Watchet Festival news: Watchet Music festival 2019…
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Watchet Music festival 2019
Behind the Scenes
A review by Annie Cole Photography
Artist Liaison Volunteers, Family and Friends
Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want …..
Sarah and Mick Dean
An evening phone call to Sarah and her husband Mick gave a fascinating insight into
working directly with artist and musicians who perform at Watchet Music Festival.
Arriving on Friday morning work starts in preparation for the arrival of the artists, managers, guests, musicians and their entourage. This involves shopping for specific items, sorting and arranging various requests for specific people and being on hand to assist with ensuring guest and performers needs are catered for over the three days of the festival. The Artist Liaison team are the main point of contact for any questions relating to their visit to the festival site.
Sarah and Mick manage the individual riders. What is a rider I hear you ask ? I asked the same question. A rider is a very detailed and specific list of requests from the artist or their manager which is part of the hospitality package. The hospitality package is part of providing the best possible festival experience to a band/Musician/Artist/ Manager/festival crew . Watchet Music Festival prides itself on the very high level of tailored and individual packages it is able to provide. Attention to information is the number one priority. By providing this service the comfort of the guests is catered for enabling them to relax, enjoy and pick up the great vibe of Watchet Music Festival before performing.
Specific requests can relate to food, drinks, transport to and from the festival, security, dressing rooms, and access to facilities in the back stage area and the main festival site, arranging complimentary tickets, a runner , Wi-Fi and accommodating the crew with the band or artist.
To say this is a busy environment is an understatement. Timing is crucial and turnaround time for dressing rooms and facilities is monitored to the last minute.
If you want to know what some of the craziest rider have been take a look at www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/craziest-music-riders
Sarah and Mick said the atmosphere back stage has a very happy relaxed vibe, they get great feedback form the artists, who become part of the festival family when they arrive on site. Festival Director Jackie Bale is Sarah's mother , and volunteering is a family affair . Sarah has worked her way up over the years taking on more responsibility to the role of Artist Liaison volunteer. Sarah started off by cleaning fridges and selling cups on the main gate. Sarah said her husband Mick is very hands on and a real 'doer' he rolls up his sleeves and gets on with the job . Work starts about 11 am on the Saturday and Sunday morning and both finish at about 1 am the following morning.
Both Sarah and Mick feel as if they are going home when they arrive in Watchet the community spirit, and being with family and friends is captured by the festival. The love sweat and tears from Mark and Jackie that go into organizing such a great event astounds both Sarah and Mick. Both Jackie and Mark hold down full time jobs.
I asked Sarah and Mick if there were any major obstacles with the work they carry out ?
“Preparation and timing must be on point, if all is organised and runs like clock work everything is fine . Jo and Steve close friends of ours help out for the weekend so we have all areas covered along with Brenda Gallagher and Megan Cammidge completing the team”.
What are your musical influences ?
Both said they are great fans of Fleetwood Mac and Rumours is one of the best albums ever. They have recently seen Tears for Fears. Mick likes Oasis, and the music of Noel and Liam Gallagher. (We did have a chat about The High Flying birds ) and the Pet shop Boys. Sarah has recently seen the Spice Girls who she said were amazing. They both have very diverse musical influences.
Can you give me a quote which sums up you perspective of Watchet Music Festival ?
Sarah said “Its a great event for such a small town supporting Mum and Mark and spending time with my family and friends, and being able to give something without having any expectations is amazing” . Mick said it is an honor to be involved in such a great event .
Photo Credit Sarah Dean
Watchet Music Festival