A specialist trade show for alfresco events, Festout returned to Sandown Park Racecourse for its second year writes Tally Wade.
Launched last year by the team behind the inimitable Event Production Show and events magazine Access All Areas, the Festival and Outdoor Event Show (Festout) brings together the best part of the events industry (in our opinion), those that happen in the open air.
Of course, delivering creative, safe, profitable and comfortable shows outside poses some unique challenges, and this is what event director Duncan Siegle has drawn upon in building the Festout programme of seminars and bringing together exhibitors.
“The content programme was a real highlight this year and the show looked amazing, with fantastic exhibits from some major industry players and we delivered a good cross section of buyers across the two days.” said Siegle. “We continue to develop this event and we are drawing up plans on how we will increase the footfall as, while the quality was high, we’d like to see more people come and support the show.”
Safety being the foremost priority for all event teams, Festout took the lead providing content by qualified expert trainers curated by Storm 4 Events. Delivered across the two days in a dedicated area, the concurrent ‘SaFest’ featured eight sessions focussing on event safety and security in association with the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA).
“We continued themes from last year about the size of the industry and licencing issues that hold us back and delivered strong content on various aspects of safety, both on the Main Stage with Jon Drape and via our new conference on event safety and security – SaFest,” said Siegle. “This practical learning programme was very well received and we are rolling it out across future events.”
The focus on safety tied in well with wider industry themes, with the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) speaking on risk management and scenario planning, its theme for the year. Its annual convention in November has been titled ‘It Couldn’t Happen to me!”
Exhibitions at the show ranged from flamboyant entertainment to professional services to infrastructure suppliers. There was boundless creativity on show as well as sustainability and great design. Encompassing all of these agendas was the MESR-TECHNIC structure from sponsor Core Modular. A modular multi-storey event structure, it is made from a lightweight composite material comprising a recycled plastic core. In conversations with the team behind it, we learned of a fantastic initiative that will provide festival organisers and big brands with a unique and high value use for their waste plastic – more on this in the next issue!
Great conversations was the take home message from Festout 2018. On the Open Air Business stand we had many exciting exchanges with readers and advertisers alike with great introductions made, partnerships secured and event ideas tossed about. In doing the rounds, exhibitors were reporting the same. It may not be a big show (yet) but in just two years it has established itself as an important place for the outdoor event industry to do business.
Event in a Tent
As stunning as the giant tipi the team brought to the show was, what caught our eye was the imagery of the timber geodome. Designed and manufactured in the UK, these domes are available in both 12m and 15m diameters and can be linked together. Made exclusively for Event in a Tent, they are the only domes of their kind that can also be configured as a stage, as demonstrated at Countryfile Live, Big Festival, and at a Proms in the Park event for a 74 piece orchestra. www.event-in-a-tent.co.uk
Meets Stubbs McGee! The American Saloon bar ready to pop-up at your next event. Constructed from shipping containers, the double decker structure is available for dry or ‘wet’ hire and has masses of flexibility for brand collaborations and bespoke theming. The upper storey comprises a deck for alfresco drinks with a view, and a separate indoor area perfect for the VIP treatment. www.bar-go.co.uk
Entirely manufactured and printed in Cornwall, Instant Marquees has a rental stock of over 300 structures available with temporary branding. Products include domes, crossover domes, pop-up marquees, market stalls and bar tents with counters, as well as flags and banners. Popular with organisers to brighten up events, and with sponsors for increased value, they work well at sport and food events as well as festivals. The team can erect nationwide. www.instantmarquees.co.uk
These guys are the UK leaders in branded reusable cups for events. A British company, Green Goblet provides a range of non-breakable vessels and can advise on how best to promote the ‘refill not landfill’ message using either a returnable or non-returnable deposit system. Organisers can reduce waste, increase revenue and promote sponsors, or use the branding opportunity for advertising. Green Goblet offers a full in house and mobile wash/dry service, artwork design and storage. www.green-goblet.com
The idea is simplicity itself – a folded corrugated cardboard bin that is quick and easy to deploy. The brainchild of two design graduates, it won the heralded Red Dot: Best of the Best design award in 2015. Made from recycled material, and entirely recyclable, stickers can be provided to help sort rubbish (plastics, food waste, paper etc.) and help keep event sites clean. Over 5,000 were used at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, and organisers report the site has never been clearer. www.dropbucket.com
Get Me Connected
Wi-Fi connectivity for events of all sizes and in the most challenging locations! Get Me Connected uses carbon-neutral self-powered systems to bring internet services to events even when there is no existing connection or power supply. The team brought the fun to the fair with a superb replica of a festival set up (made by the man behind models used in early James Bond films), and a truly addictive VR game showcasing connectivity applications. www.get-me-connected.com
Established in 2004, entertee hire provides temporary barriers, trakway, towerlights and picket fence to events of all sizes from the likes of Elderflower Fields to Boomtown Fair. Founder Gill Tee is a stalwart of the industry and the organisational force behind London’s Party in the Park, the Hop Farm and the Black Deer festivals in Kent. We loved Smart Hoard, an attractive temporary fencing solution for exclusive areas. With an oak finish and no gaps between panels, it is perfect for VIP and hospitality areas. www.entertee.com