The making of a Coldplay gig
A working day starts at 6am for some. The caterers, riggers and lighting crew get to the venue first to set up the kitchens, dining room, stage, tv screens and put up all the lighting. The crew grab a coffee or tea and get into their climbing gear to clamber up to dizzying heights to create a set, and hang their lights and lasers from the ceiling. It’s like auditions for Spiderman with 5 or 6 people in the air at one time, scurrying up and down free hanging ladders.
As the stage hands continue the caterers and dressing room people are busy backstage creating lounge areas, warm up rooms for the bands, dressing rooms and crew rooms, complete with sofas, refreshment stands and desks, for the people like me and the VIP people to create a little office from.
At 9am, myself, VIPs and ‘the wristband boys’ (the lovely fellas who created the neon flashing wristbands for the Coldplay gig), arrive at the venue. The wristband people start activating the 16,000 wristbands on the concourse whilst I prepare the Oxfam stall and the VIP girls set up their stall and tickets.
We all break for lunch around 3pm before sound-check. By this point the stage is ready and everyone is set for the show, now we wait the bands. As the bands arrive, sound check starts and the familiar Coldplay songs start as the band warms up. At 6pm and the venue is now buzzing as the show is about to start and people start flooding in the doors.
By 7pm the first band comes on and the action begins, with camera crew, lighting, wristband boys on laptops and backliners (crew who make the guitars and drums work) restringing and tuning the band’s instruments. The crew are a hive of activity.
By 11.30 pm the show is finished, all the crew take a well-earned rest for 10 minutes and then start the ‘load out’; pulling all the stage down, repacking all the instruments and loading everything back on buses to drive to the next town. By 3am all the crew are back on their buses and enjoying a ‘load out’ snack before they climb into their bunks.
Then it’s farewell venue, until the next morning, when we wake at the next venue and it begins again. Touring is awesome!