Last weekend I attended the All Together Now festival set in the stunning landscape of Curraghmore House in Portlaw, Co Waterford.
Having purchased our tickets months back, we were eagerly anticipating what was promised to be a weekend of “like-minded people, music lovers, passionate performers, families, artists, musicians, creators, rebels, and refugees of a changing festival landscape…”
Wow, high hopes indeed.
My husband was lucky enough to escape from the ‘kiddie run asylum’ we call home on Thursday night and went off with some friends to get set up in anticipation of my arrival the next day.
Chomping at the bit on Friday, I all but did a drive by dumping of the kids at the grandparents’, and took off all smug and chilled in the knowledge that within the hour I’d be getting my festival vibe on with a nice cool can of Heineken.
Little did I know…
The traffic woes of the forsaken All Together Now festival goers have been well documented and, as there’s a good chance I’m still suffering from Post Traumatic Stress disorder from what should have been a 1 hour maximum drive instead taking 5 1/2 hours, I’m not even going to go there again. You can Google it if I’ve lost you.
Yes, I did mean FIVE AND A HALF HOURS. The last hour of which I spent in desperation for a wee. Which at least helped pass the time as I contemplated all kind of acrobatics to relieve myself into the only vessel I contained, an empty coffee cup – you’ll be glad to know I resisted, just about.
So anyway, I got there, and to a toilet. It wasn’t the end of the world. Sh*t happens and all that.
What really did suck though was the completely inadequate response from the organisers of All Together Now, who basically ignored what was happening and went on a social media shutdown. They only updated their accounts later that night to blame the delays on the number of people attending.
Now, I’m no expert in event management but when you sell 22,000 tickets for your event, you better prepare for 22,000 people to attend. Later Friday night they shared how amazing Fontaines DC were, which was scant consolation for those still stuck in traffic and missing the fun.
You probably don’t need me to tell you the response this generated across their social media platforms all weekend…
But hey, we’re all human, we all make mistakes. The thing about mistakes though is that most of them can be forgiven…if you take responsibility and apologise. Blaming other people for your mistakes is just plan rude. And in the words of Patti Smith – the people have the power – especially in the world of social media.
After mature reflection (and a possible change of PR companies), the organisers of All Together Now did take responsibility and went on a damage limitation strategy. Fair play, and better late than never. They put on a great festival in so many ways and hopefully they’ll learn some valuable lessons from this year’s fiasco.
It did leave a bad taste though – not to mention a very negative online footprint (we won’t even go there on the environmental footprint).
As someone who works in PR/Digital Marketing I always tell my clients that mistakes can and do happen. There’s a fail safe formula for dealing with them though – acknowledge, apologise and promise to learn from it. Simples.
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