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Case Studies

Gibside Summer Concerts

Client: The National Trust
Type: Outdoor Concert

To produce and manage annual outdoor music concerts attracting a sell out audience of 5,000

Loyal customers and long term relationships are at the heart of the longevity and success of the AHE business. The team believes that this is not only testament to the quality of the services they deliver, but also to the personal and friendly way in which they work.
For over ten years, the team has produced major outdoor concerts for The National Trust at Gibside, Rowlands Gill and recently accepted a wider remit. With National Trust resources firmly focused on other major developments on the estate the AHE team expanded its role from production of the performances to the wider role of entire event management.
Services provided
Full liaison and reporting to the Safety Advisory Group (SAG)
Event control services
Traffic management and car parking
Production management
Communication plan
Budget management
Site management
All other support to The National Trust team
One of the challenges set by Gibside, an 18th century landscaped ‘forest’ garden, is the need to minimise the environmental impacts that an event on this scale poses. For the 2008 concerts the auditorium was re-located from immediately in front of the Hall, to an alternate space, still in view of the stunning listed building. This decision was made in order to preserve and protect a range of species that exist on the SSSI site. “Working with the National Trust you learn a tremendous amount about the important job that they do in terms of land management and preservation for future generations. Events like the concerts play an important role in bringing new audiences in to the property and income generation. However, there is a very real need to ensure that the concerts do not negate the core aims and objectives of The National Trust”
Specifically, one of the challenges that the change of auditorium presented was getting a 30 tonne orbital stage system to its new position. We protected its route to site with Trackway which minimised how much the ground underneath was impacted.
Property Manager Mick Wilkes commented “AHE are excellent at understanding our needs and finding viable solutions. They have excellent relationships with their sub-contractors and I think this gives them a distinct advantage when discussing new requirements and expectations.”
Most crucially for Mick, the AHE team took on the role of reporting to the Safety Advisory Group (SAG). Mick explains “Not only is the SAG process quite daunting, it is also very time consuming, which for me as a busy Property Manager, was a real problem. Adding it to the AHE team’s remit was an easy decision – they had plenty of experience and were well placed to produce all of the written plans and documents that the SAG required. This allowed me to get on with my day to day job and their closer involvement will ultimately contribute to the viability of the concerts for the future”.
And Mick continues “AHE really did become an extension of my team. I felt like I could pick the phone up at any time and get advice or guidance, even when the subject was not event specific. Information was always provided on time and their commitment in terms time on site was over and above their original promise. It’s no wonder they have enjoyed a long and loyal relationship with The National Trust which I am sure will continue for some time yet.”
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