Thursday, September 06, 2012

Working Together, The Democratic Way

In the shadow of the Charlotte skyline, and less than a block from the North Carolina Panthers stadium (I can see it through the windshield), trucks are lined up and waiting in a muddy parking lot to load stage and lighting equipment used in the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

We recently did a similar load for a Brad Paisley concert in Chicago, which was held at Wrigley Field, and when I think about loads like these, where we are hauling stuff used for stage or large event setups, I always come to the same realization; most people don't give any thought at all to what's involved with preparing for this kind of event.

A lot of work goes into organizing events, big and small, but when it's something like this, or a football game, or a concert, where the whole world may be watching and thousands of people are attending, you have to make sure it goes off without a hitch; both for the pleasure of those watching, and for the safety of those attending.

Beyond the booking of a venue, there is the coordinating of everyone and everything involved. Knowing which pieces go on which trucks, hiring local workers if needed to help with setting up and breaking down events, utilizing local companies for the rental of equipment, flying in the people who oversee the process - who are usually running around with a clipboard in their hand and a phone to their ear coordinating schedules and tending to thousands of details - and making sure that what you have on paper, evolves into what you'll be seeing with your eyes. There's lots of shouting and pointing and yes, confusion.

Sometimes we load in the belly of the arena, waiting in a marshalling yard before being directed in. Other times, like with this load, we go directly to a parking lot where the equipment is waiting in what seems to be organized piles before it's put on the truck.

This was an easy load; the materials were lightweight, it didn't require a tarp, and all Ed had to do was throw a few straps and then winch it down. The materials we picked up are going to a staging and production services company in the Northeast, and other equipment from this event is going to California. In addition to their United States location, the company we're working with also has branches in Australia and the United Kingdom. They do set-ups for everything from concerts, awards shows, football half-time shows, game shows, and movie premiers to festivals and corporate events.

Although we were so close to the arena, I didn't get to see any of my favorite Democrats, but knowing that we were part of making it happen - without trucking, this stuff wouldn't have gotten here - in a very small, never recognized way, is still kind of cool.

So, see? Even though this entertainment company (and others) provided the equipment for the rigging, sound, lighting and production for this convention, which was organized and planned by others, even though they were the ones who literally "built" the stage the speakers, First Lady and President stood on, they didn't, and couldn't, do it by themselves.

That, my friends, is kinda the whole point; everyone helping each other makes it easier to get things done.

And in the end, it benefits all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Teams Take A Day Off
2010: The King And Queen Of Sun And Sand
2009: Popeye Would Love This Stuff
2008: From The Confines Of The Hampton Inn
2007: When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…
2006: Fire Water
2005: Ed Having Fun With Photoshop


Gil said...

Thanks! I always wondered about those setups.

Scott said...

Interesting you keep a list of the things you've had on that trailer? bees, sound stages, you name it.