Alicia Smith and I went to see The Giants today in Perth.


Alicia Smith  and I went to see The Giants today in Perth.

And were deeply impressed. Twice.

The first time was as we expected - The Giants are stunning - the level of personality in them is astounding, and the way the operators have become a part of the environment - interacting with the giants, as well as operating them - was inspired. They are only in Perth for one more morning, down at Langley Park, and I cannot more strongly recommend seeing them if you can. Just be early. Very early!

The second time was more unexpected, and was tied in with the event organisation. Keeping in mind that this is a live event, for which it is almost impossible to do a full rehearsal, things went very smoothly indeed. Overall things ran only 1/2 to 3/4 hour behind schedule, which, given the scale of things was remarkable. Even more impressive, though, was the planning and infrastructure the PIAF organisers put into the event. 

This is an event that closed off pretty much the whole of the CBD for a day and a half or more. The planning in barrier placement and volunteers to handle crowd management and information dispersal must have been nightmarish. But it worked. Further, they thought about what a stupendous crowd in the Perth CBD in Summer would need. Huge shade-cloth pavilions popped up in the parks and squares where the giants rested, food and drink vendors in place for the entire time of the event, and massive fresh water filling and drinking stations all over the parks. Multiple extra-large toilet blocks (with limited mobility blocks as well) and well staffed first-aid posts rounded things out. On top of the basics, there were also special limited mobility viewing platforms for chair-bound spectators.

But it did not stop there - with most of the CBD closed to cars, the various open-air parking stations also had toilet blocks and drinking water stations installed in them. Every second or third major intersection had a first aid post. Everywhere you looked there was a crowd management or event information volunteer (who were also armed with sunscreen for patrons). Even Transperth kicked in with extra transports - even to extra ferries!

It was (from what we saw) a model of effective and considerate event management, and the City of Perth and the Perth International Arts Festival must be congratulated on an astounding success.

#Perthfest   #cableicous   #TheGiantsPerth

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