Outdoor Event Challenges


From concerts to weddings, everyone likes to hold events outdoors during the summer – despite the vagaries of an English summer. You may be lucky and have beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine; but equally possible it could be heavy rain and high winds.

Preparation for all eventualities is vital. Always remember that long-range weather forecasts can change rapidly so you have to be prepared for any type of weather. This means that decisions over audiovisual requirements need to be made as early as possible. You cannot simply install a few microphones and speakers and hope all will work on the day. It is far more complex than that.

Electricity is needed to power those speakers and microphones and that requires lots of cabling and temporary generators. Very few outdoor events will be close enough to a building to link into mains systems. This is where the special skills of trained AV staff play an important role. A professional AV company will possess the right equipment and will be fully trained in operating high voltage equipment that may be affected by rain and water. Safety is a priority – electricity and water can be a fatal combination.

AV staff will need to inspect the proposed area for your outdoor event well in advance of the event taking place. This will enable them to make their preparations and to give you the best advice as regards the equipment and facilities necessary. All temporary electrical installations and structures for mounting lighting and audio need to be fully checked by qualified personnel.

For every organiser, the key issue has to be – what happens if it starts to rain? Electrical equipment will need protection. AV equipment is very expensive and highly technical. Rain and water will cause damage. Provision of temporary waterproof covers may be sufficient, but these have to be immediately accessible. If a tent or marquee is being used, then this has to be fully waterproof and erected securely. Sudden high winds can turn temporary buildings of this kind into sails, or even be blow away completely thus leaving the equipment inside at the mercy of the weather.

A further issue affects outdoor events taking place within residential areas. Sound systems have to be placed so that they give optimum coverage for guests – but their output does not affect local residents. You can be prosecuted for noise pollution!