Home' micenet eMag : micenet October 2018 Contents EVENTS | STU KATZEN
s the silly season looms and we
head into Christmas – yes, I said
it... I figured I needed to put
things into perspective a little
before we hit the wall. What better way to do
this and take the edge off (like a Friday
afternoon Serepax), than to share some of
my crazier event stories with you.
One of my most lasting memories was a
very large corporate dinner at the Australian
Museum. I had been engaged to organise
the entertainment for the night – a Latin
theme. Halfway through the Latin show, the
performers left the stage to do a fast change
and two couples came on stage to tango
and salsa. Cute, fun (not the most exciting)
The event manager runs over to me in
panic and informs me this is boring and to
immediately remove them from stage. My
answer: it’s mid show, it will look really bad to
pull the performers off stage and then wait
with a dark stage for the dancers to return.
She looked at me and I saw the madness
cross her eyes. She walked over the distro
and pulled the hot, three phase cable out of
the wall, sending the whole event into
What followed was complete
pandemonium. The tech director screaming,
the client screaming, and the event manager
screaming. Amidst all the screaming, the
three phase got plugged back in and the
dancers took to the stage. But what a night!
There are some events that are just slated
to never succeed. They not only cross over
Into the second half of the year and I don’t know about everyone else,
but things are starting to get cray cray.
into Murphy’s Law, but embody them!
This was a charity event (again not my event thank goodness). I was there pre-guest arrival
when I saw the headline magic act rehearsing. He was (with the aid of an EA) trying to get the
MD into a wooden crate for a later reveal.
The MD was explaining he got claustrophobic, but eventually was convinced to get inside. Guests
were ushered in and the magician was introduced. As the act began, there were a few bungles
due to a funny noise, but no one really noticed, except a few of us back stage and the magician.
About 10 minutes into the act, the magician was introducing his pretty assistant. She did a
twirl, hand outstretched, which the magician was to catch in a snazzy “ta da” moment, when a
blood curdling scream started.
With a crash the wooden crate, stage centre, disintegrated, and the MD came thrashing out
in a mad panic. The magician lost concentration, missed the girl – who went flying off the stage
into the audience – all to a background of screaming profanity from the MD. Needless to say a
memorable start to an event.
This next story is not mine, but was told to me in a “you won’t believe this” events story swap.
The client was a large corporate with a lion as their logo. The idea was to have a real lion on
stage during the show and this had taken months to get sorted with the venue.
It was decided to put the lion in a clear Perspex box (with air holes) during the show – see
folks no bars!
The client decided the agency quote for the box was too much and organised a box made
up themselves for less than half the price.
The box arrived and was installed. It was noted that the box looked much smaller than
originally planned and was glued not bolted together.
The lion was brought in asleep and placed in the box. An hour later, the lion started to wake
up and due to the smaller size of the box was starting to show tension and standing up a lot,
trying to move around. The room was in the final stages of lighting and audio checking. The lion
started making sounds and moving around even more. There was a splintering sound and the
box broke apart.
So, large hotel ballroom, staff and crew everywhere and a real lion... loose!!! Oh... and guests
starting to arrive for pre-dinner drinks.
Everyone ran screaming; the doors were bolted and Taronga Zoo was called for a lion handler
to come and help, as there was no trained personnel onsite to take care of this.
Eventually the handler arrived and sedated the lion who was placed back in the box asleep
and sleep he did; for the whole night!
So, when things get really crazy and don’t go quite to plan, just stop, take a breath and count
yourself lucky there isn’t a lion in the room. m
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