Hundreds of additional people are needed to host festivals and other events this summer. This is clear from a survey by VRTNWS. Two years after the Corona crisis, this summer will be busier than ever due to the complete festival calendar combined with many postponed events. As a result, the demand for workers and materials from suppliers peaks. Therefore, some companies will not accept orders until September. “I can handle normal summer, but I can’t do this,” he said.
There are no exact figures for a particular staff shortage in the festival world or in the event department. But according to Amplo, HR companies looking for workers in the creative sector, the festival, need at least 600 people this summer. This is primarily related to the technical profile for building events.
“This number only applies to companies looking for workers through us. In fact, we need twice as much. 1,200. This is not an overestimate,” Amplo’s Amin Dridi told VRTNWS. Told.
“There are certainly personnel issues,” confirms Stijn Snaet, who represents the event department through the Event Coalition. “We need a lot of people who are active in event production and communication as well as engineers. We are also looking for many students and volunteers. The whole system is folded like an accordion.”
The entire system in our sector is closed like an accordion
Two reasons for this serious staff shortage are more workers’ demand than ever before, as large festivals are held again after two corona summers, overtaking many other events and concerts during the same period. Is increasing. At the same time, the corona crisis has reduced the supply of workers. “Brain drain” In the industry.
“Estimated one in three people left the event department due to the corona crisis and didn’t come back,” said Amin Doridi of Amplo. “These experienced people are now often more stable and less flexible working hours than the event department.”
“The situation in the sector, which is already struggling to find enough staff, hasn’t improved,” confirms VDAB’s Joke van Bommel. “This includes not only the food service industry, but also technical professions.While the number of job seekers is declining, the number of vacancies is increasing, and the unattractive aspects of work in these sectors, such as irregular hours, remain essentially unchanged. “
The number of job offers is increasing, but the number of job seekers is decreasing.Event sector has not changed
Stageco, a stage builder in Tildonk near Haacht, is also reaching out to their hearts. The company is active around the world and provides stages for major festivals such as Rockwell Ftel, Tomorrowland and Grasspop.
Stageco is a technician, scaffold builder, and in addition to materials for building stage structures. StagehandSet the stage. In addition, the Stageco team alone cannot complete the entire setup, so each festival itself must provide sufficient support. At some festivals this runs very smoothly, but at other festivals it’s scraping.
Stageco itself has a pinch. The demand for the stage is so great that the company does not have enough staff. Stageco then appealed to young people without any experience in the festival section, so they already felt that feeling in the spring, craving To work in that world. Tom Bilsen, Stageco’s Operations Director, says VRTNWS has had little success.
We literally need people by yesterday
“Many new people coming soon will drop out quickly. They often underestimate how difficult work is and how long they work in all kinds of weather,” he says. increase. “In addition, there is a lot of demand in the labor market and it will be difficult to compete with other sectors. This summer can be a real problem. By yesterday we literally need people.”
Finding a technically skilled profile such as an engineer or project leader is especially difficult. However, there is also a lack of unskilled technical skills. “At peak times, 200 people are working, but we still need at least 15-20 people. Finding the right people can be a daunting task. Stagehand No special work experience with us is required. “
Birsen doesn’t have the exact numbers, but “for every 10 people we ask, only 6 people appear on average.” “That’s why we are looking for workers through our own network internationally, but we are constantly switching and rushing to find people. That is an unpleasant situation for businesses.”
Complete agenda for personnel and equipment? Next, “stop ordering”
Some companies go one step further. They are no longer undertaking projects or assignments for the next few months, knowing that they will not be able to provide enough personnel and materials.Cause: Number of events this summer boomDue to the invisible combination of large festivals (often with extra days) and the postponement of events and concerts.
“I’ve never experienced an order that was rejected for such a long time,” says Stijn Snaet of the Events Department. “After spending two corona years in the desert, the entrepreneurs who decide this really hurt. Everyone wants to be there this summer, but everyone and every Mike are in one place at a time. Can only be placed. “
Each technician and each microphone can only be placed in one place at a time
Splendit, an acoustic and light company in Aalst, has been forced to stop accepting orders until mid-September. They work in festivals, TV shows and concert halls. Despite the full-time core of about 30 employees being expanded for days or weeks of missions with dozens of freelancers in the summer, there aren’t enough people to meet the huge demand, Says manager Marijn Broeckaert.
“As an entrepreneur, you really don’t want to reject an order. I want to not only help customers, but also provide quality. And our workers need to rest during many missions. Yes, so somewhere I had to draw a line, “he says.
“But this is an exception. I’ve been working in this area for 22 years and haven’t experienced it before. All summers are full, including Mondays and Tuesdays, where there are traditionally few events. That’s not the case. This summer’s case, so it should be 30 hours a day for us. “
The staff and materials can handle normal summer, but the crowded summer is coming.
Broeckaert emphasizes that the main problem is not the pure shortage of workers, but the unprecedented demand from the organizers. “A normal summer like 2019 can handle it perfectly, but a summer 2022 can’t, and you’ll already have three times the supply of people and goods in 2019.” I can hear you.
When it comes to materials, two factors play a role. “There is a shortage of chips around the world. The automotive sector is hampered by this, but all materials contain similar chips. Therefore, order additional microphones, amplifiers, and mixing consoles from your suppliers. You can’t. That material simply doesn’t exist. “
And it causes problems in combination with its overcrowded festival agenda. “There are so many festive days that you can’t attend another event at the same time because you stay in the same place for a long time. Normally, these parts move smoothly from event to event during the summer. In the summer, there is less duplication and it’s easy to combine different assignments at different festivals. “