You know our Senior Project and Event Manager Thalia Davies from our beloved Symphony of Now – The Hybrid Experience featuring Alex.Do. Now we want to give space to Thalia’s significant expertise and foresight when it comes to the live music and events industry as a whole.
battleROYAL: How would you describe your work before 2020?
Thalia: Pre-2020 I was working almost exclusively in live music events, in talent bookings, or as an event producer.
battleROYAL: How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect your work? What has changed?
Thalia: Due to Covid-19 every event and festival I was working on was cancelled or rescheduled. Since the pandemic hit, only a handful of those rescheduled shows have actually taken place. Even those events were held under far stricter conditions than we could have imagined. Not only do they include very restricted capacities but also there is far more difficulty acquiring permits and visas. We’ve also had to figure out how to plan events that can be financially viable but also Covid-19 compliant.
battleROYAL: How has this affected your client’s needs and concerns?
Thalia: With public facing events, it’s been obviously about postponements and cancellations. Clients are mainly concerned about safety measures and Covid-19 regulatory compliance. No one wants to become the next epicentre of the virus, like super-spreading events had made the news at the beginning of the pandemic.
For my processes, this has translated into overlooking safety protocols. Pre-Covid, this wasn’t part of my job, I was able to trust the venues. Now I need to be on top of it myself, to make sure that everything is 100% compliant to the laws and regulations of the region, and ultimately create a work environment that is as safe as possible. Which also means that my job is about making something like bR’s hybrid event formats happen – admits all the regulations.
The pandemic has also shown, that safety is everyone’s responsibility, and perhaps this mindset will remain as a benefit for the future – looking at crowd-flows, asking ourselves if we can really cramp in all these people? And so on.
battleROYAL: What have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know within this process?
Thalia: Most of the skill sets I’ve acquired from working in the music industry can be applied to many different industries including fashion and corporate events as well as marketing and travel. I look at projects now in a very different light. Working remotely physically alone you don’t have the same luxury of spontaneously asking colleagues who would be in the vicinity for advice or assistance. I’ve had to learn to be quite clear in my communications so processes aren’t too long and drawn out.
battleROYAL: How has your work process evolved throughout this experience?
Thalia: I was quite good at working in chaos: from airports, hotel rooms, the side of a stage… My major challenge has been working from my living room without any change and stimuli. Learning to work this way has lead to a more harmonious work/life balance though. I take the time I would use for travelling to an office or a meeting to cook a healthy lunch or squeeze in midday walk or run.
battleROYAL: What’s your wish for the events industry? What would you like to see this year?
Thalia: I would like for companies to continue to support each other. It’s looking like another year of very limited live event opportunities so we need to plan for that already. I would also call on governments to really ensure that there is still a functioning live music industry for us to return to post-pandemic. Creatives and freelancers, which the industry is reliant on, are already emotionally and financially vulnerable so it’s imperative we make sure they get through this period as unscathed as possible.
battleROYAL: Do you see us going back to large-scale events, once more markets are opening up again?
Thalia: Yes for sure. Asian markets and Australia have already proven this. We crave human connection and this comes with the experience of a large-scale event. The question will be when and how, but I’m positive that we’ll have even more events – more human interaction.
battleROYAL: What was your favourite event memory pre-2020?
Thalia: That has to be tied to every ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) for the past decade or any Elrow party! The costumes, the confetti, the music… nothing beats an Elrow party!