VOODOO MUSIC + ART EXPERIENCE 2013

Eleven members of the Design Build Adventure crew headed east to the Big Easy this past November for the Voodoo Music & Art Experience, a three-day festival that, over the years, has drawn more than 450 bands and 1 million music fans to New Orleans city park.

This year, as Voodoo celebrated its 15th birthday, Design Build Adventure was hired to create the site plan for and then manage the festival’s general admission and VIP camping areas. On the technical side, this entailed mapping out electrical and plumbing and staging locations for medical, security, hospitality, entrances and exits, and so forth. On the more creative side, it involved designing and furnishing the interiors of the VIP safari tents and hospitality area and then coordinating with all the vendors to make their vision a reality.

When it was all said and done, however, our guys found themselves gaining experience and expertise in areas well beyond what they were hired to do.

And that was intentionally so.

“From a DBA services standpoint, we were doing research for Voodoo on how to do this — how to staff the camping areas and how to create the right mood and spirit that’s conducive to good camping,” says Jack. “Our strategy was to do a little bit of everything so that our suggestions about how to do it even better in the future are not abstract opinions, but based on real, hands-on experience.”

There was really nothing that our crew didn’t do. Manned with walkie talkies and working closely with Voodoo production staff, they were at the ready to troubleshoot problems and keep everything running like a well-oiled machine.

They shuttled guests via golfcart, bartended, made beds, managed the trash, kept bottled water and beer on ice, cooked a brisket every day, spun records in the hospitality tent, performed live music around the campfire (thanks, Dan Dyer and Jesse Ebaugh!), hand-printed festival posters (thanks, Mishka Westell!), and all the while still managed to party and get up early the next morning to make the coffee, eggs and bacon!

And, of course, in true Design Build Adventure style, they maintained an ever-present campfire in the middle of it all. Good thing too, as one evening the campfire attracted none other than Reignwolf, who, accompanied by his drummer, jammed on his electric guitar for a cozy handful of fans, as the major headliners in the distance belted out songs for crowds of thousands.

“i think it’s interesting that even though we are designers and builders, we participated in all these other parts of it because they are important— from adjusting the lighting in the hospitality tent to serving a drink,” Jack says.

“We wanted to Intimately know what it takes. It parallels closely to the kind of logic we follow in most everything we do. We’re going to do whatever it takes.”