For our returning directors, you may notice a change this year as you’re completing your stage set-up sheet: the addition of your cell phone number and an offsite emergency contact. We know it can be difficult to give out your personal cell with today’s landscape of spam calls and scammers becoming more and more frequent. We get it – some days it feels like we get more spam calls than anything else! However, have you considered how important this information is in crucial situations? Through our 29 years of hosting festivals, we’ve seen it all! Here are just a few examples of why these pieces of information can be crucial at a festival.
A student is left behind. In spite of buddy systems, chaperone counts, and your best efforts- it can happen! A student who may have been in the restroom doesn’t have a way to contact you. We once saw a group leave the festival before realizing a student was left behind. Without a cell phone number, our festival manager had no way to contact the director. Finally, the group turned the bus around to come back for the student left behind.
There is a medical emergency. Festival days are busy, and we know you can’t be everywhere at once. If you are directing multiple ensembles and there is a medical emergency with another student, it is crucial to have yours and an off-site emergency contact’s information to inform and ensure students (or directors) receive proper care.
Schedule changes/Transportation complications. Delays happen, and often we know it is out of your control. Perhaps your bus shows up late or drives to the wrong location. We know you have a million plates spinning in those scenarios, but if we do not hear from you and have no way to contact you, it can be hard to know how to proceed. Your group could be 5 minutes away, or 50 minutes away and without that context, we may have to shift your performance schedule around to accommodate other groups. Having cell information allows us to connect and make the best decision for everyone participating.
These are just a few of the typical scenarios we’ve seen through the years – but there are plenty! Please consider the ways in which having up-to-date contact information can benefit you and your students when the unforeseen becomes a reality. Keep in mind, your emergency contact and cell phone information will NEVER be given out to others or sold. The information you provide is confidential and will only be used in emergency circumstances. If you ever have questions, we’re just an email or call away at 888-763-6786. We look forward to working together for a stress-free festival season!