) but made a couple of changes. He was very keen to bring in Ali-Stage as a new contractor, and Search came through our tender process to supply the temporary cabins; both companies worked very well with our existing group of suppliers and production standards were excellent. Also new this year was our relationship with new headline sponsors, the Co-operative Group, who are agreed as headline sponsors for 2010. We share a lot of values with them, particularly in areas such as environmental issue, so they got very involved in the festival and I envisage their input increasing next year, along with the other great partners supporting our event.

The annual Cambridge Folk Festival was a sell out despite the credit crunch

Co-operative Group has agreed to be headline sponsors of the event again in 2010

Cambridge Folk Festival rounded off a successful busy month in Cambridge for event production specialist Pearce Hire.

“Standards were of the highest order and we’re proud to have played our part in delivering these events in the wonderful surroundings of Cambridge.”

Stephen Fry took part in a live University Challenge style quiz against a team of current students.

THE company’s series of events began with Cambridge Big Weekend in Parkers Piece in the centre of Cambridge where Pearce Hire supplied a complete production package of sound, lighting and power. Overseen by Pearce Hire’s Project manager Dan Shelton the show stage featured music ranging from an Abba Show to World Music. As well as operating lighting for the Main stage Dan also managed the temporary event power requirements for the whole site, including the 2nd music tent for local bands, the French market and the John Lewis sponsors tent (complete with fashion show). Audio responsibility fell under the guise of Phil Couch who, installed

main stage, acoustic stage and dance stage alongside a variety of children’s activities taking place in marquees. Stephen Fry, Simon Hoggart, Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller took part in the live University Challenge style quiz against a team of current students. This took place in front of the live audience and was broadcast in real time on two viewing screens. The month finished with Pearce Hire working on the first of a three year contract supporting City Council organisers and headline sponsors of this years Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival in their efforts to further reduce the festivals carbon footprint, having won a Greener Festival Award

and managed the L-Acoustics sound system This was followed on the next weekend by a large garden party in Cambridge’s universally popular Botanical Gardens, where 9,000 people gathered for commemorative anniversary celebrations. Production company Events Unlimited headed up by Katharine Brindley and Lisa Ward produced and managed the event from concept to delivery, with Pearce Hire’s managing director Shaun Pearce who managed an eight strong team of experienced event technicians. Pearce Hire supplied temporary event power, lighting and sound systems for the three outdoor stages: a

last year. The festival also had a new production manager in the form of Andy Keightley, who managed a very smoothly run festival featuring over 100 artists on three stages. Shaun Pearce said: “Having spent about five weeks of the spring working overseas on prestigious international events it was great to working closer to home. Where-ever we are in the world we prioritise safety and apply best working practises, which was also the case on these three events. Standards were of the highest order and we’re proud to have played our part in delivering these events in the wonderful surroundings of Cambridge.”



Dubbed the Godfather of music festivals, Woodstock founder Michael Lang is a legend in the events industry. He spoke to The Big Chill audience about going down in history, timing people’s toilet habits, and how he made Woodstock a ‘sociological miracle’.

A member of the crowd tries to gets his message across

The affects of the event took its toll on some revellers

People went to extreme measures to see the bands

Alvin Lee

One of the acts that performed at the festival

Cooling off in the lake

Images taken from Woodstock Experience, available from Genesis Publications ( Images from the book are on show at the Idea Generation Gallery.

Founder celebrates 40 years IN 1969, over 500,000 people descended on countryside near New York to hear the biggest acts of the decade at the Woodstock festival. Celebrating 40 years since the event, Michael – who was just 24 at the time – has spent the summer visiting music festivals around the world to see how things have changed. Opening The Big Chill, he said: “People expected fighting and violence but it was like a whole community coming together at a time when America was going through a really bad time. “Woodstock put culture on display and it felt like a family coming together – it was like a sociological miracle.” During the ten month planning process, Michael and his team set out to build a ‘temporary city’ and to work out what would be needed, they turned to the Army Corps of Engineers. But when they got wind that a rock festival was being planned, they cancelled the meeting and Michael was left to figure things out alone. “We had no idea how much water we would need, how many toilets or how much waste would be produced. So we sent staff out to large gatherings like football matches to see how

