High-stakes Crisis Communications:
Outdoor music festivals
High-Stakes, Complex crisis commnunications
Deploying technology as a crisis communications management tool for nation’s two largest outdoor music festivals
The stakes were high. The risks were higher. The number of crisis scenarios were daunting. Two promoters of the largest music festivals in the country knew they needed to seriously prepare for whatever 100,000 people and Mother Nature could throw at them. So, they turned to Resolute.
Strategy and Tactic
Working closely with our clients and their legal teams, our strategy centered around three major categories of scenarios, escalating from minor issues to significant catastrophes, that could occur at any of their live outdoor shows. These included inebriated young adults to life-threatening storms.
Crisis Management App
We tailored our proven scenario planning approach and created the “next generation” of crisis programs by placing the entire plan on a secured internal app. Rather than navigate an outdoor festival with cumbersome binders, the team could keep everything they needed to navigate crisis on their phone: decision-making processes organized by scenarios, communications tools, evacuation protocols, festival maps, media lists, sample releases and more.
Each level of the organization – from principals, attorneys, risk managers, operations, security managers to perimeter monitors – all received function specific instructions and information specific to their role. The Resolute team conducted “real-life” crisis response training sessions for the clients to ensure the team understood the protocols for managing a crisis and effectively communicating with the media and other stakeholders.
Our team was on-site for the first several years to provide strategic counsel and hands-on support for both festival managers. At one event, a fast moving, violent thunderstorm with high winds approached the festival site. Resolute assisted management by immediately defining the appropriate scenario and engaged decision-makers to evacuate more than 60,000 attendees with no major issues in less than 25 minutes. We edited a series of communications -drafted in advance – for extreme weather and distributed them to the staff and media.
The strength of our extensive crisis planning and our disciplined execution of the plans, Resolute has protected the reputation of the presenting organizations. The ease-of-use of the crisis communications app earned accolades from the client.