Behind the scenes: eye on a successful show

Amanda Jess
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NEW GLASGOW – When Ed Halverson got to work at 9 a.m. on Thursday, he didn’t sit down at an office desk.

Ed Halverson, stage manager for the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee, speaks with stage technician, Thorburn-raised Nathan Petrie, left, during set-up on Thursday. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS

He began to manage set-up for New Glasgow’s biggest weekend – the Jubilee.

Halverson has been stage manager for the music festival for seven years, and sees it as a reunion.

“Every year you come back, it’s like coming back to high school after summer.”

For 11 hours or so each day, Halverson makes sure everything goes according to plan.

This can involve anything from ensuring trucks are parked in the right place with enough hands to unload equipment to being the final decision maker.

“Right or wrong, someone’s made a decision,” he joked.

He’s been on stage production teams for close to two decades, working freelance from just outside Halifax for different festivals and touring bands such as Marianas Trench.

He can recall two times he’s been involved in concerts that haven’t gone on – one was due to a natural disaster and the other had to change venues.

Halverson and his crew are paid to make sure the show goes on. They have to think creatively, and quickly, he said.

“If it was easy, anyone would do it,” he said, laughing.

The job isn’t easy – the stage crew is running on no sleep, and put to task with challenging problems to overcome.

The constant travel is the hardest part for Halverson, taking him away from his family.

Though it can be tough, Halverson enjoys what he does.

“I like that every day is different,” he said, adding that it takes him to new places, on six continents no less, and gives him a chance to meet great people.

That can be people in the managing community, or musicians.

Through Jubilee, Halverson discovered how nice Kim Mitchell and his crew are back in 2012, has gotten in plenty of trouble with Dave Gunning, and was able to bring his wife to Blue Rodeo.

He was able to get her in past the barricade.

“I liked being able to do that for her,” he said, adding that she’s a big fan of them.

Like Halverson, many of the professionals on the crew have been around for several years, adding to a sense of community.

He said everyone involved has a positive attitude and their eyes on the prize – a successful show.

“Those are the kinds of environment you like to work in,” he said in response to why he continues to work with the festival.

 

Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Halifax, Marianas Trench

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  • Marjorie Cameron
    August 02, 2014 - 11:08

    It would not be a "Jubilee" with out professionals and all round great people like Ed and Andy and the rest of the crew!!