How Shepherd Compello worked with the UNIFY festival to ensure the bands played on

Celebrating its sixth year the UNIFY Gathering music festival, owned and operated by RED HILL Entertainment (, in the state of Victoria, Australia is huge both in size and popularity. But the dawn of a new decade presented UNIFY with challenges never experienced before.

When a huge storm threatened to bring the whole gig to an abrupt halt, safety was the priority. Festival-goers were despatched to their campers and tents and advised to hunker down while the organisers worked out what was best to do next.

“Despite a few weather scares, UNIFY 2020 went off without a hitch – a testament to the organisers. “ HappymagTV

UNIFY’s calm before and after the storm
Extreme weather is one of the most common reasons for an event to be cancelled; heat, rain, storm, snow – or, in the case of UNIFY, a ‘small hurricane’- as one reporter described it, can be show stoppers. Weather is a risk an event organiser open to the elements can do little about. Or can they?

How to make events that go wrong, right
Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is an aphorism that describes how UNIFY and Shepherd Compello planned for just this eventuality. Sound risk management and a fit-for-purpose insurance policy were essentials.

“Saturday saw the organisers pull some expert-level stage Tetris, managing to get every band who had missed their Friday set a slot. Despite a small hurricane hitting the festival grounds the day before, every band on the line up miraculously had their turn.” HappymagTV

Three things that could have happened when the storm struck
1. The event could have been cancelled.
2. A huge number of very disappointed festival-goers would need to have been compensated.
3. The organisers would have faced losses for; paying performers, staff, ticketing, food and beverage sales plus merchandising.

Three things that did happen

1. The Shepherd Compello team in London – available 24/7 – for this potential claim collaborated with the UNIFY organisers to do all they could to keep the event up and running on the other side of the planet. Preparation was key, which is why a loss adjuster is appointed in advance for every event, anywhere in the world. This meant that the local, specialist team was ready to support the organisers and act immediately.

2. While the event was delayed for 9 hours and festival-goers took cover:

• Extra staff were drafted in to partly derig the main stage.
• An additional stage was built.
• Sound systems, lighting and electrics were hooked up.

3. When the show was ready to go live again, the performers switched seamlessly from one stage to the other to make up for time lost. Playing times were adjusted and every act that was due to play did.

Want to know more?
If you are organising an event and would like to know more about how Shepherd Compello could help you, please contact us.


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