long people took in the toilets – that’s literally how we had to work things out.” Despite its legendary status, Woodstock wasn’t without its challenges. The festival was built for 200,000 and Michael said that when triple that number turned up, facilities had to be severely stretched. On the third day of the festival a storm hit the site – bringing with it 40mph winds and lashing rain – and a closure on the New York freeway resulted in a 90 mile traffic jam, meaning many of the bands were late. And despite an amazing lineup, Michael was unable to secure two of the biggest acts of the time. John Lennon had been blocked from entering America by the Nixon administration and Led Zeppelin claimed they didn’t want to be ‘just another act on the bill’. “Every band was afraid to go on first and open the event but they were all very cooperative. and every one was shocked – but very moved – by the sea of people in front of them.” In the end, the festival was opened by Richie Haven, followed by legends including The Who, The Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, Santana and Jimi Hendrix.

Michael (right) at the festival There has been speculation over the years about how many people actually turned up to Woodstock, but Michael confirmed at The Big Chill that there were 523,321. He told the audience that these days festivals are much neater and said Glastonbury is a great example of a well-organised event.

Picture credit: Genesis Publications “But Woodstock left a legacy, particularly women’s rights, the green movement and organic farming. For most bands there, it was the first time they had ever eaten granola.” And the highlight of the festival for him? “When Richie Haven started to sing and the sound system worked – I knew then that things would be ok.”

FESTIVAL MEMORIES Colin Ward of event organisers Live Promotions claims a UK concert featuring Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix was the first music festival in the world – and it all took place in a bulb shed in Lincolnshire. He shares his experience of playing there.

Festival was world’s first claims Colin FORGET the festivals of today with their over-the-top health and safety, this event was totally out of control and it took the promoter a lot of guts to do it. Technically, although no-one used the word ‘festival’ in those days, Barbeque 67 was really the first rock festival in the UK, if not the world. I can’t find anything else that pre-dates it. Everyone goes on about Woodstock, Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight but this event took place in 1967 – two years before Woodstock – and was what really kicked things off for Jimi Hendrix. I was a drummer in a band called Sounds Force 5 and we were asked to play in between all the big acts. The one thing that struck me about Jimi was how friendly he was – he was marketed as rebellious but he was a very polite chappy, whereas Eric Clapton was moody as hell. He had a huge strop when he saw that Cream were second to Hendrix on the poster. I didn’t know much about the promoter for Barbeque 67 but when I asked why he chose Spalding, he said it was because of the big market auction halls and he chose the giant bulb shed because a band had played there before. There were five times as many people outside as there were crammed

A newspaper cutting showing Jimi Hendrix at the festival

Colin (second from right) with the re-formed Sounds Force 5 inside. People were coming into the venue and then being pushed down to the front by bouncers and because there was a crush, loads of people were forced directly under the stage where they had to stay all the way through the festival because they couldn’t get out. Others were sent spilling out of the

side doors, to be greeted by ticket touts selling them tickets at five times the price, just so they could come back in the main entrance again. And we didn’t have toilet suppliers in those days, so there were hippies peeing up the walls everywhere. Inside the shed, a BBQ was set up on a long trestle table with hot dogs and burgers, so the place reeked. It was full of atmosphere though and it was just like looking off the stage into the crowds of Glastonbury. There were a few problems in the local town as people that couldn’t get in took their frustrations out on local shops but the atmosphere in the hall was amazing, even though there was

no real control. During his set, Hendrix attacked his amplifiers and set fire to his guitar on stage, then threw it behind him into the corner. A Jimi Hendrix burnt out guitar would be worth thousands today, but I believe that particular one ended up on the council rubbish tip. And when I was sitting with Jimi in his trailer, it was smashed into by fans who took my stage outfit and ripped it to shreds, believing it was his. My work for Live Promotions today is still inspired by Barbeque 67 and it was that day that made me decide I wanted to make a career in the events industry.

Band plans to play again BARBEQUE 67 took place in a large bulb shed in Spalding in 1967, organised by a market trader from Nottingham who wanted to showcase the bands he thought were about to hit the big time. 4,000 people crammed into the hall, with an estimated 10,000 lisColin with his drums at The Cavern

tening outside, rocking out to artists including Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Pink Floyd – all of who were about to explode. Colin has now resurrected Sounds Force 5 and the band are planning to play some of the major festivals next year.



