Australia’s Excel Events keeps its cool while dealing with last-minute site plan changes.
Each year during Easter break, Australia rocks out with three huge music events in three different locations during the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival. With thousands of attendees, event organizers know they need a reliable vendor. Excel Events fits the bill for the Byron Bay event, which this year featured top musicians including Jools Holland, Sinead O’Connor and Keith Urban.
Even though Excel has worked with the festival for years, each event brings new challenges for the team. Some are slightly more predictable: The inevitable modifications to VIP tents are done on-site during installation, and the team is careful to meet strict local requirements to preserve the designated “eco area” of Byron Bay. Other changes, however, threw a wrench in scheduling and logistics during the two-and-a-half weeks of setup.
“The site changed for the first time in a number of years, so there were many more changes made at the time of install that caused some logistical difficulties with staff scheduling and delivery schedules,” says Excel’s Jeannette Cuthbert. “Prior planning was put to the test with last-minute changes to the site plan and equipment requirements.”
Changes to the site plan included organizers wanting to move tent locations—enough to frustrate even the most experienced tent professional. But Cuthbert saw the problem as an opportunity. “Our on-site supervisors gained valuable experience in problem solving within tight timelines,” she says. And the team will be ready for such contingencies in 2009, since the organizing committee is considering yet another location.
Festival organizers continue to be happy with Excel’s performance at the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival, and the company’s solid reputation has earned it a great deal of other festival business in the area.