YarmonyGrass Head of Operations, Sam Gupta shares how it takes a team to make this Colorado river festival a success.
How long have you been head of operations for YarmonyGrass festival? How did you become involved? What does this role entail?
This was actually my first year heading up the operations for YarmonyGrass. I’ve been involved in years past just through my friendship with the founder, Andrew McConathy. I’ve been managing bars and booking music for years at various locations including State Bridge and the Vail Ale House so I’ve kind of entrenched my way into this industry. I’ve also been a part of festivals such as Beanstalk and the Winterwondergrass festivals, so I’ve been privy to the operations side of things. My role encompassed pretty much everything that had to do with ensuring the festival ran smooth and with as few hiccups as possible. From coordinating the purchase of tents, the stage, the fencing, and the generators to running logistics including artists, vendors, staff and volunteers. I luckily had a rock star volunteer coordinator in Laura Devlin, who helped relieve a lot of the burden from my shoulders.
How many people attended the festival this past weekend? How does the attendance this year compare to years past?
We’re still waiting on complete attendance numbers to be processed but this was definitely one of the biggest YarmonyGrass festivals to date.
What is the biggest challenge you face in operating this kind of festival?
One of the biggest challenges that we face is obviously communication. Not having cell service and having such a large site with minimal places to acquire needed items and various things we need in a hurry can definitely be tricky. However, we spent a lot of time planning and deciphering practically everything that would be needed to operate successfully and efficiently without having to make emergency trips into town.
What is your personal favorite part of YarmonyGrass?
My personal favorite part of this is seeing all the smiles and hearing all of the great reviews that our attendees had. It’s rewarding knowing that all of the hard work that we put into making this thing function smoothly made people happy. I have yet to hear anyone say that didn’t have an amazing time and that everyone can’t wait to see what we have in store for them for next year.
The fact that all of the artists, vendors, staff, and guests all left with a certain glow on their faces makes it worth every drop of sweat.