Hi all, Mark Ward here. AMA on my touring production credits ranging from Coldplay to Tina Turner and Roger Waters, running shows from Dusseldorf to the Dominican Republic, and all points in between, working with artists as diverse as Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Take That, The Cure and Carole King at American Express Presents BST Hyde Park.

In between, I’ve been TNA/CPI Tour Manager on the Rolling Stones “40 Licks”, “Bigger Bang” and “Bridges to Babylon” stadium tours, Madonna’s “Re-invention” tour, 2 David Bowie tours and a host of other European arena tours, film premier parties ("Sex and the City", "Batman and Robin") and lavish theatrical one-off's ranging from the worldwide launch of Sky digital to 3500 guests inside Battersea Power Station, to the 2004 Cannes Film Festival closing event (an all-star orchestral presentation on a vast stage built in the sea) to Prince Charles' 50th birthday celebration at Buckingham Palace.


PROOF: https://i.redd.it/t05xy1qt2y991.jpg

Comments: 85 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

rip198045 karma

What do you do with the brown M&Ms?

bsthydepark47 karma

give them to the next band in . . .

pandaaaa2630 karma

Hey Mark,

I studied event management at university and always hoped to go into it long term as a career. However soon after graduating the pandemic hit, the event industry got hit hard and opportunities were sparse at best. Therefore I have basically been out of the industry ever since graduation in 2019 and am finding it difficult to get my foot back in the door.

I wondered if you had any advice or suggestions for how best to move forward and start making a career for myself in the events industry? Cheers!

bsthydepark49 karma

post pandemic i think is much the same as before - albeit in an altered live music environment (which is actually incredibly busy)

be prepared to work hard - try as many different roles as you can to get a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge. focus on what you learn you enjoy the most (unless you're lucky enough to go in knowing what it is you want to do).

remember nobody is too big or too clever to make the tea / sweep the stage

be resilient and keep plugging away - there will be setbacks it's how you handle them that sets you apart.

work hard and be nice to people . . . .

Shameful_pleasure14 karma

Saw the Libertines at BST a few years ago now and it really gave a poor impression of BST when compared with other similar events and festivals I've attended. I hope the layout and bars have improved and you've gotten rid of that daft VIP crowd section. That really was a major reason for the safety stoppages and it being the one crowd I've ever felt unsafe in.

Have things improved at all?

bsthydepark19 karma

the libertines was an interesting night for sure. REALLY unusual crowd dynamics and behaviour. barricade layouts change for almost every show with a LOT of thought from a very experienced team on how best to create a safe environment for that specific event.

jaymb12311 karma

Who’s been your best assistant?

bsthydepark25 karma

there was one called jay who was pretty spectacular

made rubbish tea though

and kept blithering on about video

had to go . . . .

AltGrendel10 karma

VanHalen had the famous brown M&M rider. Any other strange riders you can tell us about?

bsthydepark36 karma

plenty - but they stay private as they should

the brown M&M's thing has been endlessly mis-represented - it was only there to ensure that local promoters were actually reading the detail - not because anyone would actually be upset if there were brown M&M's in the bowl . . .

selesta6 karma

Hi Mark! Were you the one who passed the names of Miss Universe winners in an envelope to the hosts in the 1980s? I keep remembering Mark Ward but wasn't sure if you were the one!

bsthydepark12 karma

i'm not that old . . . .

Satnavtt6 karma

Hi Mark, what makes The Great Oak stage at BST so iconic? Artists seem to love performing on it.

bsthydepark8 karma

it looks beautiful - and distinctive. the technical and backstage spec is world class - as are the people who make it all come together . makes it easy for the best artists in the world to present a show they're really proud of

elusiveclownface4 karma

Do you think there should be a golden circle and platinum circle? It ruins the atmosphere to have them as you fence off a very large section to have them

bsthydepark13 karma

the vibe in all areas of the park has been great - the premium areas don't necessarily kill that vibe. worth remembering that those premium ticket areas contribute to making GA tickets as affordable as possible . . . .

