The summer season is upon us, and everyone in the live event industry knows what that means – festival season.
Here are a few tips and tricks from Pin Point Lighting on how to be an ideal local lighting vendor in a festival setting.
Festival events contain many moving parts. Making sure that you can coordinate these moving parts – and more important, staying out of the way of other vendors – is one of the most crucial things a local lighting vendor can do on these events. You always have to be conscious of other people around you. There may be eight different bands loading in within a few short hours of your arrival. You have to make sure that your equipment is in the air and ready for touring lighting designers as quickly as possible.
Be Clean and Organized
Festivals mean many different acts performing throughout the day. Inevitably, each act is going to be carrying some sort of production. More often than not, acts will want to feature their floor package of lighting. As a technician, you have to be conscious of space and cleanliness when you build your dimmer world. Make sure you take up as little space as possible, as these acts will typically need space for their power distribution racks, dimmers, etc.
Touring lighting designers and technicians will be relying on you for help throughout the day. Always make sure that you carry things to make their lives easier – things like copies of the lighting plot and patch are immensely helpful. If you are providing power for their floor package, consider things like feeder jumps to get to their racks. Small courtesies can go a long way to making your life and theirs significantly easier.
Festival settings usually mean a long day for the local lighting provider. Load-ins can be as early as 2 or 3 in the morning, with a show that doesn’t end until 11 pm or later. Long days and a heavy workload can lead to poor attitudes if you are not careful. It is important to remember that touring lighting designers and technicians are there to do a job – and it is your job to assist them in that. A positive attitude and a willingness to help them complete their job will go a long way. Always remember, the business is much smaller than it seems, and you never know who you will work with down the road. You always want to strive to leave a good impression.
You will be working with a wide variety of labor throughout the day. It is important to be able to identify the skill level of your stagehands and be considerate of that. Some stagehands may have a greater understanding of certain aspects of the industry than others. Some might be able to run out motors, while others may only be able to bolt truss. The important thing to remember is this – they are all there to help you. Stagehands are one of the greatest tools you have during a load in or load out. You must be considerate of them at all times.