H&S and Event Production at Fly Open Air 2019


Summer 2019 opened with a bang for The Fair, kicking things off with a two day Techno extravaganza that was Fly Open Air at Hopetoun House, Edinburgh. The star struck line-up including Nina Kraviz, Peggy Gou, Solomun, Seth Troxler, Sven Vath and many more performing over three stages in the stately home grounds. New areas of the site included Fools Utopia – a 15m dome supplied by Event in a Tent where, up and coming local DJ’s and promoters took the reins in showing the audience how the locals do it. Boiler Room also hosted a secret stage based at the rear of the house. It operated between 3pm – 8pm whilst running a new, unique no phones policy (Yondr). The policy was well received by the audience. Lastly, the main stage (built by creation live) was the most impressive of the weekend incorporating 16 x LED totem panels positioned upright behind the stage. The crowd encompassing performance platform backed with the view of the House, set Fly out from the crowd, showing the rest of the country how important the location and site design is in the overall customer experience.

Challenge and Solutions

With only three days to build the event and even less for the break, we were faced with a scheduling and logistical challenge. Despite this, we were able to safely build the site, whilst maintaining safe public access for visitors at the house throughout. With an ever-changing weather forecast, we also had to act quickly with site adjustments to suit wet weather on the Saturday. This was achieved with a responsive list of suppliers who were willing to give their all to making it work. We incorporated additional stretch tents for the Boiler Room area and secured enough ponchos for all to be given out at the Merch stall.

One of the other major challenges we faced at Fly revolved around producing an event at a stately home. Most festival organisers are used to muddy fields, or badly kept parks where there is less focus on grounds protection. As the grounds were 17th Century there were many restrictions on where we were able to build infrastructure or drive vehicles. For example, the central road through the middle of the site is reserved only for the queen. We also had to play close attention to trackway install times which were restricted to five days max, vehicle movements which weren’t able to touch the lawns and intense litter picking with the site being entirely clear by Tuesday after the event.

Health and Safety

In addition to producing the event, we were also contracted to manage the health and safety. This included supplier and trader auditing throughout the build and break, SAG meetings and on-site auditing.

Rob Dudley, WATF Director took the lead on this event. Some of the key areas of concern related to the remote location including evacuation routes and public ingress and egress.


  • 8,000 Saturday, 7,000 Sunday
  • Performances from Sven Vath, Solomun, Peggy Gou and Nina Kraviz
  • No Phones system implemented for Boiler Room stage
  • Little bleed between stages
  • 3 day build and 2 day break

Photos: Courtesy of Fly Open Air.

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