On today’s episode, host Narmeen Kamran talks to Claire Pattison, a final year BSc Events Management student at Canterbury Christ Church University, who is set to graduate this summer 2021. Claire’s interest in events stemmed from her love of concerts, having attended numerous from a young age. As she was unsure what she wanted to study after Sixth Form, her dad encouraged her to turn the hobby that she enjoys into a career, by which Claire found out about event management and has been pursuing it since.
Claire’s dream event would be the ultimate immersive music festival, inspired by Spotify’s ‘Fan First’ events, where the top 1% of fans are invited to an online session with their favourite artists. It would be invite-only, with the top fans of certain artists being chosen to attend. Each invited top fan would be able to bring 3 of their friends, with around 300 total guests attending the exclusive festival taking place over a 3-day period from Friday to Sunday. Standard tickets would cover the basic elements of the festival, however the VIP tickets would allow guests access to special accommodation in a hotel themed to match with the festival. The festival invite would include a PR box and swag bag that incorporates hints of the festival’s theme to have the invites guessing what it potentially could be. Claire’s top items to include in a PR box would be the exclusive Dior Jordan’s and a Louis Vuitton iced-out bling top, and high-end luxury boutiques, such as Gucci.
Every year would have a different set theme, and Claire shared with us 2 of her top theme ideas – ‘Rap Caviar’ and ‘Sleepover of Dreams’, based on the curated Spotify playlists of the same name. Rap Caviar would be a rapper’s paradise, with artists including Kanye West, Jay-Z and Stormzy, while Sleepover of Dreams would feature the likes of Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Beyonce. The Sleepover of Dreams hotel accommodation would be decorated as exactly that – the ultimate sleepover! Pajamas would be provided for the evening pajama party alongside passionfruit martini and pink gin and lemonade on tap, and in the morning, hair and makeup artists would get you ready for the day.
As Claire imagines the festival would require a large amount of space to include all the theatrical elements she envisions, a venue such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, within the Coachella Valley of the Colorado Desert would be ideal. Specifically for Sleepover of Dreams, the theme would tie in cult-classic movies, like Mean Girls, music videos, for example Katy Perry’s ‘California Girls’, and overall over the top, in your face and Barbie-pink. Artists Claire would most like to attend to both perform and mingle with the guests include those that you’d listen to while getting ready for a night out, with the likes of P!nk, Beyonce and Dua Lipa.
A unique element of the festival schedule that Claire would want to include is a tribute stage, dedicated to artists and performers who have passed away. Inspired by Japanese artist Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated augmented character, who performs to sold-out shows year-round, Claire envisions the same set-up at her festival, with projections of deceased artists. As a fan of Pop Smoke and his music, he would be included in the Rap Caviar-themed year. His tribute stage would feature brand sponsors and partners that relate to his songs, in particular the track ‘Dior’ where there would be a Dior X Pop Smoke fashion line, alongside a pop-up sneaker store. While thinking about the different genres her festivals would be themed around, Michael Jackson would be another artist she’d love to bring back to life using a hologram, alongside other iconic music figures from the 90s.
In terms of food provided, Claire imagines carnival-esque treats that also go along with each year’s theme, listing deep-fried oreos, churros, chocolate fountains and candy floss for the Sleepover of Dreams. On the other hand, macaroni and cheese, steak and lobster would be found at the Rap Caviar event. The performer’s favourite foods would also feature, to give the fans an inside look to what everyday life is like for their favourite artists. While Claire’s favourite food depends on her mood and what she’s feeling that particular day, ribs would be near the top of the list. Tying into the extravagant theme for the Sleepover of Dreams, Claire imagines fun and experimental cocktails that include exciting garnishes such as candy floss and sweets, or those that change colour when mixed. Rap Caviar would have champagne spray parties and expensive name-brand alcohol brands on ice throughout the festival, such as Ciroc.
Merchandise available at the festival include replicas of the attending artist’s outfits, for example feather bandeaus, cat ears and glittery pieces for Ariana Grande, and iced-out chains and bulky sunglasses for the Rap Caviar performers.
The daily agenda of a festival attendee with a VIP ticket would be waking up in the themed hotel to a buffet breakfast with all types of food imaginable – french toast, pancakes, full fry up and fruit spread – with bottomless prosecco to top it off. You wouldn’t have to worry about getting ready or even bringing clothes, as the featured designers and stylists would provide wardrobes full of curated runway outfits that guests had personally tailored to their sense of style and fashion beforehand through an online form. Once guests are ready, there would be a range of performers on various stages throughout the venue putting on their sets, with entertainment between artists. For the Sleepover of Dreams, a huge bouncy castle, a ball-pit similar to Ballie Ballerson and fun fair rides would be dotted around the stages for attendees. Whereas, a race car track featuring Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other luxury cars would be set up for the Rap Caviar-themed festival. All in all, Claire wants her festival to be an event that all those invited wouldn’t be able to turn down and guests wouldn’t be able to anticipate what her festival had in store for each year.