Ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional DJ? Naturally, we know how long it takes to erect a marquee but even we are surprised by how hectic things can be for other suppliers.
We asked Mark Fellowes of Fellowes Productions to give us an insight into a recent working week. Much in demand in the UK and abroad, DJ Mark and his team are the people to call if you want great music and a great atmosphere at your event.
Booked to work on Belgrave Square Events Week, this four-day community event involved months of preparation. Fortunately, working with other trusted suppliers helps to lighten the load and, with Lighting With Intent on board to supply the power and lighting, Mark knew there would be no headaches in that respect.
Here’s Mark’s round-up of the week:
Site visit to check everything is on schedule. The marquee is going up, Lighting With Intent is busy sorting the lighting and power, I meet with the site manager to discuss where the bars and dance floor will be positioned. I always suggest having the dance floor as central as possible – it creates a focal point and a central area for cable distribution makes it easier to link up other speakers set around the marquee. Final details sorted, I race off to the warehouse to make sure all the kit prepared and ready to go. I believe in being prepared for the unexpected so always take spares of everything – it means extra work but I’d rather that than risk ruining an event.
The event kicks off with a summer party hosted by property data specialists Lonres. 700 guests are invited for summer canapes and drinks and I am supplying sound, background music, and a radio microphone for speeches. Arriving at noon, my first job is to put on my
health and safety hat and ensure that the power and speaker cables won’t present any trip hazards. With a six-speaker sound system installed around the marquee to provide coverage throughout the gardens, rigging takes several hours. Once that and the sound check has been completed, I’m ready for the organisers when they arrive and we run through the event brief. Background music runs from 5pm and I’ve really enjoyed putting together a cool compilation of summer jazz, crooning classics and some chilled Buddha Bar style music for later in the evening. During the speeches I’m also responsible for mixing the sound. The event finishes at 10pm and I make sure that all the kit is powered down and made safe.
By the time I get home it’s raining. At midnight the heavens really open and there is a huge thunderstorm. The sheer scale of the storm makes me uneasy and I decide to return to Belgrave Square to check on the equipment. The marquee was under water and rain was actually getting onto some of my kit. The risk of electrocution was high, so I worked by torchlight to make the electrics safe – never before have I had to rescue huge electrical sockets floating in water! I think I finally got to bed about 4am and was definitely ready for sleep.
I’m up by 9am and back on site at 10.30am to re-rig and ensure everything is safe. Today’s event is The Belgrave Square Residents Association summer barbecue and I’m using yesterday’s sound system, along with some additional speakers and special lighting effects around the dance floor. Everything is set up and ready by 5pm and I run through the evening’s schedule with the organisers. A charity auction takes place before the dancing begins, so I supply a radio microphone for the auctioneer, mix the sound and make sure things run smoothly. Then it’s my DJ set and the party starts to rock with three hours of party favourites!! The event wrapped up at 1am, and all the kit had to be packed and stored to make way for another event on Friday. It’s been a long day!
Always a fun end to the week, today is the Belgrave Square Dog Show, run in conjunction with Dogs Trust. I’m on site by 11am to set up a four-speaker sound system and to coordinate with a DJ who does a ‘doggie disco’. I make sure he has everything he needs, provide a radio microphone for the dog show compere and then I’m on duty until the event finishes at 6pm. The site has to be cleared by 8pm so there are a few more hours to go and then it’s off to the pub for a well-earned pint with many of the other suppliers who have been involved throughout the week. It’s been hard and tiring, but it’s always rewarding to see guests having a good time.
What a week! It just goes to show how much work happens before, during and after any event. Preparation is key and we are always happy to put you in touch with DJ Mark Fellowes, and other event suppliers that we know and trust – give us a call on 01483 322070 or email email@example.com and we’ll make sure your event is fantastic!