Ticket support for an event fit for the Queen

OVER 12,000 meals were served to hungry crew on site at this year’s V Festival in Chelmsford. During the 12 days on site, Eat To The Beat fed production crew throughout the set up and de-rig and also served to artists at the event. Eat to the Beat’s operations director Mary Shelley-Smith said: “What a great festival – the sun was shining down all weekend and everyone was in good form. It’s great to see so many of our regular touring clients performing together on the festival circuit. We’ve had a fantastic season.”

Early tickets to be made available EARLY Bird tickets will be available for next year’s Creamfields after this year’s event sold out. Organisers were delighted with the demand for tickets to see acts including Basement Jaxx, Tiesto,

Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris and have rewarded fans by giving them chance to purchase tickets for next year for the same price of £100 for weekend camping.

PROVIDING ticketing support for Trooping the Colour demands an exceptionally high standard and expectation of quality and customer support from the event organisers. This was the challenge that Staffordshire based Tungate Group rose to for the event – delighting The Household Division of the Ministry of Defence with their levels of service and delivery. An unsurprising testimonial for Tungate who have over 25 years experience of providing ticketing services to the entertainment, leisure and sports markets. The Tungate Group pride themselves on the level of quality, service and, most importantly, value for money they offer their customers. Whether supporting prestigious International events or small local festivals, Tungate can provide a solution. For any event organiser, getting ticketing requirements outlined at the start of the planning process is vital to save costs and ensure the safety and enjoyment of event attendees. This is where Tungate step in. They offer a free consultation and design service working with event

organisers to fully understand their ticketing requirements from the outset and building cost effective solutions that will deliver. Tungate’s range of services covers the whole range of ticketing to support a multitude of different types of event, including; pre-printed tickets, wristbands, lanyards, membership and RFID cards. They can help event organisers with their ticket security requirements providing tickets with security features such as holograms, hot foil stamping, sequential numbering, UV and covert security or printing on special security paper. Other delighted customers working with Tungate this year were the organisers of the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in Cheshire – a vast two day spectacular of cars, bikes, boats, planes, helicopters and tanks attended by 35,000 people. Also the Windsor Festival, a two week regional Music and Arts festival, who received their tickets for this year’s festival ahead of schedule, despite the snowy conditions of early February.

KENDAL CALLING A combination of the typical British summer weather and a picture in a national newspaper could have caused chaos for the organisers of Kendal Calling... Andrew Harrod reports.

Festival beats British weather JUST a few days before Kendal Calling was due to open, the Daily Mail published a graphic picture of the Lake District town of Keswick under water after heavy downpours. It could have sent ticket-holders into a spin... But quick as a flash, the organisers were updating their own website with pictures of the site, confirming it had escaped the worst of the weather. Production manager Sam Barrett explained: “We wanted to reassure people that the event was still going on and that the picture in the Daily Mail was taken 30 miles away.” As it turned out, the weather was relatively kind to the event, now in its fourth year. It has grown from a 900-capacity two-day event on launch in 2006 to a ‘proper’ festival spanning three days and pulling in 6,000 – with all tickets sold out in advance. According to Sam, the move to a new site – the Lowther Deer Farm –

made sense all-round. “The new site has a better infrastructure. There are already roads around the site making access so much easier and it’s also capable of accommodating a larger crowd. “There’s also some proper buildings to use as the production office and green room – no messing around bringing portable buildings in and that is so much more convenient.” There is one thing in particular that Sam has learned from his years working on outdoor events at the mercy of the British climate... “I’ve realised that you can never have too much trackway – for an event such as Kendal Calling, it is absolutely essential,” he told The Main Event. “You are so reliant on the weather and having adequate trackway down makes everything so much easier. Not having lorries getting stuck on site is one less thing to worry about...”

The Streets were one of the headline acts

Contractors’ list

More than 6,000 people attended the festival

All Audio, lights and P.A provided by Adlib Main Saddlespan Stage provided by Soundstage One All other stages by Panda Hire, AJ Bigtops, Indian Marquee company, FGH Security Stewarding - Festaff & climate camp Bars - Roustabout & Ugly Duckling Welfare - Welfairies St John’s



Bank blamed for cancellation THE directors of the Beachdown Festival have pulled the plug on the event just days before it was due to take place. The Brighton based festival blamed slower than forecast ticket sales and a lack of support from the bank for the decision – saying they had explored every way possible to make sure the event went ahead but it just wasn’t possible. In a statement they said: “It is with immense personal regret the directors of Beachdown Festival have been advised they must announce that due to slower than forecast ticket-sales and lack of support at a critical time from our bank and certain suppliers that despite being so so close to being able to deliver Beachdown Festival we are unable to do so. “Very simply we were unable to meet the demands that the current economic climate put against us and at the eleventh hour despite having most of the infrastructure in place we have been forced to cancel the event. “We also wish to advise everyone that we explored every possible avenue to finance the event including re-mortgaging our houses to combat the unwillingness of banks to support us.”

