Studies have shown that millenials are spending more and more of their income onexperiences as opposed to material things. Music festivals and live events as a whole have been a booming industry with large companies and service providers for shows of all sizes. Think: Coachella, Lollapalooza, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest, Bonnaroo -- the list goes on.
This is a new industry that's booming: For example, Live Nation, one of the largest entertainment companies, has had a double-digit growth over the past six years.
Given this level of value and success within the live-events industry, the companies involved have a social, and often legal, responsibility to provide proper infrastructure so as to not place any additional strain on local municipalities and their resources. There are, of course, laws that vary from state to state under the umbrella of “mass gatherings"; and those laws deal with issues like access to adequate drinking water, restroom facilitie, and security.
But, as one of the fastest growing industries among the millennial experience, how do entertainment companies bring together all of the moving parts to achieve an on-time and successful show? Odds are, if you have ever been to a large festival or been a vendor for one, you have probably come into contact (without realizing it) with a big part of the answer: the following five companies and organizations, which work to promote wellness, safety and regulations.
The peer advocates: DanceSafe
DanceSafe is a 501(c)(3) public health organization promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic-dance music communities. Since 1998, DanceSafe has successfully provided peer-to-peer outreach services to distribute free water, earplugs, sunscreen and drug and sexual health resources. The group has also offered drug-checking services where feasible.
The group's communications, at its site, state, under the site tab "Managing Drug Use at Your Event DanceSafe": “We know it’s a tricky subject, but it’s time to get real. The fact is, a pragmatic approach to managing drug use at events can save lives.”
The educators: the Drug Policy Alliance
The Drug Policy Alliance, or DPA, is the nation’s leading organization promoting drug policies, which are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Within the nightlife and festival communities, DPA advocates for expansion of drug education and harm-reduction as well as policy changes.
The intention is to protect both partygoers and event producers from harmful substances by educating as many individuals as possible about the effects of these substances.
The hydrators: Event Water Solutions
Event Water Solutions provides cool, fresh drinking water to patrons, staff, talent and volunteers at music festivals. Its stand-alone portable water filtration stations have an integrated quadruple filtration system inside a cabinet that yields clean, refreshing drinking water.
The company obtains its water from municipal sources or a potable tank, then triple-filters and UV-treats the water through special stations or filter packs. Once the water is filtered and chilled, it is dispensed from four high-flow taps. The stations are made from industrial stainless steel, to be tough enough to survive any environment. With the option to add a unique self-serve tap or staff/volunteer-operated spigot, event organizers gain simple access to clean, cold filtered water for attendees.
The security: Sho Services
Sho Services works with some of the biggest names in the music industry at its shows, such as Outkast, Justin Bieber, Diplo and more, and works with festivals like Camp Bisco, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Pride. Sho's services range from crowd control to technology implementation, and with today's crowd sizes reaching up to the hundreds of thousands, this is crucial: Security needs to be on high alert as the guest experience at an event can go from harmonious to harrowing in an instant.
The wellness providers: ParaDocs Worldwide, Inc.
ParaDocs Worldwide, Inc. is my own company's full-service medical team of doctors, who provide on-site immediate attention to attendees of some of the largest music festivals and events in the country, such as The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Electric Zoo, the Grammys' after-parties, New York Fashion Week, Governor's Ball, The HangOut Festival and Shaky Knees.
From basic care for ailments like dehydration, to more serious emergencies, our team members are the first line of urgent care. Depending on a show's size, up to hundreds of doctors, nurses and EMTs are stationed around multiple stages and entrances of the shows, monitoring festival-goers and their friends.
The team urges concert-goers to not be afraid to ask for help or come to the organization's tents, especially if those young people are nervous about a substance they've taken. ParaDocs' professionals simply look to treat and help those in need, aided by ambulances at the ready in case a hospital transport is needed.
In general, then, if you're attending the hottest festivals at the height of summer's heat, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings, to use your buddy system and to take notice of the services the show provides.
The reason these vendors are present is to help augment the experience for everyone involved. So, if yours is a company involved in one of these massive venues and one of your staffers or clients needs help, you can always contact these groups' staff. Happy listening and dancing to your favorite artists!