Greenbelt Festival: A Work Experience Series: DAY TWO

The most important thing I learnt today was; THINGS CHANGE A LOT, and can do very dramatically. There was a moment in the office where for about 2 hours a situation occurred – lucky it was all resolved very quickly and was down to failed communication and a misunderstanding. But it made me realise how shaky organising a festival can be because there are so many different groups of people involved; from the acts and performers to the hundreds of volunteers, the catering, partnerships & funding, contractors etc, the list goes on. It amazes me that all the development and responsibility for this festival that has over 20,000 spectators is managed by a staff of 11 people.

Tuesday’s in the office is the staff meeting, self explanatory. It was very interesting to hear what everyone is having to deal with, from sorting out visas and taxes , to planning the designs for the t-shirts that are to be sold. I spent the day making sure all the information for music acts and the speakers for the talks were on the system, then creating a standard email to send to the managements of the acts that haven’t provided any information.

The interesting thing about what I have been doing is seeing how sometimes the communication from different people isn’t always working as some of the acts that are confirmed bookings for the 2011 festival have been entered in twice – what this means is that someone, in this case myself & a few other people, have to go through each sub division and make sure there is only ONE person for contributor and bookings. When you sit at the computer & have a good understanding of the system they use it is a very simple task but VERY time consuming and also equally important, however trying to explain what you have to do is much more complicated, hence why I am assuming the last part made little to no sense to all of you!

I have now met all 11 staff members, however my next problem is how to get to know them all better, because from my prospective it is up to me to ask questions about what each of them does so I can get a better understanding, however I have no idea how to do this! Remember I have already been given jobs to do and complete and everyone is obviously very busy ‘working’, so how do I start a ‘conversation’ with members of the staff who I am not working with at the moment without it seeming too ‘strange’ and ‘forced’?

  • Charli

    “Would you like a cup of tea?”

  • That would do it. 🙂