Madstock poses security challenge LONDON’S Victoria Park provided the backdrop for the return of Madstock after over a decade away from the festival scene. The event – which featured Madness – sold out for four years running in Finsbury Park before taking a break. One of the challenges for AP Security – who provided stewarding and crowd management at the event – was to ensure that only designated ticketholders in the crowd were allowed in the Golden Circle area. AP’s southern operations manager Chris Hollands said: “Ensuring that only the right passholders from an enthusiastic crowd were allowed entry meant we had to place considerable resources there.”

When it comes to major events, one of the biggest headaches for organisers is barrier and fence jumping. The team from Eve Trakway explain why being prepared and having sufficient security is key.

The importance of security fencing increases every year, and Eve Trakway has supplied it to many outdoor events

Fencing secures an event’s future YEAR on year, the company has seen the requirement for security fencing at outdoor events increase, not only due to stricter licensing and insurance restrictions placed upon organisers, but also the need to ensure the future of events in the current economic climate. Head of sales and marketing David Walkden said: “Now more than ever, our clients need to ensure that they get sufficient return on their investments. When you apply that to the events industry that means getting the right number of people at the events and ensuring that they all pay to get in, if there is a charge, and the right outcome is achieved – all attendees have fun and hope to return. “Without the correct security fencing in place, it’s not only the organisers who lose out but also

the event goers who face overcrowding and potentially unsavoury behaviour that cannot be managed because the resource isn’t in place. “As well as high profile events, we are working with many smaller events and free ones, who are conscious of the implications of not being sufficiently protected. They are all very aware that the market they are working in is more competitive than ever and if they don’t make an impact this year they may not have an event to market next year.” Eve Trakway has supplied barriers and fencing to many outdoor events this year including Glastonbury, Wakestock, Download and the Ashfield Show. Account manager Geoff Gorringe added: “It’s not only the fear of

fence jumpers that is having an effect on our event clients, but also the insurance implications of not having the best security in place. Many of my clients have explained that before they can apply for insurance cover they need to detail all of the barriers, fencing and security measures they will have in place to deter a security breach, for fear of the insurance being rejected. “For anyone planning an event who is concerned about the financial implications of hiring barriers and fencing I would give this advice; it doesn’t need to be expensive and there are flexible options available – however, it could have a significant effect on the success and longevity of your event.”



Image courtesy of Stapleford Park

Relishing the challenge WITH a sun drenched Wimbledon and England winning the Ashes still fresh in my mind, it seems strange to be writing about winter. But to be honest, we have already been giving it plenty of thought. At Seamless Interiors, after a long hot summer of sports events, summer parties and festivals we relish the contrasting challenge of winter events and know that the detailed planning and design that goes into these events takes place many months ahead. This year we are building on our reputation for providing the finest quality fabric lined interiors, by introducing more innovative and creative uses for linings. For example we are working with venues and party organisers to set the scene for their Christmas events with bespoke mirror shapes cut to create a snowflake effect, or silver glittercloth walls fes-

tooned with white plume feathers, silver poinsettias and roses bringing the magic of Christmas alive through our opulent ‘Chic Glamour’ theme. At Seamless Interiors we are best known for providing tack-off linings but we have a wealth of experience in creating the whole interior décor package, with our own stock of LED starcloth linings, and furniture such as cube seating and tables, banquet seats, and bars that can all be covered with fabrics to match or complement the linings. Our designers can skillfully incorporate the use of props and theatrical sets to create or support any theme. We would like to wish everyone a successful season of winter events, and hope that we can be a part of creating the environment for this success.

The finish line at the Edinburgh Marathon

Solutions to display needs HoF Display Solutions have worked with companies and organisations for over twenty years, creating promotional display solutions for charity fund raising events, international trade shows and sporting events. We specialise in providing products and solutions designed to meet our clients’ requirements, from concept and environment to budget and deadlines. From initial consultation and design through to production and installation, our experienced team project manage your solution, ensuring your event branding is in place on time and on budget.

