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When attending a festival, you see lights and screens, hear your favorite artists' music,
and have a spectacular experience.

What you don’t see is the hundreds of people involved in many ways and the thousands of hours spent planning, prepping, and delivering the event you enjoy. Nothing is left to chance, and every detail is considered to ensure a seamless performance from the first note to the final ovation.  

Solotech takes you behind the scenes of event preparation.  


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A marathon begins

When it comes to large-scale events, the Solotech team is busy long before tickets even go on sale.  

At the turn of the new year, our team is already planning the festival season, and each customer comes with a unique reality. That’s why Solotech adapts its approach to each event, positioning itself as a collaborator and proactively putting its expertise at its customers’ service to find solutions at every production stage. 

Some may rely on technical staff or external consultants. In contrast, others rely on our technical experts to identify the best equipment to meet their needs and the requirements for effective deployment on-site, including schedules, personnel, and machinery for preparation, delivery, load-in, and load-out. 

Operations and logistics

As the months go by, programming is confirmed, bands and artists are announced, and the work becomes more and more concrete. Communication between the Solotech and event teams is increasing to share as much information as possible and prepare everything that can be anticipated. The teams of the various confirmed artists can also be added to the discussion, as it’s not uncommon for Solotech to supply the audiovisual equipment for the festival stages and the additional gear required by the artists.  

For Caroline Martel, Vice President, Services, Operations, and Transformation, “Communication is key at every level, both internally at Solotech and with customers. The bigger the event and the more players involved, the greater the risk of encountering problems. It’s important to keep people informed and make them understand the importance and priority of each task.”  

All this can quickly become a significant headache. That’s why project managers with a good sense of initiative and a strong ability to anticipate play such an essential role in coordinating and successfully delivering events.  

“They think several moves ahead and anticipate questions before they’re even asked.
A project manager is a bit like an orchestra conductor.”

— Dave Briere, Director of Production Employees in Canada

Operations and logistics

A quick turnover in the warehouse

With Solotech serving over 280 festivals and 6,000 events annually, the impressive rental fleet of over 353,000 pieces of equipment of all kinds is used to its full potential wherever Solotech operates. In some exceptional cases, the annual utilization rate is close to 75% for the most sought-after gear. In other words, this equipment is deployed on-site more than 250 days a year! Therefore, the preparation times between events are often short.  

Every step is carefully planned. Sometimes in a few days or even hours, our warehouse teams will conduct quality control inspections and tests, handle the maintenance and repairs, and prepare everything for the next deployment. With tight deadlines, it is not uncommon for the operations team to get creative.  

For example, on occasion, smaller trucks, known as “ambulances,” may be sent to load-out sites to quickly recover certain priority equipment pieces, such as consoles, to redeploy them without delay to other events. 

When everything is ready at the warehouse, it’s time to ship the gear on-site for the event. Once again, everything is carefully thought out down to the last detail. “There’s no point in having the lights if you haven’t got the rig because you won’t be able to hang anything. There’s a whole sequence to follow,” explains Caroline Martel.  

And everyone involved must understand this sequence.   

“How we load the trucks impacts the assembly work at the other end, and vice versa. The way field employees return the equipment to us influences our work in receiving, quality control, and preparation for the next event,” adds Stany Blanchette, Shop Manager in Montreal. 

To ensure optimal operation in this critical project delivery period, we even go as far as to include external stakeholders, such as transportation companies.  

With this in mind, Julie Jones, Transportation Coordinator for the Live Productions Division, has instituted an efficient practice at the Nashville warehouse: a tour of Solotech’s facilities for transporters.  

“When they come to the warehouse, they get a better understanding of what we do, and we avoid problems along the way. Ever since I’ve been organizing these tours, things have gone much better.” – Julie Jones, Transportation Coordinator, Live Productions Division, Nashville 

The show must go on

It’s a famous saying in the entertainment industry. Still, it’s also a genuine principle our team is particularly proud of. No matter the conditions or pitfalls, the event must start on time.   

“We make it happen here,” says Adam Boyle, Operations Director, Live Productions Division, in Toronto. “There is no way we are letting anything fail.” 

“Our teams at Solotech see success as the only option.
They have the great quality of adapting to all types of situations to deliver on time, no matter what.

 Dave Briere

This mentality of striving for excellence, no matter the conditions, is no stranger to the team’s vast experience. You can surprise them, but you won’t disrupt them. Caroline Martel praises the expertise and professionalism of her team, who have “done it all and seen it all. There is always someone who’s dealt with this problem before. Our network and expertise are solid.”  

“Operations are an ingredient to our success,” says Adam Boyle. “It’s a sum of all parts that makes Solotech successful: our ability to execute, our ability to get the right equipment, and on top of that, our team. We have a strong team of people who care.” 

It's showtime!

Everything is ready, the doors open, the crowd arrives, and the show starts.

You won’t see our team members on stage, and they won’t be applauded, but rest assured that they all feel great satisfaction and pride in having helped deliver the event.  

“To deliver the shows impeccably, without mistakes, for me, that’s the most gratifying thing. When you’ve worked on a show and see the crowd going crazy, it’s beautiful. Your whole body goes Wow!”

Stany Blanchette, Shop Manager, Montreal




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