The stage is taking shape and a couple of the crew members are discussing the final details.
Buying a ticket for a concert is easy these days. Book online. Pay online. Go to the show. The question of what happens behind the scenes is never considered, but to those of us who help set up the event, our experience culminates in the hours and days leading up to the concert. There is no “business as usual” when large rock concerts go on tour and hundreds of stage hands do whatever it takes to make it all mesh. As the Global Motion guys say: “If the job was easy, anyone could do it.”
The relationship between DSV and Global Motion started with operations in London, Los Angeles and New York almost six years ago and has been working ever since. However, Carsten Trolle, CEO of DSV Air & Sea, and Adam Hatton, CEO & Founder of Global Motion, sat down to talk about rolling out their bespoke service globally, involving DSV offices wherever possible. Initially they identified the growing market of the Middle East and Asia, and the most ideal and central location in which to set up shop was Dubai.
From a few kilos of air freight to chartered planes, each project collaboration with Global Motion has to be handled carefully and with urgency. It is crucial to be flexible and adapt to client requests and circumstances – because “that’s showbiz, folks!”
Travelling in the cargo hold
Global Motion is keenly focused on providing personal service, which in some cases means having to travel with the load (in fact in the cargo hold along with the equipment) to ensure that the equipment arrives safe and sound, is loaded correctly and is not upside down or stacked on its side.
Grant Hollingsworth, General Manager for Global Motion UAE, recalls the recent Coldplay project: Sixty tonnes of air freight were loaded onto a Boeing 777 freighter from their concert in Mumbai, India, and flown to Dubai World Central Airport, UAE. From there the cargo was transported to Dubai International Airport and cross-loaded to a regularly scheduled flight heading for Auckland, New Zealand for Coldplay’s next concert. Efficient solutions like these are ultimately what make the show profitable.
Grant Hollingsworth (left), General Manager, Global Motion, with Michael Carstensen, Managing Director of DSV UAE. Grant often travels with the cargo to keep it safe and make sure it arrives on time.
After the Auckland concert, the equipment was transported back to the Emirates just in time for the New Year celebration in the country’s capital, Abu Dhabi. Grant flew with the cargo on each leg of the trip, supervising its every movement: “We were the first ones to arrive at the show and the last ones to leave,” he says.
Trucks got lost
The excitement of working with Coldplay permeated the DSV UAE office, who busily set to work packing the equipment right after the show ended – and before they could celebrate the new year – onto eight different trucks headed to the airport. Due to heavy fog, three of the trucks got lost along the way. Grant – along with Paveen Nair, Air Freight Manager – had to search for the trucks for almost three hours to make sure that the cargo made it to the airport in time for customs clearance, dog inspections, immigration, security screening and loading onto the next plane headed to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The first day of January is not necessarily a workday all over the world, but it was “business as usual” for DSV and Global Motion.
DSV and Global Motion have also collaborated on: MADNESS: Concert in Dubai. Air freight weighing 1.2 tonnes arrived in Dubai and had to clear customs that same day to be ready for the show in the evening. CHEMICAL BROTHERS: 20 tonnes of air freight for the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 after-party show. THE MUSICAL ’CATS’: 60 tonnes of sea freight from the UK to the Dubai Opera House and then to Doha, Qatar, before travelling to Kuwait City. LEGOLAND: 5.5 tonnes of air freight for LEGOLAND in Dubai. BOLLYWOOD: A forty-foot container for the new Bollywood amusement park in Dubai.
Read more about DSV airfreight services