Companies working at festivals are also missing hands: ‘Misery’

This year, after two years, it is finally a festival summer again. But while visitors stand in long digital queues for a ticket, festivals struggle with staff shortages. And companies that provide light and sound for festivals, or catering, are also very busy. “It’s an incredible amount of misery,” an employee of a lighting and sound equipment rental company told ANP.

“For two years, nothing could be celebrated, no weddings, no parties, no festivals. Now everyone is catching up all at once”

Bente Bollmann, spokeswoman for festival and concert organizer MOJO, tells ANP that staff shortages are ‘an important theme’ for the festival industry this year. “Many freelancers work in our industry and they were forced to look for other work during the corona crisis because there were no festivals. They now have another job and we feel that,” says Bollmann. “The technicians have largely traveled to construction and installation engineering.”


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The industry has set up a special website to recruit people. Vacancies are then divided into urban jobs, flex jobs and permanent positions. Bollmann notes that there is ‘quite a lot of enthusiasm’ for working at a festival, but that it is still a concern. “It’s going in the right direction now,” Bollmann said. “It also helps that there are real festivals again, which makes working at such an event again on top of the mind is with people. “

The festival directors also notice that the suppliers are struggling with staff shortages. Siart Smit, festival director for Oerol, mainly sees problems with transport. “That material comes later, for example, because there is no driver.” According to Smit, this requires some creativity from all parties. “And it works, but flexibility is needed.”

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Not only festivals suffer from the crowd, but also the companies that work with the events. The catering company Holland Promotion Group, which regularly collaborates with festivals throughout the Netherlands, says that it is ‘extremely’ busy. “It’s crazy,” a spokesman said. “For two years, nothing could be celebrated, no weddings, no parties, no festivals. Now everyone is catching up all at once.” Meanwhile, the caterer often has to say no to potential customers. “If I had five more cars to carry, I could have filled them all.” However, the company is not affected by staff shortages. “Everything is going well, but it’s a bit of a stretch.”

HDrent, a landlord of lighting and sound equipment, is also experiencing a shortage of staff. “You notice that there is a lot of staff from the market. And that is reflected in all sorts of places. There are fewer people in the warehouse so you can rent out less. Suppliers have big problems. And freelancers have eggs for their money in the corona crisis. and started doing something else, “a spokesman said. “The company received an application for Rotterdam Ahoy next week.” I do not know how to fill it out yet. “However, the company has become more selective in accepting jobs of size.” We have to say no more often than before, but it we assume we deliver too. “

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Pieter Smit, Europe’s largest transport rental company for the entertainment sector, is also more likely to say no. “We are still receiving requests for festivals in June and July,” a spokesman said. The company’s capacity is currently not sufficient for this. “We’ve already invested in additional equipment, but new trailers sometimes come too late.” In addition, the trailers must also be steered. “As far as drivers are concerned, it’s really a work of art now. We appeal to everyone, but there’s also a limit to what people can do.”

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