From AC/DC to U2: he had them all!

As managing director of POOLgroup Süd GmbH, Olaf Danner advises Full Moon Event on the implementation of events. In an interview, Olaf explains why sometimes even as managing director you are the girl for everything.

Olaf Danner. A man who celebrated 30 years of Rock'n'Roll with the greatest artists in history. AC/DC, Sting or U2, Olaf has put them all in the right light on the stages of this world.

30 years of Rock'n'Roll, that almost screams for a book filled with anecdotes. Have you ever thought about an autobiography?

Olaf: Not really and if so with a grin. I can't imagine that this could really interest anyone, what I have to tell.

When an Olaf Danner hides behind an event, we usually speak of superlatives. Your personal highlight so far?

Olaf: I try to make every event I am allowed to participate in as successful as possible. For me there is no difference whether it is a super big or a rather small event. But of course there are highlights such as the Day of German Unity, the G7 summit in Garmisch Patenkirchen and Elmau, the Christmas party of Hugo Boss in a huge circus tent or the home game of the Fantastischen Vier in Stuttgart.

You make the ideas of creative project managers for unique events come true. What do you have to consider?

Olaf: First and foremost, you have to let the creative department be creative for as long as possible. The castles in the air must first be allowed to be built. Then, little by little and always with the aim of being able to realise as many of these ideas as possible in the ideal case, one has to bring this back down to earth. The feasibility and the budget ultimately determine what can be implemented.

You not only coordinate events, but also act as a technical consultant for Full Moon Event GmbH. Why is it important that you are involved in the planning of an event at an early stage?

Olaf: So that only ideas that can be implemented are communicated to customers. As already mentioned, castles in the air are beautiful, but difficult to realise.

Based on your experience in the events industry, you may be one of the first to judge whether an idea works or not. What can even events planned in detail fail?

Olaf: Reliable budgets are an important point both in the cooperation with the Full Moon Event Team and with the customer. A lot can fail because of this. Another important point is a common understanding of the event: Have we understood the customer's wishes? Do we try to realise what the customer really wants or are we fixated on our own ideas? To be able to exclude these points, we involve the customer in the various planning phases. We visualise ideas, record stages and other buildings to give the customer a feeling of what it will actually look like at his event.

The topic of "security" is more than ever in focus. Can you guarantee 100% security? Which components play a decisive role?

Olaf: We can develop, present and implement as much security as possible in the planning and implementation phases. This cannot be 100% successful, because then everyone would have to stay at home and we don't want that.

This year too, the weather has thwarted the festival season and led to the cancellation of events. Not always understandable for festival visitors "with the little wind". Why is it important as an organiser to react in time?

Olaf: The "little bit of wind" can be enough to make umbrellas, tents or other structures learn to fly and then injure visitors. Of course, this is annoying for the visitors, but this year the organisers have proven time and again how important the safety of the visitors is to them. And they are right to do so.

You have already worked with the most famous artists: AC/DC, Sting, U2- the list is endless. Which bizarre special requests of the stars and starlets have you been confronted with?

Olaf: Yes, the stars have special wishes and these often seem bizarre. There are bands whose members each have their own cook on tour. You need champagne or bitters, furniture covered with linen sheets, a perfume selection that leaves every perfumery in the shade, or simply a cat picture in the backstage area. Yoga mats, carpets for the children to play on, and of course food and drink I've never heard of.

Are these wishes legitimate or already borderline?

Olaf: At first glance they seem to be the star airs of the rich and beautiful. But you have to bear in mind that the artists work many days a year in hotels, on journeys, on and behind the stage and therefore often do not see their home for months. The one or other extra wish seems to me to be quite understandable.

Does a personal connection to artists develop when you are the linchpin of a successful production?

Olaf: There are very few artists with whom I have or have had a personal connection. This is partly due to the fact that we have to fulfil our tasks, but also because one only spends a relatively limited amount of time with the respective artist.

After your previous milestones, do you still have a desired event that you would like to host? If so, which one and why?

Olaf: With the G7 Summit in 2015, we had one of the largest media events worldwide. We counted 1.4 million visitors to the celebrations of German Unity Day in Frankfurt. This leaves hardly anything to be desired. We are currently preparing for the Day of German Unity in Rhineland-Palatinate. If the customers are satisfied at the end of the day, that's enough without superlatives.

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