9 Massive Event Fails – And How to Avoid Them
There’s so much that can go wrong during the course of a live music event. There are many points of failure at any show. It could be artist meltdowns, crowds rioting or a distinct lack of adequate bathroom facilities.
To make it in the world of promotion you have to manage well. You need to plan accordingly and think quickly. Most importantly, you have to roll with the punches. There are obstacles facing you at every turn.
Let’s look back at ten of the biggest event fails over the last few years and see just what went wrong.
1. Always have transport options for your patrons
TommorowWorld 2015 ended up turning into a huge nightmare for thousands of fans in Georgia this year. Immediately following the closing act, all transport routes leading out of the venue were closed after heaving rains causing a deluge of mud. No cars in, no cars out.
Thousands were left stranded in the forest, five to ten miles away from the nearest transport. It was cold and wet and those stranded were left without food, water or shelter in the night.
2. Check with the authorities first
One of the world’s most wild parties, Kazantip, which usually takes place in Europe, was moved to a small beach province in Cambodia this year.
The only problem? Event organizers didn’t adequately consult with or consider local authorities first. In a country not known for its leniency, the party was banned just days before it was to start. Why? The Cambodians thought the event promoted “sexy activities”.
3. Beware of slow ticket sales
In that regular old chestnut that can afflict any event at any time, promoters of Beachdown Brighton in 2009 were forced to cancel the event. What should’ve been a killer few days featuring Grace Jones, Grandmaster Flash, Skream and High Contrast ended up in the trash just days out from the event starting.
4. Don’t keep the kids up too late
Do not doubt the effects of a pissed off Belieber. Justin Beiber showed up two hours late for a permormance at the O2 Arena this year. The fans didn’t like it.
For many, the timing was way too late for students out on a school night. Plus, making anyone wait for two hours is just rude. You don’t want to alienate your audience.
5. Check your promoters’ history before engaging them
It pays to Google people that you’re going to engage in business with first. A crafty New York con artist came up with the brilliant idea of pretending to be a worldwide booking agent for huge acts like Enrique Iglesias, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake. He’d even convinced one Brazilian outfit to lay down a $825,000 deposit to secure Rihanna for a concert. The man was sentenced to spend between five and ten years between bars in 2014, but not until after many were duped by his act.
6. Fulfil your contracts
More cancellations ahead: Supafest, an Australian hip-hop showcase in 2012 was forced to cancel headliners Missy Elliot, P. Diddy and Rock Ross due to not correctly fulfilling promises made before the shows.
A tweet from P. Diddy claimed: “My bags are pack. I’m ready! Attention Australia!!!! My 1st ever Australian tour is going to be cancelled because the promoters did not fulfil the contract! CRAZY!!!”
7. Always check your backup power supply
At the lesser known Nibley Festival in 2015, festivities almost came to a complete standstill due to massive electrical failure. The failure cut sound to the two larger stages. This resulted in cancellations, shorter sets, and a no-show for the headliners. Everyone was pissed. The only option for patrons was to pack into a smaller side-stage to keep entertained.
8. Watch out for that weather
As is the custom in the rainy old UK, wet weather can cause serious issues for events. Flooding should always be of concern to organizers, especially in the rainy months. Unfortunately for the people of MFEST in 2012, a flooding warning from the authorities meant the show must not go on. 30,000 fans were out of luck, missing out on a lineup that was to feature Bob Geldof, Cher Lloyd and more.
9. Ban pyrotechnics
It is unfortunate that this situation keeps happening time and again. Pyrotechnics were again to blame for another massive nightclub fire again, this time in Romania this year at a free gig put on by Goodbye to Gravity.
60 people were killed with 151 injured. It follows similar fires in Brazil, Thailand and elsewhere in the world.