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Intercom Systems for Music Festival Stage Management.

Andy Robertson

With the hustle and bustle of stage management at a busy music festival communication between key staff is essential. Using walkie talkies are potentially risky and without electronic devices communication can be problematic. The preferred solution is to use an intercom system specifically designed for this purpose.

Whoever has responsibility for stage management whether it's a Stage Manager, Artistic Director or Producer they need to have the ability to direct the right people to perform their tasks on time and without any miscommunication. The manager in charge needs direct communication with audio, lighting and video technicians plus the artists in the dressing room or green room to ensure perfect timing of the stage presentation.

Intercom Technology. 
The traditional intercom system used was always hard wired and have been used in theatre and TV production for years. The market leader in providing these solutions has always been Clear-Com, however, new players in the market are challenging them and include Overline Systems, Green GO and Radio Active Designs among many others. The latest intercom systems are now wireless and scalable making perfect sense for any remote site music festival no matter how small or large.

Intercom Set-Up.
An intercom system needs a base station to run all the system components effectively and are usually capable of running on a LAN, WAN or public internet connection. Each user will need a belt pack that contains battery power along with wireless connectivity to handsfree headsets and the base station. The systems are usually operated using MacOS or Windows compatible software and are easy to operate. Most equipment can be hired for one-off festivals and set up and testing will need to be done by the contractor. 

Future Developments. 
The ever increasingly competitive nature of the intercom sector means that new developments are coming to market continuously. The latest systems can now be connected using Apps on mobile devices which means that staff further away from a base station are still able to connect and communicate using the intercom system. As more music festivals become hybrid events with live streamed content the use of the intercom system becomes more important. The ability of a Producer or Director to instruct and coordinate audio, lighting and camera work will be an essential part of this.

The ability to have a reliable hands-free communication capability makes the intercom system advantageous over mobile devices and walkie talkies which require significant handling. The Clear-Com package has been the go-to intercom solution for years but new players are challenging them with more affordable alternatives and this bodes well for the music festival sector who will now have a wider choice at a lower overall cost. 

For festival organisers planning their events 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.

Photo by Yan Krukov via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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