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How can Music Festival Organisers Deal with Artist Confrontations at Live Events.

Andy Robertson

It is not uncommon in the entertainment business to encounter performance artists who are confrontational either with venue staff or other artists which in extreme circumstances can lead to violence, injury and bad press for those involved. What steps can music festival organisers take to prevent potential confrontations during their event.

During the artistic curation process it may come to light that a selected artist has a tendency for confrontation either from their manager or information available in the public domain. If this information is known in advance organisers can take the necessary steps to minimise any adverse occurrences. This will require diplomacy, clear communications with all parties and creative logistics planning. 

Artist Liaison and Artist Managers. 
During the curation process the artist liaison manager will need to be involved and it is during the booking process that potential issues may be discussed. Good communication with an artist's management team can help to highlight any issues that may include details of other artists they have some kind of issues with, or identifying triggers that can spark confrontation. The artist liaison manager will need to coordinate with stage managers and show producers to ensure that conflicting artists are kept well apart in any scheduling. The backstage areas need to be suitably managed to avoid any hospitability, security or technical issues that can upset an artist. 

Contracts and Riders. 
Contracts and technical specifications can be subjects that cause confrontation if an artist feels that the set-up is not to their liking. Meticulous management of contracts, specs and riders can help to smooth out the artist’s experience at a festival. It is not unusual for artist’s managers to make specific requests in riders that ensure no alcohol is available to the artist prior to their set performance for example. However, if a rider specifies a particular brand of bottled water it is essential that it be provided. Two-way communication between the artist liaison manger and the artist's management team is essential to ensure everything is as specified. 

Conflict Resolution and Planning. 
Organisers who fear potential issues should take all necessary steps to prevent circumstances arising that can lead to an artist’s confrontation. The planning phase can include identification of staff members responsible for resolving potential conflicts. This may involve gaining a better understanding of how to de-escalate situations and making sincere apologies along with practical solutions. 

Although violent confrontations have occurred at events they are usually out of the public eye and limited to backstage zones. Festival organisers should do all they can to avoid confrontations as this can impact on staff and may result in legal action or adverse publicity for the artist.  Despite the potential for confrontation most artists and thier management teams are professional and want a produce a great performance for festival-goers. 

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 including a dedicated artist management module. 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 Tumisu via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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