Events and organisations HoF has worked with include Cancer Research UK, The British International Motor Show, Volvo Ocean Race and Liverpool City of Culture 2008. HoF also has extensive experience with local authorities and sponsors through a number of marathons including Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bristol. Whether you’re looking for barrier, fence or free standing banners, promotional signage or flags, modular exhibition displays or giant crowd flags, HoF has a display solution to suit all your event’s needs.




Family business specialises in all forms of power

IDE Systems design and manufacture high quality specialist electrical distribution equipment for a wide range of industries. From commercial to construction, military to healthcare, wherever there is a need. Our distribution equipment is individually constructed to ensure your products are efficient, robust and easy to use. For short or long term rental, we maintain a comprehensive fleet of electrical distribution equipment and cable to meet your temporary power distribution requirements. Servicing the event industry, industrial processes, generator rental and construction markets.

PROGRESS Group was established as a family business in 1956 and has since evolved into one of Europe’s leading forces specialising in all forms of temporary and critical power. The company has a network of nationwide depots and a dedicated team of experienced professionals who are always available to offer you the highest level of service, providing technical support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Offering expert advice from the concept stage to completion, our service can include setup and distribution and if required our friendly approachable staff can remain on site for the duration of your event. Progress Group has provided equipment for a broad spectrum of prestigious events including music festivals, the Notting Hill Carnival and national film premieres. We operate an extensive hire fleet

of super silenced diesel generators ranging from 12kVA through to 1250kVA and continually update our fleet taking advantage of technological advances. We can also supply the latest eco-friendly bio fuel generators with the lowest CO2 emissions available in the current market. In addition, all our generators have to pass stringent safety tests and are fully load banked prior to despatch. To complete the package we offer a comprehensive range of ancillary equipment such as cables, cable ramps, distribution boards, automatic mains fail panels (AMF) and bunded fuel tanks. We have also recently invested in the latest synchronizing equipment, paring 60kVA sets upwards. Progress are accredited to NICEIC and all wiring works comply with IEE Wiring Regulations BS7671 and we are approved and members of CHAS, Safe Contractor and UVDB.

Do you have a story for Main Event? If you have a story that you would like to feature in Main Event magazine, ring reporter Christina Eccles on 01226 734463, write to

her at 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S702AS or email




Displays for many events FIREWORX Scotland Ltd – Scottish National Firework Champions 2008. We have over the years provided shows for: ■ The Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations at Balmoral Castle. ■ HRH Prince Charles 60th birthday celebrations at Fyvie Castle. ■ HRH Princes Royal, Carers Charity Ball at Harthill Castle. ■ Actor Brian Cox’s 60th birthday party, Dundee. ■ Large public displays. ■ Private parties. ■ Wedding displays. ■ Corporate shows. Fireworx Scotland have competed in many firework competitions over the years including: ■ British Musical Fireworks Championships, Southport 2005. ■ International Musical Fireworks Championships, Shanghai 2006. ■ Scottish Firework Championships, Perth and Edinburgh 2007/2008. ■ British Firework Championships, Plymouth 2008. We have also provided the firework displays for Rockness and Belladrum Festivals 2005-2009. We are the resident firework company at many of Scotland’s exclusive venues. We have also been involved with many cities providing displays for Christmas light switching on including the celebration of 100 years of His Majesty’s

TPA has a busy summer

Theatre in Aberdeen. This year is the Homecoming Year celebrating 250 years of Robbie Burns, with fireworks seen at many events provided by Fireworx Scotland. St Andrew’s Day will also be a major celebration this year with many events using fireworks from Fireworx Scotland.

