Arrival and set up for the Maze Inn event
Unfortunately the venue did not inform us correctly about the setting up time. Their staff turned up an hour after we were advised with the keys to open up. This was unfortunately out of our control.
Even though we were delayed by an hour, some people from our company turned up even later! It should be noted however that I was on time. This had an impact on the night as we were playing catch-up from then on. In my opinion, late arrivals are un-professional and show a lack of respect to colleagues - unless there is a very good reason for delay. A phone call to a colleague informing them of the delay and estimated arrival time would have been appreciated.
Some of the equipment wasn’t brought up to the venue from college. The bass guitar and cajon had to be sorted out last minute. Leon was also supposed to have had a “tech spec”of the equipment required. Originally this was delegated to Dulani, however this task was passed to Ryan at last minute to complete. Ryan did send a spec, but it didn’t have all the details on it. The information should have been sent by Dulani to Leon weeks’ earlier. The equipment list was not checked before finalising and sending to Leon, as Ryan thought Dulani had checked it. This caused a problem, and we ended up doing most of the soundchecks without the bass guitar. In hindsight, a double check of equipment requirements should be carried out prior to sending the list.
Most of the gear was already set up from another college event held at Maze Inn two nights prior, however soundchecks should have been completed quicker than they actually turned out to be. A lot of time was wasted during soundchecks finding people to come back to the stage area because they had wandered off, rather than staying by the side of the stage waiting to go on. Sound engineers themselves leaving to socialise, didn’t help either!
The soundcheck performances were rather flat. Soundchecks always set the tone for the night and if a soundcheck is completed as a full dress rehearsal with the same passion as the actual performance, this in turn fires up the artists to continue in the same vein. The passion and mood was lacking, making the soundchecks much longer than they needed to be and rather boring for the artists and sound engineers.
Nearly everybody dressed to impress and I was very impressed with the effort everybody put into their own individual styling. General presentation was very good. However, Dulani was dressed in casual trainers and a hoodie (against the dress code of smart dress and no sportswear) and so as a result his performance looked rather scruffy. The contrast between everybody else’s dress and Dulani’s really stood out - to his detriment in my opinion.
Getting the space ready before the audience arrived was also incredibly frustrating. Dan (our tutor) actually kept a tally as to how many times he had asked people to put the balloons up on display. He had to ask 6 times over the period of an hour and a half! On top of that, he also had to ask 8 times for bags and coats to be moved, and in the end he ended up moving them himself.
With Dan being there as an observer he shouldn’t have had to do anything - let alone ask us to take responsibility for our actions!
I believe that we should have had a final group meeting one or two days before the event. This would have helped solidify and prevent all these issues from happening. Communication on the night was all over the place, which had an impact on the running of the event and also the income raised.
Before the doors had opened, Nathan had written out a tally sheet to keep track of how many sales there were. Surprisingly this didn’t get used (or get used accurately).
The people on the door were Dan, Harry, Nathan and Tina. There wasn’t an accurate record of ticket sales on the door which made working out the money and how many tickets sold extremely difficult. Our total income pointed to the fact that there were people who arrived who actually didn’t pay the entrance fee.
It was estimated that 46 people had attended the event, however our total income was £222.53. With tickets at £5.00 (or £3.00 concession) this amount was clearly wrong. People must have walked in and not paid an entrance fee. Therefore we do not have an exact number of people who attended. This is serious on two counts. Firstly, an issue of lost revenue and secondly from a health and safety perspective. Legally we have to know how many people we have in the building. From that point, we didn’t have an accurate record and in fact fell short of the law. If there had been a fire or an emergency we would have been in serious trouble.
It was anticipated that it should have been a lot busier than it actually was on the night. Perhaps this was due to the location of the venue or the fact this was held on a mid-week night.
Stacey was an excellent host, however due to the lack of artists performing on the night, in order to fill time, Stacey had to improvise a lot. She did well to manage this. For example she included an impromptu interview with all the showcasing artists. She also interacted with the audience who responded in kind.
The audience initial reaction to the acts was slow. The performances in general picked up more during the second half. People were enjoying the evening had ordered food and wine and were generally becoming more receptive. My own guitar solo for Slow Dancing In A Burning Room went down extremely well and appeared to be the turning point for audience enjoyment and participation, which appeared to go up a notch and stayed there for the rest of the evening.
The tear down happened very quickly and was fairly easy to pack away. There was much merriment as the artists let their hair down and began to party.
In conclusion, the evening had a lot of potential but due to an overriding lack of communication and some commitment issues between the company member’s, the event was not completed as well as I had expected. I personally, have learnt a lot about function arrangement and management, and will be able to use this information to good effect with any future events that I will be involved with.