Chantel Reflects on 2018

2018 has been another eventful year, what with moving offices, taking on new clients, bigger events, and changes to our office team. We moved to Castleton Mill in Leeds at the start of April, a grade II listed building that was formerly a textiles mill, right on the side of the canal. It is a stunning place to be, Castleton Mill is an office space with a wide variety of independent businesses making a nice little community for us to be a part of. We’ve had visits from Camden Brewery, tasting sessions with Northern Bloc and quiz nights (which we won in December) making this a great new home for us to develop new relationships whilst fortifying the old.

This year was a big one for me. Whilst continuing to develop and streamline our systems, I was charged with solely project managing 3 out of 4 my festivals, visited Vietnam and developed my forever growing board game obsession.

Latitude was a big challenge this year, as it was one of the shows I project managed alone for the first time. With over 80 reprobates, sorry I meant crew, to look after onsite and over 3500-man hours worked this was a huge project to take on. Latitude has many variables to manage, with two areas to look after: the arts and the music. I arrange all our catering, camping arrangements, passes, travel planning, budgets, schedules, time sheets and work schedules. Greg and I needed to provide more help and support than ever before to Festival Republic’s team this year, getting more involved in the planning and logistics, whilst going above and beyond onsite to ensure a smooth event. It was a great time to strengthen our bond with Anne & the production office team, whilst giving us some time to develop a great working relation with Andy Grey who was the 2018’s production manager.

I travelled straight home after the load out on Monday to sleep and pack for two days before coming into the office with Sam. All of my current projects were handed over and we ensured everything was all wrapped up, because I was leaving for Vietnam a day later! I was given special permission this year to take off 3 weeks to go to Vietnam and watch one of my best friends get married to the love of her life. I managed to visit Hanoi, Nha Trang and Saigon, before having to come home to take on our biggest hurdle of the festival season – Leeds Festival.

Vietnam was beautiful, I’ve never seen anything like it. I tried so much fantastic food, visited some incredible temples, lay on some beautiful beaches whilst getting to eat the most delicious seafood. It was a different kind of heaven and I will certainly be going back. I found myself being a point of interest to many of the locals and being treated like a superstar all wanting to have photos with me. I suppose its not everyday they meet a 6ft western lady with orange hair and tattoos.

It was with a heavy heart I left Vietnam, taking on the 13-hour flight back to London. I had a couple of days to sleep off my jetlag and was back in the office with Sam to catch me up on all the pandemonium I had missed. Leeds Festival was upon us. Leeds tested us as team as we had to dig deep and really pull together. I took on a dual role of as Sam and I had to split the Production Coordinator’s role to support Spike as the Main Stage Production Manager, as well as helping the rest of the team with all the crewing. I found it our hardest gig of the season, but then it always is being at the end of a 4-month slog of festivals.

The fun didn’t stop there for me, between Latitude, Vietnam and Leeds I also had to find somewhere new to live rather unexpectedly. So as soon as September 1st hit I moved a lovely two bedroom  house in Armley with a nice little wood burner, which has been fantastic and just in time for the cold winter months. Me and my partner Mark (no, not Mark Hammill) have taken it upon ourselves to start looking after the stray and neglected cats of Armley. We have recently built up a great friendship with about 6 of them who come to visit us every day for strokes and treats. One day, they will all be my friend!

At TMC we spend our quieter months reflecting on the year, finding ways to improve on what went wrong and basking in the glory of what worked well. We have our steady influx of clients that need looking after and ensure their needs are constantly met.

Whilst we have the time to think and use our brains, myself and Spike have been developing the company branding. We had a great success with our pink t-shirts and new hoodies this year and are looking to supply all sorts of goodies in the coming year. I’ll say nothing more, for now.

2018 has given me time to really learn more about my strengths and weaknesses and how to grow from them. Roll on 2019.