I was disappointed by this book personally, although I have recommended it for students studying this area. The essential information for prospective readers of this type of publication is it's purpose. This is clearly aimed at students in Level 4 - 6 study, in terms of language and content. It is of little use for anyone considering putting on a small to medium size event. Large amounts of generalisation and background, some case studies and proper learning objectives for each chapter with concluding summary and questions - but little factual detail. I decided to put it into a context and see if it was helpful. I selected some critical, practical areas people always need help with in real events, especially those outside.
1. Generators. Electricity for stage (lights and sound), catering, charging, safety, working lights, security. Nothing in the index at all. They are mentioned in the two and a half pages on Glastonbury. The problem is this section quotes many figures. Comments are weak "...wired and tested for safety". In terms of planning, the entire power infrastructure is somehow deemed too complex, so is in the kind of language we use for technophobes. The reader is advised to create a Gantt chart that displays the electrical supply for Glastonbury. Really! The book provides no information as to how that would be done, apart from using the very generic 'boxes' for staged progress. Generators arrive on site, generators moved to locations, generators are connected. Although it is appreciated that this is a non-technical book, it gives the impression that power planning is just logistics. No mention at all of safety or emergency contingencies? As for readers creating a risk assessment - this is clearly impossible without detailed knowledge of electricity codes of practice, industry practice and legislation. It seems to be a book about model management without knowledge, something we often criticise graduates for! I understand now. Emergency procedures is a short two page section following on from VIP and the Media, and before the two pages on site shutdown and clearup. Other trivial areas, by comparison are detailed in extreme detail.
The front cover features a major event, looking at the crowd from the stage. In the Sound and Lighting section, the content is weak and generic in the extreme. In recent years sound levels at large events have been a big issue - events being closed down by local councils, because the long drawn out approval and level setting process was exceeded, and the council require volume to be reduced or even shut off to appease local residents. The book mentions 'sound switches' that turn off the power (perhaps found in the village hall, but NOT at Glastonbury).
In general, the book attempts to use a common set of information to cover events of all types with little or no in depth detail. In a book designed for education at this level, I would have expected some accurate quantifiable data, but there is little. "Speakers, which can vary in size from bass speakers to treble speakers that enhance the quality of the sound within a certain sound spectrum" - wordy, and unhelpful rubbish really. I suspect anybody with a home hi-fi will have worked this one out for themselves.
Some diagrams are also very wrong. Again, in the few short pages on sound, speaker banks are shown at the back of the stage area. Any BTEC student at Level 2 studying music or performing arts will know that you never but speakers in this location - if diagrams need to be produced on subjects the writers know little about, then they should try to produce ones that are accurate - and would work.
Want to know about toilets? You must have some! They do suggest quantities, but every festival goer knows more about toilets than is in this book.
There is a page on Disability Discrimination - although the new Equalities Act is not included - but this is forgiveable due to the dates of publication. Want some details? Look elsewhere. It does point you to a small section where Belfast Queens University considered access, visual and aural impairment. Nice headings, no explanations.
If you wish to know about conceptualisation, strategic planning, mission statements, sustainable development, event tourism goals, HR, the nexus between event marketing and management - this is the book for you. If you want to run a real event, and need to know how, and what to do, this book is not really much use at all.
Firmly designed for the occupants of the B-Ark. If this is unclear, look up Douglas Adams and B-Ark in Google.
It isn't a bad book, but it really isn't about events, it's about management. It has an air of superiority in that it is for the planners and thinkers, with little accurate and sometimes appreciative comment about how things actually get done at events.
I've been a production manager for a long time and this book does not help me do my job - because all the information I need due to the current requirement for H&S, to meet the legislation is missing. As an example - risk assessment. Lots of comment - but none integrated with the other sections. As an example, it states "Most events managers would identify the consequences as the sound system not running, lights not working and the elevators stopping mid floor and trapping people". Totally agree, excellent and accurate comment. So what should you do? No ideas are provided by the book. Worse still - not even a single risk assessment document to indicate to beginners what they even look like, let alone contain.
What worries me most is the differences in scale are not teased out. The hazard analysis details the importance of Critical Control Points - but fails to mention that these are needed above a certain event scale. A small scale event with only a small number of members of the public present makes many of the features unnecessary.
It certainly contains useful information - but it should be more clear that it is for people studying the management processes of events from an educational perspective, because the detail on the actual events is very short of real data and information useful to somebody putting a real event on!