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The Music Festival Production Function.

Andy Robertson

One of the key functions in any music festival is the production office which can take responsibility for managing just about every aspect of running a successful music festival. Larger festivals may have a production team with responsibilities split into logical functions. For smaller events the entire function could be performed by a single person.

However a music festival organisation is structured the responsibilities will be broadly the same and experienced music festival production staff are always in demand with some attracting good salaries too. What are the broad responsibilities that a festival production office will manage and why is it a vital part of an event’s success?

Supplier Management. 
The production office will have responsibility for procuring and delivering equipment as well as negotiating with suppliers on price and contracts. This could include anything from the stage backline equipment to toilet facilities and perimeter fencing for example. After suppliers have been sourced the production office will manage all matters relating to delivery schedules and associated timelines. Once supplier’s equipment is on-site the production team will often be tasked with ensuring correct and timely installation as well as break down and pick up post event. Any supplier's equipment that is ordered and delivered on-site should be thoroughly checked by the production team to ensure that what has been delivered matches order specifications, that it works and is not damaged.

Internal Coordination. 
The production office must coordinate with all other festival functions to ensure smooth and efficient running of the event. They work closely with on-site technical engineers for any equipment installation and ensure that any health and safety regulations are complied with. It is essential that schedules and equipment specifications are agreed in advance with artist liaison, sponsor and vendor managers to ensure the correct equipment arrives and is delivered on time. Dealing with the accounting function is required to ensure that supplier orders match budgeted expenditure and avoid any overspend.

Vendor Management.
Some music festivals may have hundreds of vendor pitches on-site and each vendor will have differing equipment and service requirements. It will usually be the production office that manage these supplies which could include electricity, water and internet connectivity for example. With so many vendors to manage having an accurate and workable schedule for overseeing the loading and unloading is crucial plus ensuring that any site plan is executed.

Post Event Reporting. 
A large festival organisation will often look to the production team to provide a comprehensive post event report. This is to fully understand what was executed well plus identifying any areas for improvement. In compiling any post event report the production function needs to coordinate with other departments to fully understand if equipment ordered was up to standard, delivered on time and that budgets were not overspent. How well did the production team perform with schedules, timings and overall communication for example.

For production teams planning their festivals using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by Sanu A S from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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