Behind the scenes – without them there are no festivals – Radio SRF 3


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Openairs only work because there are a lot of people working behind the scenes. SRF 3 sounds! Story puts three of you in the spotlight.


Without Ilana Walker, Lo & Leduc hear nothing

Ilana Walker is a sound engineer and is currently working as a monitor mixer with Lo & Leduc. With her “Leitchue Bertha” car, she transports the technical material, connects the instruments and the mixer and is responsible for ensuring that all the musicians on stage can hear each other well.

Legend:

Sound engineer Ilana Walker

It ensures the perfect sound.

SRF/Gisela Feuz

Even though mixing consoles are fortunately no longer 400 kilos heavy, technical advances have not only made their work easier, says the 36-year-old. Worry lines give her but above all weather conditions. “If a gust of wind blows a poorly secured tent from the campsite, it can be dangerous.”

The fact that she works as a woman in a job that used to be done almost exclusively by men doesn’t bother her. When Walker is confronted with sexism, she knows what to do: “I have a few sayings in store, some of them below the belt,” she says and laughs.

No band will play on the Gurten main stage without Sämu Berger

Sämu Berger gets just three to four hours of sleep a night during the Gurten Festival. The 48-year-old is Stage Manager of the main stage, which means that he coordinates tons of material that has to be in the right place at the right time. He also makes sure that the wishes of the smaller bands are not forgotten along with the demands of the headliners.

A tall man stands in front of the main stage of the Gurten Festival

Legend:

Stage manager Samuel Berger

He is like a rock in the surf of the festival.

SRF/Gisela Feuz

Big acts sometimes travel with an entourage of up to 60 people, so as not to leave any detail to chance, says Berger. “The pressure on the musicians is great and I feel it too.” And sometimes it’s with musicians like in kindergarten: “Emotions like defiance or joy come pure and unfiltered.”

Berger is stage manager of the main stage for the seventh time in 2023. “The job is so stressful that I ask myself every year why I’m doing this to myself. But as soon as a band starts, I regularly get goose bumps. That’s reason enough.”

Without Jenni Moosmann, the Sittertobel would die of thirst

A total of 164,000 liters of beer flowed through the taps of the Openair St. Gallen in 2022. That’s a whole lot more than in previous years, says Jennifer Moosmann. “Apparently, the boys today simply tolerate more.”

a young woman in front of the main stage of the Openair St. Gallen

Legend:

Food & Beverage Manager Jenni Moosmann

She knows the wardrobe quirks of stars.

SRF/Gisela Feuz

If anyone knows how much people drink and eat in the Sittertobel, it’s Moosmann. The 30-year-old is the head of the food, beverage and hospitality area for the entire Openair St. Gallen. She is responsible for ensuring that all 32 bars get enough drinks on time, which is not always easy when the festival site is full. She also coordinates 85 food stands, only seven of which do not offer vegan food.

A crowd of young people standing in front of a concert stage

Legend:

Thirsty open-air goers

In 2022, each person drank an average of 5.5 liters of beer at the Openair St. Gallen

SRF/Anna-Tia Buss

Jenni Moosmann not only takes care of the physical well-being of the festival audience, but is also responsible for ensuring that the special wishes of the stars are fulfilled. “A band wanted a puppy backstage. But that was not possible, if only for legal reasons. We then put a stuffed dog in for them.”

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