jjdubbs4 karma

Hi Mark, how did you get your start and what advice do you have for someone interested in a similar career?

bsthydepark14 karma

played drum in bands for 12 years

but having got a decent degree first

moved from musician to TM and from there to PM

there are loads of great places to study live music production / stage management now - and gain experience as part of your course to see what bit of that broad spectrum of opportunities is the one for you - get out there and do as much different stuff as you can - see what you like best. work hard and be nice to people . . . .

shitnameman3 karma

Looking forward to Pearl Jam this weekend?

bsthydepark9 karma


and to a bunch of the supporting cast

and to duran - spent many happy years touring the world with them way back when . . . .

emmamilamoo3 karma

What is the most rewarding highlight of your career and the most challenging?

bsthydepark9 karma

so many highlights - i've been lucky enough to work with so many incredible artists and touring teams. the most challenging ? i guess weather is what throws the biggest curveballs on big outdoor events - especially on beaches. in brazil . . . . .

ktcav252 karma

Hi Mark! What’s your career highlight to date?

bsthydepark7 karma

3 weekends of shows at BST coming out of 2 years of pandemic weirdness . . . . . . a real joy to be back at it - for everyone on the crew squad and for the 400,000 or so in the audience who had a great time . . . .

flbwmn2 karma

Whats been the best festival / gig you’ve worked on?

bsthydepark7 karma

so many to choose from . BST's incredible of course - but the first dance music event in china (with the great wall as a back drop) was pretty amazing too

some of the big theatrical one-offs are great too - stuff that you could only ever do once

JeffRyan11 karma

What cities do you have a new/different/worse/better feeling about, due to how easy or hard it was to put on a show there?

bsthydepark3 karma

i'm sure every touring team have their favourites - and maybe some they're less fond of

always loved japan - incredibly attentive enthusiastic local teams and crews with amazing diligence and dedication

wd_plantdaddy1 karma

As far as running your business, how did you build up your team? Did they find you or did you find them? Did you have any breaking points in your career where you almost quit?

bsthydepark2 karma

a bit of both. have a great ongoing relationship with the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama - bringing students through internships into 4 full time jobs. We keep an eye out on all of the jobs we do for people we'd like to do more with . . . . we also take time to meet with folks who come to us if they look interesting . . .

no points where i considered quitting but some tough / low moments to come through for sure. apparently if it was easy everyone would do it . . .

sparkplug491 karma

Any crazy load in or strike stories?

bsthydepark5 karma

for BST specifically ? plenty of interesting overnight changeovers

adele into the rolling stones this year was pretty full on . . . . . and levelling the ground in front of stage with 27t of sharp sand to get Taylor's spinning thrust in place (in 2 hours) took some doing . . . . . getting the baseball exhibition built in the midweek in 2018 (maybe 2017 ?) was pretty interesting too - way out of the boundaries of what you'd normally be doing on a festival stage and site - but worked brilliantly

BowieKingOfVampires0 karma

I’m a huge Bob Dylan fan, thanks for doing this! What time period did you work with him? Any odd requests or habits? Spill baybeeeee!

bsthydepark3 karma

my only experience with Bob was when he came to play BST - an incredible performance with an unbelievably good band . . . . and a pretty spectacular hat i recall . . .

vindicationcs0 karma

how do you begin producing for other artists and get your name out from there? i studied music in school for 6 years and have been producing my own music and composing for almost 12. i have mild success with this in a capacity im happy with, but what i truly want to do in my heart is write/compose for other people across every genre. i have endless creative energy and i can confidently say i know this is what im meant to do in my life - but i have no idea how to branch out from making music for myself to writing for others, whether that be lyrics or full scale compositions or just doing session performance

bsthydepark6 karma

music production not really my thing - although thats where i started. i think the advice now is the same as i was given back then. be true to yourself and never give up . . . . talent is a part of what you need for success but without tenacity it's not enough . . . .