What’s it like looking after the bands at a music festival?

7 Aug 2014 @ 10.22 pm
| News

One woman who knows is Evie Johnson, who looks after the musicians at Galtres Festival

The Stranglers play Galtres 2013. Photograph © kluens.co.uk

My Galtres experience started with a visit in 2011 and I was roped in for the first time at as assistant performer liaison manager. The following year, Ali the manager was unable to return and therefore 2014 will be my second year returning as performer liaison manager.

When I tell people this, the usual response is “Yes but what do you actually do?!”

Strangely enough I always struggle to answer.

In summary I am the essential link between the performers and the festival – and the performer’s first point of call if they have any queries/ issues.

To help with this we have developed an online system to give each performer access to personalised information (eg performance time, expenses, how to check in etc). This as you can guess isn’t the difficult bit.

The complications arise due to the vast quantities of performers we have. Last year there were over 120 bands or 700 individuals to check in!

The numbers we have performing and attending the festival make the queries constant – in the days before Galtres 2013 there were as many as 50 emails coming in every few hours.

Luckily, I’m pretty OCD about organisation but it can only go so far as artists are renowned for not being great at communication or filling in our amazing system. As you can imagine they don’t seem to have a problem asking for more expenses…

This does not apply to the profile bands however. One thing I look forward to but also dread each year is reading the hospitality requests.

Galtres 2014

Galtres Parklands Festival 2014 is at Duncombe Park, Helmsley from Friday, August 22 to Sunday, August 24

Friday – Levellers and Bellowhead
Saturday – Tricky and Morcheeba
Sunday – The Human League and Public Service Broadcasting

From £20 for a young person’s day ticket to £285 for a family weekend ticket (2 adults, 3 young people)

More info
Galtres Fest website
Facebook page
Twitter @Galtres

My first reaction is to laugh at the ridiculousness of the request. However shortly after I realise I’ve got to source it all! Some of my favourites are listed below, but due to legal reasons I cannot name the bands (I know)…

1. One band quoted “no Moët, no showee, no Chandon, no band on”

2. I like that some don’t take themselves too seriously by requesting “a slightly overweight beatnik”, “a quiz” and “a nice surprise!”

3. One bands’ reasoning behind needing good quality wine was that one member was allergic to poor quality wines!

As much as we love the profile bands, their outrageous requests and their 6.30am arrivals after a few hours’ sleep, one thing I love about Galtres is the hidden gems you find whilst wandering around the site.

Although I rarely make it out of the office, when I do, I wander past the bands I’ve just checked in and realise the masses of talent they have yet they remain so genuine to deal with.

This year’s Galtres is set to be a scorcher – hopefully this applies to the weather too! I love working with the people who are there because they love the festival and I can’t wait to see the summer’s work pay off!