18th March 2024 | Category: Events, Insights

How Iventis transformed festival planning for pioneering new Brazilian event, The Town

Rock World, the creator of iconic Rock in Rio festival, is the mastermind behind a brand-new music, culture, and art festival, The Town. Celebrating the multicultural city of São Paulo, spanning two weekends, the festival was a spectacular first-of-its kind experience touted as Glastonbury meets Disneyland! Visitors could clamber aboard a sponsored UFO or ride an actual rollercoaster, all within a stone’s throw of performances from major artists such as Bruno Mars and the Foo Fighters. 

Planning the ‘biggest show on earth’

Encompassing 360,000 square metres, five stages and eight immersive experiential zones, the event site was simultaneously vast and intricate. A festival of this scale and complexity, attracting over half a million attendees and with a workforce of 25,000, presented an enormous operational challenge for the Rock World organising team.  

To ensure that this multi-faceted festival was successful and safe, a comprehensive operational planning tool was crucial. It needed to handle extensive sets of data, allow for customisation and, language localisation, while remaining agile in response to evolving requirements.

The Rock World team selected the Iventis Planner, a geospatial visual event planning platform, to plan site logistics, crowd management, vendors, concessions, event services, and the visitor experience. 

Creating detailed site and functional area plans

Using CAD drawings integrated into a background map within the Planner, organisers created a comprehensive site layout plan. Multiple planning teams then used the layer template functionality to build detailed functional area plans, seamlessly overlaying them onto the overarching site plan. They added to-scale map objects from the 2D and 3D model libraries and built intricate plans for zones and areas, services, and vendors, while using the city’s existing infrastructure as efficiently as possible. 

Rock World organisers could visualise the entire event, or its specific aspects such as event services, crowd management or visitor experiences in just one festival planning tool, and preemptively identify layout and space issues for early troubleshooting. Gone are the days of creating plans across various inefficient formats such as PowerPoint, Excel spreadsheets and external map providers.

Felipe Ribeiro was responsible for hospitality and operations at Rock World. He witnessed the team adopting the tool straightaway:

“The Town planning team embraced the Iventis planning tool quickly and organically. It’s changing the way events are planned worldwide; cutting-edge, efficient, and sustainable. It is genuinely a game-changer for our industry.”  

Flexible event planning without slowing down performance

Teams needed access to a range of standard festival objects such as stages, Portaloos, and crowd control barriers. But they also required the ability to integrate be

spoke 3D models – such as a fairground ride or a unique object from an experiential zone – into their plans.  

The Planner was designed to be flexible. With Iventis, users can create unlimited map objects, layers, 3D models and plans. Overall, the festival planning teams added thousands of objects without compromising the performance of the platform, creating plans that met the unique requirements of the event and covering operational aspects like: 

  • Ingress, egress  
  • Event services  
  • Vendor routes and access to loading bays and utilities 
  • Signage and amenities 
  • VIP visitor experiences 
  • Food and merchandise vendors 
  • Crowd flows, circulation, and stage area capacities 
  • Accessibility and inclusivity plans 
  • Equipment and utility needs 

Final plans incorporated:  

  • 2,300 crowd barriers 
  • 600+ tents 
  • 13 different types of vehicle areas for ambulances, taxis, buses etc. 
  • 15 routes such as pedestrian, vehicular, restricted services and VIP shuttles 
  • 50+ layers

A planning tool for international teams

Like any sizable event, it was not just a core organising team that brought the festival to life. An event of this scale involves event suppliers, agencies, specialist consultants, venues, local authorities, public bodies, and a variety of other stakeholders throughout the planning and delivery phases. Stakeholders working on The Town comprised a mix of local Portuguese-speaking and international individuals. 

It was vital that Iventis was equipped to handle both Portuguese, the native language of the organisers, and English as the primary international language. Within Iventis, users have the flexibility to rename models, folders, and layers, allowing stakeholders to customise plans for clarity and speed, particularly helpful for Portuguese-speaking users. 

