Logistics of a Music Festival: The Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE
With the first music festival to be held at Dover International Speedway now complete I can say already that it is a success. The acts have been spot on, which is expected, with great music by many artist like the Jack White, The Killers, and, The Black Keys. That is the type of stuff that everyone expects, they are professionals after all. However what most do not get to see is the amout of behind the scenes action that it takes to produce a festival like a Firefly. Normally at this time I would be writing an article about the Humphreys House and this weeks project. Talking about the logistics and professional tips for doing a renovation.
Being that we have been at the Firefly Music Festival for the last three days, camping the entire time, there is not much to say about the Humphreys House. We can still talk logistics about putting on a music festival, but since this is not my area of expertise I am bringing in some reinforcements. Enter Gary Camp, Director of Communication for Dover International Speedway to let us know what it takes to put on a festival of this magnitude and to do it for the first time. Gary was gracious enough to bring along some of the heavy hitters, Michael Tatoian, COO of Dover Motorsports and Ed Kilma, Head of Emergency Services to share the wisdom.
With a knowledge base built over 43 years of hosting Nascar races, these guys are used to crowd management and moving mass amounts of people around in a safe and enjoyable environment . The difference between a music festival and Nascar race is for the festival the crowd smaller but a much larger set up.
"For races the set up is usually about 10 days. For the Firefly Festival it was about 5 - 6 weeks to prepare and build." Ed Kilma explains "it is your basic construction management with an event nexus." Setting up and running a project of this size there are always issues and adjustments. While everyone was enjoying the pyrotechnics at The Killers show on Saturday night, Ed is there as well. However if you ask him what songs were playing he would not be able to tell you because he is "always thinking about what is next."
We are thankful for that and the festival has been a success so far. Even in the interview you can tell that Ed is anxious.while chatting with them the sun comes out for the first time and that only means that First Aid calls will go up. Simultaneously to that Red Frog Entertainment tweets out to make sure that every one drinks plenty of water and remain hydrated.
Michael Tatoian, the Chief Operating Officer of Dover Motorsports, has had the opportunity to enjoy parts of the festival but he has many people to answer to if things go wrong. After all, Dover Motorsports is a publicly traded company. "I give Red Frog Entertainment all the credit for seeing our RV lot as a festival site." Michael definitely credits boots on the ground - meaning in terms of manpower being actively involved - for making things happen this weekend. As for hosting the event , it just makes sense, and timeing was perfect. The economy has had its effects on Nascar in the last couple years, they had already looking for additional revenue streams. To boraden their horizons even further, this is the first time that Dover has had "primitive camping" which they may consider again for the two Nascar events that are held each year.
Michael admits that he is the last person you would expect to see at the Bassnectar show (a DJ what combines everything from the farmiliar with the strange or classic with cutting edge) But on friday night he really enjoyed his performance. However, it seems unlikely that The DJ will be playing any Nascar Infield parties.
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