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Good Vibes Festival
Photo: All Is Amazing

Behind the scenes of Good Vibes Festival

We spoke to head of Artist and Programming at Future Sound Asia, Wan Alman, about what happens before, during and after Good Vibes Festival 2017

Written by
Eijas Ariffin

The first Good Vibes Festival was held as a one-day event in 2013 with four international acts (in additional to local performers) and 5,000 attendees. And it has only grown since then. This year, the two-day event has four stages (an additional one more from last year), an expected attendance of 10,000 festival-goers, and a line-up that includes 12 international names like Phoenix, Dua Lipa, Kodaline and more.

Setting up the country’s biggest outdoor international festival isn’t an easy feat. We spoke to head of Artist and Programming at Future Sound Asia, Wan Alman, to find out about what goes on behind the scenes before, during and after Good Vibes Festival 2017.

good vibes festival

End of Good Vibes Festival 2016
As soon as the festival ends, stage hands and suppliers will dismantle everything. You could return to The Ranch the next day and would never guess that a two-day festival just happened.

One year before Good Vibes Festival 2017
‘We’re actually constantly working on the festival, either with the current edition or planning the next one, or even both at the same time when things overlap sometimes,’ according to Alman. Since festivals around the world are more popular than ever, booking artists has become really competitive, so they have to start quick and fast. How do they know which artists to book? ‘It’s a fine balance between looking for artists we’re personally into, artists that are popular and would sell tickets, and artists that would be on tour and thus more likely to be able to perform in this part of the world – but they need to be a fit for the festival,’ answers Alman.

good vibes festival
Photo: All Is Amazing

Three months before Good Vibes Festival 2017
This is the time the artist line-up is announced. The line-up is what makes or breaks the event since they’re the main selling point of any festival; there are festivals that have been forced to cancel due to poor ticket sales. ‘It’s always exciting and a bit nerve wracking watching the reactions when we announce the line-up – you’re never 100 percent sure how good the line-up is until you announce it to the masses,’ says Alman.

Tickets also go on sale at least three months before the festival. For this year’s edition, the organisers added limited early bird tickets, which sold out immediately. This led to disappointed fans making claims on social media that no early bird tickets were on sale in the fi rst place. According to Alman though, at the exact time of the ticket sales there were already about 3,000 people standing by on the website waiting to purchase them.

good vibes festival
Photo: All Is Amazing

24 hours before Good Vibes Festival 2017
Many might assume that the 24 hours before the festival is the calm before the storm, but it’s quite the opposite – organisers still need to check all the setups like the stages and the sound and light systems; artists will be busy carrying out sound checks to make sure their sets go smoothly come festival day; and everyone else will be making sure their responsibilities are completed, down to the last detail. ‘Murphy’s Law is the law of the land – there will always be some issue or problem that needs to be resolved, sometimes even up to doors opening,’ says Alman.

good vibes festival
Photo: All Is Amazing

At Good Vibes Festival 2017
On festival days, Alman and crew are on site first thing in the morning (sometimes as early as 7am) to make sure everything goes according to schedule. They also have a team of artist liaisons who make sure the artists get everything they need so that they’re in good spirits to perform. Some would expect the big artists to be demanding divas but it’s quite the opposite according to Alman. ‘Usually most artists are pretty cool and easy-going, it’s their tour managers that might be difficult to work with’ says Alman. ‘We’ve had one artist tour manager who wasn’t happy with the towels we provided and insisted that we buy 20 towels from the hotel and bring them to site!’.

Good Vibes Festival 2018
To paraphrase the words of the great Brian McKnight, repeat steps one to five.

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