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Enhancing Stage Presence for Music Festival Performances.

Andy Robertson

For any musician or artist making a live performance on a large festival stage in front of thousands of festival-goers can be intimidating. As well as producing a great sound set there are some techniques that can be used to enhance the audience experience by adding elements to a show.


Some musicians and artists go for a simplistic approach when performing their live set relying on their music performance alone to make an impact. Whilst this may work for well-known headline acts any unknown up-and-coming artist will need to make more of an impact on the audience and using visual aids can help deliver this. Festival-goers are looking for both an audio and visual experience and expectations can be high.

On stage Visual Impact.
The traditional way used to enhance a stage presence has been the use of choreographed dancers who will always add something extra to the overall performance. However, there have been alternative takes on this approach with the Stranglers using female strippers on festival stage performances in the late seventies which was intended to shock. The likes of Bez with the Happy Mondays was another alternative take on a stage dancer. In the modern era the visual impact on stages is more likely to consist of large video screens along with dancers, dry ice and light shows.

Stage Pyrotechnics. 
Use of pyrotechnics is not unusual in modern day festival performances but will depend on budgets and what stage managers and producers will allow. Any pyrotechnics need to be installed and controlled by qualified individuals and of course are only effective for night time performances. It is suggested that additional insurance be obtained if pyrotechnics are being considered.

Audience Involvement. 
Getting festival-goers actively involved in the show can really help make it memorable and some musicians and artists use various techniques to achieve this. Any EDM genre artist can be sure to get audience involvement by simply throwing hundreds of glow sticks into the crowd. For those with larger budgets consider using pneumatic guns to fire merch into the audience. An artist may consider throwing themselves into the crowd but this has inherent risks of either injury to themselves or a member of the audience and it is also likely to severely disrupt the musical performance. The easiest way to interact with an audience is to have some banter with them at appropriate moments during a set.

For artists not keen on using impactful aids on stage they can always try and define their own appearance with a fashion statement in what they wear. For a large festival stages artists should make good use of the room by moving around and interacting with other band members or specific sections of the audience, a static performance can be instantly forgettable. Whatever artists do to enhance their on-stage performance it is crucial to generate energy and keep that going throughout their set. 

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
Jonathan Borba via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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