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Getting the Music Festival Backstage Space Organised.

Andy Robertson

Any music festival with multiple acts scheduled to appear over multiple days will need to have a well organised backstage space. The backstage area will usually have so much activity it may get very chaotic and this can impact on technical presentation, safety and the planned running schedule.


The organisation of the backstage space for a music festival stage can make or break an event. With the right planning everything should run smoothly and good contingencies should prevent any issues. A key consideration for festival organisers is running this space in a safe manner, it is often packed with trip hazards and electricity power cables so only authorised individuals should be present.

Space Size and Access. 
Ideally organisers should allocate as large a backstage area as possible and a large remote site is ideal as opposed to an inner-city park where space can be limited. The space should be large enough to accommodate all the essential people required to make everything happen when it should and strict security and access checks will ensure that no non-essential people are in this space.

Production Office. 
Usually a portable mobile unit the production office is the centre of operations for the backstage area. This is where the stage managers and other essential production personnel are based and it is not unusual for them to work non-stop for 12 hours or more. This office is where all schedules and running orders are kept and often amended on the fly. The production staff will be constantly issuing instructions to stage crews, technicians, engineers and artist liaison managers. 

Dressing Room and Green Rooms.
Despite all the chaos usually taking place backstage there should be an allocation of space for dressing room and/or green rooms that provides an element of peace and quiet for artists preparing for their performances. Where space is limited these two functions may be combined or the green room can be located slightly further away from the backstage area. 

Load In and Load Out.
One of the more complex operations in the backstage area is the load-In and load-out of artist’s equipment and instruments which need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. The production office will instruct stage and support crews on exactly what needs to be ready for the next act along with what is being removed form the backstage area. Correct load-in and load-out is essential to the smooth running of any schedules and above all this needs to be done without damaging any of the instruments being handled.

At first appearance the backstage area may resemble a scene of organised chaos but the key to efficient operations is ensuring that only essential people are admitted to this space. Whoever is in charge should do their utmost to keep this back stage area clean and tidy and at all times prioritise the safety of all present.

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 Bence Szemerey via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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