PORTABLE roadway expert TPA, has been busy again this summer with a variety of festivals from the likes of T in the Park, V and Leeds/Reading to smaller festivals such as Bingley Music Live. With the development of the MD40 roll-out system, TPA can typically install a 50 metre section of portable roadway four times faster than its panel equivalent – making it ideal for festivals especially if requirements dictate that re-siting is necessary. MD40 can also be installed as a formidable three metre high fence making it a dual purpose product. Festivals have not all revolved around music this year either with TPA once again supplying the Taste festivals in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham which celebrate all things culinary. Here panels are supplied for car-

parking whilst pedestrian walkways keep visitors feet dry between the marquees should the British weather do its worst. Beer festivals in Cambridge and Reading have also been supplied along with Europe's largest cheese festival in Nantwich, Cheshire. As festivals continue to gain popularity and more and more are organised each summer, organisers have to appreciate the importance of booking their portable access early. With the weather over the last three summers leaving something to be desired, portable roadways on many festival sites are a necessity rather than a luxury but stocks are not always available at the last minute which can lead to problems should the clouds open. The message, as always, is don’t leave it to the last minute – prevention is always better than a cure.



Event insurance made easy By Sue Moseley WITH so much to think about when organising a event, it’s easy to understand why insurance is usually low on the ‘to do’ list. However, careful planning and timely purchase can result in you being able to concentrate on your event and not having to sort out aspects of insurance which you find should have been addressed earlier. We have had situations where clients have nearly had to cancel events because they have left insurance to the last minute and suddenly found themselves embroiled in areas which could have been addressed much earlier.

Claims For winter events, planning for the weather is important. Slips and trips are often a cause for claims especially in the rain/snow/sleet. The darker evenings also increase this risk. The installation of temporary track ways, on-site ramps, security posts, cabling, etc all pose hazards that organisers should take care to manage carefully. Lastly, the risks associated with fireworks speak for themselves and organisers should take extra care when organising this aspect of an event. In April 2009, the corporate manslaughter act came into force. Whilst the obligations for companies have not changed, the penal-

ties which can be imposed for breaches of health and safety law are considerably higher. Careful risk assessment and management are more crucial than ever.

Cancellation Cancellation continues to be an issue for winter events. Heavy snow, as experienced in February of this year could lead to an event being cancelled, or adverse weather in this and in other countries which delays the arrival of key guests or performers could lead to a cancellation. General flooding continues to be a risk in the UK throughout the winter months. Terrorism is also a risk that organisers should consider. The sad reality is that terrorists today are looking for the maximum casualties to ensure the most media coverage. Anywhere that offers this option, is a target. And it’s not just an incident that may lead to cancellation, the threat of an incident is always taken seriously and the local authorities or police may take the decision to cancel an event to protect the public. Insurance offers levels of protection against these risks, and at highly competitive rates. The earlier in the planning process, the organisers purchase cover, the more likely they are to obtain favourable terms and to investigate their particular needs thoroughly. ■ Sue Moseley is events and entertainment manager at Robertson Taylor.

Sue Moseley




Water stations make a splash IF you have been to a festival or large outdoor event during this year, you may have spotted a very handy water station to fill up your drinking water bottles or to wash your hands. This has been the first year that they have been used in the UK, and have attracted great interest from both users and event organisers. Comments such as “they’re so easy to use” and “what a great, simple idea” have been heard across the country. Many people have taken the trouble to contact us thank the Watermills team for supply of drinking water and in particular mentioning the water stations. The design of this revolutionary water station means that it can be used with either mains water, or with a bowser or static water tank and

pump. It can also be easily modified to supply chilled water via a refrigerator unit, or hot water via a water heater and thermostatic controller. Each unit has eight taps which self close after a pre-set time, thus minimising water usage, and the base collects any excess water which can be drained away. Suitable for: ■ Sporting events ■ Camp Sites ■ Concerts, Festivals ■ Military Exercises ■ Food Fairs and Hospitality Events ■ Your event A flexible, adaptable unit that is: ■ Easy to transport ■ Easy to assemble and operate ■ Easy to store These units are available for purchase or hire.

IPS prepares for winter AS an almost manic summer season draws to a close, Impact Production Services (IPS) is getting ready for the next stage. Outdoor events are regularly taking place later in the calendar – bringing their own individual challenges. 2009 has so far been a big year of growth for IPS, with a move to much larger premises as well as increases in staff, vehicles and inventory. Two additional Prolyte roof systems have been purchased for the summer season and have barely been in the warehouse. Also, despite a stock of over 550 Litedeck modules, demand is still constantly high and turnaround times have to be carefully managed

to enable the volume of work to be completed to IPS’ exacting standards. Despite the challenges of the credit crunch and a worrying trend towards late specification and conformation of huge parts of technical infrastructure for events, the production industry still seems to be in good shape. Innovative solutions can still capture the imagination of the audience and a careful eye on the bottom line ensures budgets are as streamlined as possible. IPS is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its customers, although there are no real limits to what can be achieved with a little know how and a large amount of staging.