Sharing evolving plans with stakeholders

With various teams and agencies managing several aspects of the event – including workforce planning for 25,000 members of staff! – plans continuously evolved. It was essential that stakeholders could work directly on the plans, monitor changes in real-time, and approve them. However, for sign-off only stakeholders, it wasn’t feasible, and could even pose a security risk to grant access to edit the plans directly. 

Using the Planner, Rock World could selectively share specific elements of the plan, or the entire layout – via either a read-only or edit link. Plans can also be exported in various formats: PDF, CSV, ExCel, and GeoJSON, allowing data to be easily shared and monitored by external stakeholders.

This approach ensured all parties operated from the latest plans, enabling them to track costs and the bill of quantities over time, while protecting confidentiality by restricting access to sensitive information.

The Iventis planning platform was used to create a range of operational plans. Below we explore a few aspects. 

Mapping visitor and VIP experiences 

Managing expected crowd surges during the festival’s peak entry periods was crucial. Devising an efficient entrance strategy is key. Organisers created plans to optimise the attendee and VIP visitor experience, covering aspects like:  

  • Entry chutes: to channel visitors smoothly towards the check-in area starting as far back as possible to accommodate peak entry periods. 
  • Optimised layouts: zigzagging paths to organise visitors into orderly lines, expediting the check-in process. 
  • Signage, security and prohibited items: place clear signage, bag checks, and amnesty bins for prohibited items, before ticket scanning, to streamline the security checks flow. 
  • Staffing considerations: allocate adequate ticketing and security personnel to manage varying traffic flows throughout the day and night.  
  • Ticketing clarity: clearly demarcate ticket processes, guiding visitors with specific tickets to appropriate lines. 
  • VIP check-in efficiency: prioritise speed and reduce friction to deliver a differentiated VIP check-in experience. 

This approach to strategic entrance planning not only ensured a smoother entry but also enhanced the overall visitor experience and minimised bottlenecks.

The importance of planning city transport services  

The experienced team at Rock World understood that the visitor experience extended beyond the festival perimeters. The journey from homes, airports, train, and bus stations to the venues also needed to be as smooth as possible. Roberta Medina, EVP of The Town, and Rock in Rio said: 

“The public’s experience goes far beyond what they experience in Cidade do Rock and now, in Cidade da Música 

We care about this experience all the time, and this includes, among many other details to be taken care of, when, on the day of the festival, the fan leaves the house for the venue. To address this, we scheduled The Town over the weekend or holiday, to less impact the city’s traffic.” 

Using the Planner, the visitor experience and city transport services were efficiently planned so that attendees could arrive and leave the festival with greater peace of mind, knowing that they could rely on public train transport 24 hours a day.

Site logistics and beyond 

Every logistical component, from power supplies to waste management, parking amenities to facility provisions, and even effective signage and routes, can be planned within Iventis.

The tool can also assist with planning: 

  • Commercial aspects such as selling space to prospective food and drink vendors 
  • Experiential spaces like art installations and interactive experiences 
  • Designated accessibility areas

With its user-friendly interface, the capability to customise and share plans externally, Rock World were able to ensure seamless operations throughout the festival. By managing every finer detail, the team was able to deliver an unforgettable event experience. 

Felipe Ribeiro, Head of Hospitality and Operations at Rock World. explained that: “By combining CAD data, satellite images, and 3D models, the Iventis platform provides users with the ability to plan every operational aspect accurately and collaboratively. Plans are consistently up to date, in one place, and Iventis is incredibly user-friendly and intui

tive to use.”

Effective planning: the key to a successful event 

Planning a festival is a complex undertaking that requires meticulous attention to detail.  By using the Iventis Planner, Rock World improved the efficiency of their planning process, saved valuable planning time and costs, and better mitigated risks. 

“Rock World continues to innovate by implementing the Iventis visual event planning solution at The Town, one of the world’s largest festivals. It is the first festival in Latin America to feature this groundbreaking technology.” Felipe Ribeiro. 

The Town festival was a great success, and plans are already underway to deliver the event again in 2025. 

To find out how the Iventis Planner can help improve your event planning process, speak to an expert today.

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