Planning a Festival: Tatton Park Pop Up, One Year On
Saving Grace Events’ Festival Manager Becca reflects on and shares the planning process for Cheshire’s hottest summer festival, Tatton Park Pop Up…
Wow, we can’t believe our second Tatton Park Pop Up Festival has already come to an end! When we first launched Cheshire’s first socially distanced festival during the pandemic, we didn’t know what to expect, so we’re over the moon to have had a successful return for 2022!
Leading in the creation of unforgettable experiences, we’re known for our seamless service and trusted for our professionalism. Building on the success of 2021’s Tatton Park Pop Up, which generated over £1M and created over 100 jobs in the area, 2022 was a repeat of the spectacular Cheshire park setting. Think comfy deck chairs, tasty al fresco fare, and a drinks menu made for sharing; all enhanced by a creative programme of diverse and awe-inspiring live performances.
PLANNING A FESTIVAL 101
We care desperately about our festival and all that it stands for, so every detail matters. As you can imagine, there is a lot that goes into planning a festival, and we’re proud to be courageous and brave in our delivery.
First off, we start with dates; then we work out the best format and offering for that year’s audience, looking at what worked well previously and what can be done better. With customer needs at the epicenter of our operation, we are always efficient, agile, responsive, and trusted. We build on what our customers want, contracting artists and seeing who’s popular. After that, we start planning infrastructure and logistics; this includes power, production, fencing, trailers, security, welfare, and waste management. The look, feel, and branding for the festival are all important, and we need to consider how that will transpire from online to live event. For instance, Instagram-able props and signage. This year with Tatton Park Pop Up Festival, we only have seven weeks but we’ve got to town on the cotton pink theme, from uniforms to signage to welcome – it’s definitely eye-catching and different to last year!
For the planning, the team creates what we call an event bible. This is a hugely detailed event management plan that includes every element and every person involved, as well as how the customer experience should look, from online to the physical welcome. The bible is shared with all key stakeholders, management team, investors, local bodies, and the police. It includes site plans, productions schedules, who’s arriving when and what are they doing.
In the final week, it’s all hands on deck, from getting all furniture in place and finishing the rigging to welcoming deliveries to directing and briefing teams, making sure signage is in the right place and customer experience checking. The best part is first hearing some music come out of the speakers during the sound check, as then we know its here and working!! Then, we can enjoy seeing people have a great time. Creating memories is the reward, and it’s amazing knowing they’re having the best time out of something you’ve helped to create.
MAKING IT SUSTAINABLE
When it comes to planning Tatton Park Pop Up Festival, sustainability is hugely important to us. This includes making sure that 0% of the waste goes to landfill and every piece of rubbish gets recycled. We also make sure to use local suppliers and traders to reduce our carbon footprint and support local businesses.
THE PEOPLE INVOLVED
We put people and their experiences first, from customers to colleagues, which is a passion reflected in our culture, community and team. The whole Saving Grace Events team are involved in Tatton Park Pop Up Festival and we become a family on site while we’re there. All of us know we could never do this alone, and we all really value each other’s’ hard work. It’s also special knowing that it’s an all-female management team. It’s such a big team effort and everyone has an important part to play, from crew partners, sponsors and key stakeholders to maintenance and facilities, staff recruitment and training, catering suppliers, the build team, and health and safety.
TATTON PARK POP UP FESTIVAL 2022
Featuring everything from evening DJ sets to daytime dinosaur shows, this year’s event schedule was designed to offer variety, but all against the same epic, lakeside backdrop with a champagne-style festival experience. Our forward-thinking approach delivered a fresh spin on a quintessentially British experience, with a line-up that included Jason Manford’s Comedy Club, Martin Kemp’s ultimate 80’s party, Craig Charles’ Funk & Soul Club, The Greatest Family Show, tribute acts including The Rocket Man, and much more!
Our ambitions for the future are to grow the brand and traction. We also hope to become a destination-led festival. We aspire to some of the really big festivals, and we want to be a sought-out festival, where artists want to play. We aim to continue building recognition and credibility.
OUR TOP TWO TIPS FOR PLANNING A FESTIVAL
• Communication: From teams to suppliers and sponsors, it’s vital to make sure everyone knows what they’re to be doing at the same time. Planning ahead and being prepared well in advance is also a key consideration, as is having a team you can trust on site, who knows what they’re doing.
• Creative problem solving: Creativity is at our core and drives everything we do. Lots of challenges can crop up at any stage, but you should also be imaginative with your problem solving. You have to think how can you do things outside the box because there’s always another way!
Find out more: www.tattonparkpopupfestival.co.uk/
Check out @tattonparkpopupfestival on Instagram to see final preparations for 2022…