Tales From the Front Line
Chair: Paul Crockford, PC Management (UK)
Alex Hardee, Coda Agency (UK)
Andy Lenthall, Production Services Association (UK)
Adam Parsons, Siren Management (US)
Lucy Noble, Royal Albert Hall (UK)
Andrew Zweck, Sensible Events (UK)
The most light-hearted session of ILMC united a number of special guests for 60-minutes of live industry anecdotes. Hardee opened the panel by saying: “They say you come to ILMC twice: once on your way up, once on your way down... It’s good to be back.”
The panelists then talked about the moment in time they got arrested, which, interestingly enough, almost all of them had – apart from Lenthall. It happened to Hardee when he tried to infiltrate an old battleship in Galway Harbour. Police let him go, however, once he promised to never come back.
Parsons was asked by one of his artists, to transport two fake, albeit realistic looking, guns through security at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. A police officer kept him in a room for three hours, confiscated the guns, and then let him go.
Zweck was adamant that his arrest had been a misunderstanding. While on tour in Africa, he was taking pictures of African workers loading the plane, who were fascinated by the polaroid camera Zweck was carrying. Local police thought he was spying on their facilities, so they arrested him, briefly.
Bicknell was arrested in Rome. His band had used fireworks at a show, which went off the wrong way and hit army staff that back in the 70/80s took care of event security in Italy. They thought they were being attacked, so they arrested the entire backstage. Crockford was on-site too.
The panel also talked about the worst day on the job. For Parsons it was a Motorhead show for which they had to cross from the US to Canada. Lemmy Kilmister successfully smuggled drugs over the border, which was the first nerve-racking episode in a series of events that included a bus breakdown, and an incompetent venue owner who refused to take Parsons’ advice to reinforce the bike racks seriously. The bike racks broke and Parsons got the venue manager and his staff to hold the barriers for the entire Motorhead show. It worked. Nobody was injured.
Lenthall recalled a gig where a band’s performance was immediately followed by a DJ. Someone activated the rotating dancefloor before load out was completed, and the cables laid out on the floor pulled the entire backline off the stage.
For Crockford, it was a Stones show at Roundhay Park, when the production manager forced Crockford and his team to paint a mile long fence in different shades of grey several times.
Zweck remembered a show where he and four other guys had to fight off a furious audience with mic stands, because the band had cancelled the gig.
Hardee once walked eight miles across Miami with a beheaded shark. Enough said.