The backbone of any live event is making certain that all of the technical aspects of the show are managed effectively from conceptualisation to load out, along with managing all of the artists on and offsite from contract to payments to ensure that they arrive onsite and perform at the right times. To achieve this, Berry and van Rensburg have recruited industry veteran Andrew “Lappies” Loubser of Slingshot Productions to serve as production manager. “My role at Splashy is an absolute honour, as this festival is the reason I am in the industry doing what I do,” states Loubser. “This is my third year working at Splashy, but it is the fifteenth time I have attended the festival, from being a patron to a band member, and now finally as crew,” states Loubser.

According to Loubser, the greatest technical challenge posed by the event is the climate. “The climate in this part of the country is notoriously unpredictable. Last year we had to contend with overnight temperatures that were well below freezing which resulted in some lights failing during the warm-up process. This year has been about keeping the rig dry through the intermittent downpours,” he explains. Despite the trying conditions, the music continued to play throughout the four-day event, with the technical team working tirelessly behind the scenes to insulate equipment and patch leaks in the tent over the main stage.

“Stuart and Andrew have put together an awesome crew,” Loubser states. “In this industry, there is no space to compartmentalise responsibility. There is nothing that the guys from Sounds Ideal are not prepared to do. If one team has a problem, we all work together to make it happen, making it a pleasure to work on this event.”   

It is clear that Berry and van Rensburg have put together a winning team that functions more like a family than a collection of contractors. Despite the relatively short load in time, long hours and trying environment, festival goers are barely aware of the enormous effort that is required to make the festival happen. “The Sounds Ideal and Slingshot crew have worked together for three years running. We have developed a solid working relationship and a deep understanding and respect for Stuart and Andrew’s vision. We have reached a point where we understand each other and can, therefore, deliver a seamless production – despite all of the technical challenges involved,” Loubser concludes.

More on Splashy Fen 2018