The Production Office Behind Mega-Gigs

Chris Vaughan has worked with Sarah Brightman, Muse, Take That and the Bolshoi Ballet. Operating from The Production Office headquarters in NYC and London, he's an in demand magician when it comes to big events. Below, in part, a discussion he had about his business with Dave Simpson from The Guardian.

...."Up until 10 years ago, the record companies would give us money to fund tours. Now, touring is the main income, which is obviously good for my business. It’s almost snowballed, in that bands have needed to play bigger venues to generate more income. The productions have had to become bigger to catch up. This has driven an industry of companies who design massive productions and have created the means of taking them down and putting them back up again very quickly.

If I can do two or three more shows a month than another tour, we’re going to be making lots of money, and by creating greater income, you can move things very quickly. We’ve got to be able to build a massive stadium show from grass pitch to doors opening within around 48 hours and we’ve got to be able to take it down within four hours, and clear the pitch for the next day. 

... A production manager is the first point of contact in the delivery mechanism of a mega-show, once the band’s manager and the agent have decided on their touring strategy. The band will release an album, promote it and decide to tour. The agent will book dates around the world. The manager, with the record company, will plan out where they need to go and in which sequence, depending on the album plan. Then they’ll come to me. Generally I’ll sit down with the band and look at what type of show they want to do and the size of venues it will be in. Then I’ll put a team of creative people together and we’ll develop some show ideas and go back to the band with the ideas and cost. The bands normally go, “Wow, brilliant, loads of pyro!” and the manager will go “How much?” Then the agent will go “Can you do six shows a week?” It’s a balancing act...."


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