In case you missed it, Radio 1’s Big Weekend just came to our home town, Luton – entertaining over 100,000 people during three days of fantastic live music – including performances from Rudimental, Raye, Chase & Status, Ella Henderson, Olly Alexander and, of course, Sunday’s stunning headliner, Coldplay.

While the performances and tunes are still whirling around our heads, we think there are also a few lessons we can all take from how well this event was executed. Take a look at this week’s blog for more.

Putting Luton in a new light!

When Radio 1 first announced they were going to hold their annual Big Weekend at Stockwood Park in Luton, there were some who questioned the suitability of the chosen venue and doubted whether Luton could pull it off.

Seeing all the comments from people who attended one or more of the days, it looks like the town put those doubts to rest, showing itself in a fundamentally different light to how it is sometimes portrayed in the media.

Thinking about the event as a whole, we know it was all about lots of people simply having loads of fun, but also believe there are three key lessons we can all take away from it:

1. Reputation and experience matter

BBC Radio 1 have been running their Big Weekend event since 2003. With over twenty years of experience behind them and a high reputation to maintain, we’re guessing the organisers probably had an action plan that left little to no room for error. The result was so many people have come away talking about how well organised the event was.

These things are important to all businesses as, in a great many cases, it is a business’s reputation and demonstrable experience that keeps clients coming back for more (or in the case of a bad reputation, turns them away).

The simple lesson is this: if you use your knowledge and years of experience to do a great job, that creates and/or maintains an excellent reputation for your company. Do the best to be the best!

2. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork

Another thing that was clear to see at the Big Weekend was that it all came together through brilliant teamwork. From those who lined the streets to direct people to/ from the event to those who created and coordinated the visuals that accompanied the performances; from the people who must have spent hours putting up signage to make sure everyone knew how to navigate the site to the stage hands who leapt into action between acts; and from the teams that worked solidly at the bars and food outlets to keep the lines short to the amazing performers and their teams that co-ordinated their sets on stage; everything was about teamwork.

The lesson here is to remember that, by working well together, we’re all playing a part in the overall success of our business and that this also goes beyond working well with just the people who are close by. If you’re working as a team out on a building site, remember there’s another team that directs and coordinates the way the business operates, another team that keeps a check on health and safety, and another team that makes sure everyone gets paid. All the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle have to fit together to make the whole picture and it’s the same for our business..

3. Know your audience

For this third lesson, let’s focus on something Coldplay did to bring the event to a close on Sunday evening. Prior the event, someone had started a campaign which sought to get the band to change the words of their huge hit ‘Yellow’ to ‘orange’, as a reference to Luton Town FC’s colour  being orange as opposed to the yellow of the club’s arch rivals, Watford.

Before playing ‘Yellow’ (with its words intact), singer, Chris Martin, asked the audience to just trust him, hinting of something more to come. Then, at the end of the show, standing alone at a keyboard, he gave a rendition of a song he said he’d just finished writing the night before. ‘Orange’ was basically an ode to Luton town and the crowd lapped it up!

So, what’s the lesson here? Well, Coldplay are a global phenomenon and could have just ignored this campaign completely, but they didn’t. They took time to ‘know their audience’, saw there was a passion in the people they were going to be playing for and gave the crowd what they wanted. It was genius and something we should all think about. Take the time to get to know our clients, understand what drives them, live up to their expectations and then go the extra mile.

Give them ‘orange’!

Over to you

If you missed the event (or want to watch again), you can catch up on all the performances on iPlayer here.

If you were at Big Weekend and want to share your thoughts of the event and its potential impact on our home town (positive vibes only please), comment over on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.


Feature image: Sheriff Construction