Off the 405

As intern in the events department, I am helping out each member of the team when their events are on. The Getty hosts an impressive number of events and this team of ten are always super busy. The nice thing is that there are no private events and because of neighbours and noise issues, the number of evening events the center can have is restricted. In spite of this, things can still get pretty crazy with multiple events on at the same time.

I have worked with the FAB events specialist, Tony, a lot this summer because of two of his biggest programs Off the 405 and Friday Flights. Tony is the event coordinator for these events but the client is internal; Sarah in the public programming department of education here at the Getty. Off the 405 is an evening event on Saturdays , 6-9pm, which happens six times during the summer with various musical performances. Bands and solo artists who perform come from various genres but from my experience what their music shares is a relaxed, inclusive vibe which blends well with the Getty.

I missed the first performer, Nite Jewel because it was before my internship started but I’ve been here for White Fence, La Luz and Reggie Watts. Coming up at the end of the month is Steve Gunn who I’m super excited for since he has a country blend and I’m a big country fan. I’ll talk a wee bit about the last three events from the set up to the performers going home.

White Fence 10/6/17

Headed by Tim Presley, White Fence are a mix of psychedelic rock with some punk and garage thrown in. You can hear clearly the influence of 60’s Brit pop in their melodies. The DJ set preceding them was by Jessica Pratt and Matt McDermott. This was my first time working a public evening event. I was able to see the extra security measures involved with open events in the evening when I attended the security briefing. The event ran from 6-9pm but day of prep began in the early morning; set up, lighting, audio-visual, catering preparations. Off the 405’s have a bar set up at two stations as well as a special event menu. I’ve taken up the task of trying everything on the menu over the summer. They keep changing up the hot dog so it’s been a challenge.

Because its summer and opening times are extended, the transition from normal museum to evening concert is quite fluid. This means set up has to work around the guests and things build up gradually throughout the day. My tasks mostly revolved around the performers; making sure they got from the garage okay to security, were badged in and their equipment and instruments got to the appropriate place. ‘The studios’ in the museum act as the greenroom and so the artist’s rider has to be set up, with some reminder signs such as no smoking, drinks in plastic cups and plenty of print outs of the performance schedule.

To try give a sense of the visitor experience… guests arrive by tram and enter the museum courtyard through the open rotunda doors of the entrance hall. Visitor services are stationed at an info/merch table to inform guests of the event and provide programs/answer questions. The dj set is on stage and the drinks and food stations are up and running. The galleries are also open so guests can wander in and out as the performers continue. For this evening, the DJ set is on from 6-7:15, White Fence from 7:15 to 8:30 then the second DJ set goes till close.

Because this was my first OT 405, Tony wanted me to absorb as much of the atmosphere as possible and I really enjoyed watching the set and taking some snaps. The band were great and after the performance was over the load out was fairly easy. The hardest part of the day was getting their equipment from the green room to the car!

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La Luz 24/6/17

For my second 405, third of the summer, the main act was La Luz, a girl band originally from Seattle and formed in 2012. Their music is an old school rock/dance party style and they had some die hard fans. The visitor services table sold all the band merch, especially fast to go were some ‘La Loser’ badges. The night drew a big crowd and, as if it isn’t always, the weather was perfect.

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Reggie Watts 8/7/17

Reggie Watts was confirmed pretty late but there was still a lot of hype around his performance. Usually there isn’t much of a crowd during sound check, around 3/4pm as its during normal museum hours and people are focused on the galleries. However during Reggie’s sound check people started to sit down along the fountain in front of the stage and by the time he was done a pretty substantial crowd had formed. This evening was slightly more intense because of the publicity Reggie Watts was attracting. He performs on the James Corden show here and so is pretty well known. I practiced the route that is most discreet to and from the green room a couple of times as we anticipated crowds. The DJ performing was YACHT DJ and Reggie actually watched their whole set before his performance. When the time came at 7:30 he just walked to the stage and began. It was very chill and easy. I then got to enjoy his performance from the North pavilion. The crowds were the biggest I had seen at the Getty so far.

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Steve Gunn 29/7/17

The next performance is coming up this weekend and I can’t wait!