Air Partner - 20 Mar 2016
For the majority of us, when rock bands and private aviation appear in the same sentence, our thoughts quickly turn to glamour, champagne and jets. Which is fair enough, given that it's often the case: let’s face it, you're unlikely to see Sir Elton and David Furnish on Ryanair's London to Nice service.
However, according to Simon Wheatley, Director Private Jets UK at aviation services provider Air Partner, there's a whole other side to private aviation in the world of rock that largely takes place behind the scenes. Last year, a huge number of well-known artists put on a staggering number of gigs at more locations than you can shake a drum stick at. This is music to your ears perhaps, but most of us don’t stop to think about the logistics involved: It takes an awful lot of planning and co-ordination to get these artists, their crew and their gear on the road.
As popularity of live music and festivals continues to grow, so too do the pressures for the artists to meet busier and busier schedules. With artists booked for many festivals at far flung locations, charter becomes a necessity, often being the only way to move the band and equipment in time for the next performance.
This phenomenon was the talk of the town at the Industry’s annual get-together, the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), which was held between 3rd – 6th March this year. Over 1000 international music industry professionals gathered at London’s Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington for the gathering, which is now in its 28th year.
This was the first year that Air Partner had sponsored the event, although it has been in attendance for several years now, represented by our private jet team (providing aircraft under 20 seats), commercial jet team (providing aircraft over 20 seats) and our freight team.
The Air Partner team has been fortunate to work with some of the biggest names in the music biz. Nicola Taylor, Senior Account Manager, comments: we have organised tours around the world, co-ordinating logistics in some very challenging territories for both passengers and freight and are also proud to have flown a multi award winning singer, whose career is continuing to rise.
It is a major operation and pretty stressful at times, but there is no room for error in show business. At the end of the day, the show must go on- you can’t ask a crowd of 22,000 + to wait while the lead singer is yet to arrive.
It is for this reason that the Air Partner CharterPLUS Guarantee goes some way to offering the clients some peace of mind that the artists will always get there and the show will go on.
Under CharterPLUS, Air Partner will source and provide alternative travel for the passengers, up to the value of 150% of the original charter price or refund your unused money, in the event of any aircraft technical issue. All flights booked under the CharterPLUS automatically have a $100 million passenger and 3rd party insurance cover.
Also of growing importance is the security of the acts and the attending fans at these public events. While crowd security has always been a feature of music gatherings, the growing threat to large scale public events has led to Air Partner working closely with Priavo, the international security firm. As part of the Air Partner service, its clients now receive a Priavo security report looking at risk mitigation for travel, geographical, political and operational risks at each location.
With the festival season right around the corner, Air Partner is gearing up again for one of the music industry’s busiest periods – let’s hope the show goes without a hitch!