Dreamville Festival 2019 - My Vendor Recap
After collaborating on a number of projects and events, a practice I've grown to love and appreciate is having a debrief session shortly after wrapping up. Doing so helps to review, learn, and create community in many cases. In the spirit of such a helpful strategy, I'm writing and sharing this post to reflect on my vendor experience- my top three highlights and one thing that could be improved... in the inaugural Dreamville Festival that took place [almost a month ago] on Saturday, April 6, 2019.
What Worked Well?
1. Completion - It happened!
With the first attempt of having the festival on Saturday, September 15, 2018 canceled due to safety concerns caused by Hurricane Florence, simply having the festival take place was awesome. We did it, and it went very well in addition to that. That was one thing I could not help but be pleased about.
2. Intention - The energy!
There were good vibes all throughout the day. It was beautiful to be a part of this event and witness such amazing energy. Over 40,000 people in one place and it was nothing but love. Everybody attending seemed to have an expectancy that they were there to see an epic show from an incredible line up and to be a part of history. The long day was worth it; PERIOD[T], and that's another thing I was so glad about.
3. Cooperation - Sharing platforms!
A collective of organizations, companies, artists and more all came together to make the event happen. It was such an honor and blessing to be exposed to a production of this level as well as such a large audience. I can not describe my gratitude enough for the amount of thought and attention to detail that went into the execution of an event this huge. Being involved, even in my small role, was one of my highlights of Dreamville Festival 2019.
What Could Be Improved?
My main struggle during and leading right up to this event was communication. This is not new, however, and is typically the case with any project I have been able to work on. Even if everything runs smoothly for an event from start to finish... behind the scenes, communication is usually the top feedback point on what could be improved.
During the festival in general, it seemed like phone reception was kaput for everyone. No one could call or text. Credit card transactions processed at my booth were even affected by the reception crisis.
Personally, arranging load-in time with my younger brother (who was traveling from out-of-state and celebrating his birthday that day) as well as communicating vendor/staff instructions with my team was another challenge. Additionally, the back-and-forth I went through with catering to get the chalk signage created and then dropped off at an accessible area on the site during the week was a huge obstacle as well. I probably experienced the most hang up in trying to figure out the signage piece alone; but in the end, everything seemed to work out OK. I custom-made nine chalkboard signs for the catered staff and artist areas; and hand-lettered them all between my work hours in less than three whole days. By the time I got on-site and delivered the chalkboards [due to access to field restrictions], only seven of the nine ended up getting used. Anticipating difficulty with this part and having a better solution at the time would have significantly impacted my experience. It would have been nice to have not only delivered, but possibly set up the chalkboards myself... maybe even get a few pictures of them. I was lucky to spy my work in the background of a photo taken of a couple of the artists who performed (pictured above) that was on Instagram. Otherwise, I would have never known whether the signs really served their purpose or not. The following day, I reported back to Dix Park to pick up the signs from the field area I hadn't had access to the day before.
If there was one thing I learned, it is to always endeavor to be early (whether with deadlines or arrival times, etc.) and to OVER-communicate. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I still am happy to have been involved at all. I did not have to do all those chalkboards. I had the opportunity to do so in exchange of the vendor fee. It was a lot of work, but doing the work is so important. Dreams don't work unless you do! I could not have asked for a better set up than that at the time. Thank you so much for reading! I hope this was an insightful and helpful post or that it was at least a good walk down Memory Lane. Some photos from the festival are in the gallery below. Please enjoy and feel free to leave a comment or message in the section below!
Until next time... peace!
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