In the music festival industry, the work environment is the location of the festival. For Hangout, it’s the Gulf Shores in Alabama. I learned quickly that putting together a festival has a lot of moving parts, and the weather is a huge factor. For example, the main stage is built on the beach. So before building the main stage, they need to check the weather to make sure that there are no storms approaching in the next few days and that the tides won’t get to high. Because otherwise if a storm comes in or the tides get too high, then they have to take down the stage and start over, which happened another year. To piggyback off of this point, due to the weather complications and having to set up in a certain order, the festival setup is a lot of “stop and go” work. The “stop and go” happens because the group that is building the main stage has to wait for the workers to lay the foundation for the stage. The group bringing in the pools and setting them up for VIP has to wait for the workers to dig the hole to put the pool into. The furniture for VIP cannot be moved into VIP until the tent is set up etc. The point that I am trying to make is that there are so many moving parts that go into the set up and a lot of “stop and go” action. The environment is filled with construction workers, beeping vehicles, cranes, golf carts, and interns like me. I’m running around, doing a lot of the hands on work including moving furniture, setting up the artist trailers, decorating wallpaper, counting and organizing inventory, preparing VIP etc.
In addition to the physical work environment, the work days for the employees are long days. The head of site operations works 18-20 hour days. The head of production explained that come festival time, he has to pull all nighters sometimes to ensure that everything is set up properly. The sponsorship head said that she is an independent contractor who does different gigs throughout the year, working long hours as well. Basically, the gist is that people in the music festival industry work long hours.
Through working 12 hours per day as an intern, I have learned that if I were to go into the music festival industry, I would be working long hours. It was good to hear from the heads of different departments because the hours are definitely a big consideration when choosing a career field.