Fireworks display to be the best yet By Mary Ferguson ORGANISERS of a fireworks display in Battersea Park have told The Main Event this winter’s show is set to be better than ever. The annual pyrotechnics production is one of the highlights of the year for the team that organise events in the park, headed up by Alison Smith. She said: “I remember coming to the display as a child so it’s great to be putting on the show now. People come from all over London and we are always getting enquiries from different countries, as many travellers plan their trip here to incorporate the display.” The budget for the pyrotechnics is £33,000 which includes lighting and the sound desk and the event attracts regular audiences of over 30,000. Tickets are charged at £6 for adults and £1 for under ten’s – a token payment so the council can measure how many children attend. The team are hoping for a clear night this November, after bad weather in 2008 cost them £120,000 in lost ticket sales. It rained so hard that just 7,000 turned up for the show, causing the team to put in a ‘pluvius’ insurance claim for the loss of money. The theme for this year’s event is love, and when the pyrotechnics con-

“People come from all over London and we are always getting enquiries from different countries, as many travellers plan their trip here to incorporate the display.” tract was put out to tender, some of the ideas that came in included big metal love hearts and writing couple’s names with fireworks – but Alison said the team are still working on some concrete plans. “There will be some surprises, but we can’t talk about them yet.” To give her better a understanding of the event she was organising, last year Alison trained to be a pyrotechnician. She added: “I learned about the uplift and what actually makes a firework, and that made me look at other elements of the event differently. It’s made me much more confident about the display.” ■ See next issue for a special report on the fireworks show, and other events in Battersea Park.

Football club reveals its plans for festive period A NEW Christmas events programme has been launched by Manchester City Football Club, coinciding with an upgrade of the stadium’s hospitality areas. Private parties and traditional celebrations will take place in the stadium’s suites and one of the highlights of the programme will be a Christmas Lunch with Manchester City legend Mike Summerbee. The event involves a traditional Christmas menu with a compere and comedians Josh Daniels and Johnny Casson. They will be followed by a live male trio singing songs from the Rat Pack era. Other hospitality options for winter include the new Platinum boxes, which were unveiled during the first match of the season. The 12 boxes feature walnut fur-

niture, leather-upholstered bar stools and lounge tub chairs, with neutral wall coverings. The first phase saw nine single Platinum boxes, accommodating ten guests each, being created and there are also three double boxes, each accommodating up to 20 guests. The stadium’s six suites, executive boxes and the main atrium have all seen refurbishment in recent months and match day hospitality sales are up ten per cent on the same time last year. David Chell, head of sales at the City of Manchester stadium, said: “We strive to deliver the finest hospitality in the Premier League and constantly review our offer to ensure we achieve nothing short of that.”

Series of events at Chatsworth A POPULAR tourist attraction in Derbyshire is preparing for a busy winter season which will see it host several outdoor events. Chatsworth – home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire – will host a

country fair later this month, which will include a vintage car parade and fairground. This will be followed by a bonfire and firework party in November and live music at Christmas.

For all your lanyard needs WE’VE all been there... You’re at an event and having a fantastic time. You want to remember your experiences again and again, so you buy something that will instantly remind you of the event. You don’t want something naff and tacky, you want something decent and high quality. A lanyard. Pure Lanyards sell lanyards. Plain lanyards, custom lanyards and accessories. An event or brand is instantly promoted to the lanyard holder and to all that see their lanyard afterwards. Using the right blend of colours, logos and text you can print a perfect long-lasting piece of advertising. So what’s best for your event?

For a club night or festival then you can consider selling lanyards to your attendees with printed info cards, recouping your costs and advertising at the event and afterwards. Or for conferences, giveaway a simple, striking lanyard with your ID passes. Promoting your brand, event and website all in one go – something that they won’t instantly throw away like flyers. Pure Lanyards is a UK business selling plain and custom printed lanyards and accessories. We pride ourselves on providing a down-toearth service to all our customers; you won't get lost in a maze of call centres and changing staff, just deal with one person in plain English from the start of the order until it's delivered.



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The Main Event (September 09)  
The Main Event (September 09)  

The magazine for event organisers.