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Strategies to Reduce Stress for Music Festival Staff Once On-site

Andy Robertson

After many months of planning there comes a time when a music festival organising crew must get on–site as their live dates approach. This can be an incredibly stressful time for organisers and their staff so what strategies can they employ to minimise the impact of unexpected emergencies and issues that are often encountered on-site.

Any remotely located music festival requires organising staff to be on-site from anything up to a week in advance of the live dates right through to the close, breakdown, load out and clean up. Organisers may spend most of the year in an office environment where electricity and internet connections are reliable. However, working on-site it is not unusual for power supplies and internet connectivity to be intermittent with inclement weather further adding to potential issues. It takes a certain amount of experience and character to handle festival site challenges, here are some suggestions that may make the process easier for all concerned.

With effective well executed planning and scheduling the probability of an on-site issue occurring can be minimised. A thorough schedule of tasks with assigned responsibilities utilising a critical path structure can really make life easier for the organising team. A key component for any festival plan will be the built in contingencies that should cater for just about every eventuality. Experienced organisers will know what issues or emergencies are most likely to impact any on-site operations.

All festival staff working on-site should remain in communication with each other and be readily available to on-site contractors, vendors, volunteers and artists for example. Every member of the team should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities and able to contact each other to escalate issues or delegate to other people. Most music festivals create an operational command centre where key members of on-site staff can coordinate every aspect of site operations and make rapid decisions to solve potential problems that may arise. Regular team meetings and briefings help update everyone on-site.

Health and Well-being.
The festival management team should use processes and procedures that minimise risk and stress for all on-site workers. There should be an element of self-care for staff who should be encouraged to take regular breaks, stay hydrated and eat regularly. On-site staff should also be allowed to take some time out to enjoy the festival and organisers have been known to provide quiet private zones for staff to relax.

Using event management software can really help a music festival with just about every aspect they need to manage. From planning and scheduling to communication a good software package can reduce errors, save time and make events run more smoothly. All these factors help to reduce stress for on-site staff because dealing with unexpected issues is reduced.

Even the best planned and executed music festival can run into unforeseen problems on-site that may include inclement weather, visitor safety or even backline equipment failure. Good contingency planning will help manage these and if on-site staff know what to do in such circumstances the overall stress levels should remain low. 

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 StockSnap via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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