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Behind the Heavy Metal

It takes more than just a band to rock a concert, even if that band is Metallica. As Wong Xin Zhi, second-year Diploma in Integrated Events and Project Management (DEPM) student discovered, it takes the collective effort of a small army just to make a single concert a success.

As Metallica fans across the world brace themselves for the widescreen experience of ‘Metallica: Through the Never’, SP Buzz caught up with Xin Zhi who shared with us her experience working on the first Metallica concert in Singapore in twenty years this August.

Distinct to DEPM, ‘Recruitment for Marquee Events’ is an Integrated Project module for the course. Aiming to educate students beyond the classroom, the programme provides real-life event experiences for students by pairing them with brand name events. The events also offer job opportunities to SP students outside of DEPM to work as ushers and assistants for the duration of the event. The opportunity to gain such valuable knowledge was something that appealed to Xin Zhi and actually influenced her decision to join the DEPM. Filling us in on what she enjoyed the most, she said, “No two days in events management are the same; there’s always something different to experience and learn. I also enjoyed being able to contribute to something bigger than myself.”

Even so, managing the Metallica concert was certainly far from easy. In addition to planning the logistics and ushering the 40,000 strong crowd eager to watch their rock legends in action, the responsibility of recruiting additional manpower to assist the event also fell on the shoulders of the four-man student Marquee Events Team. As the concert coincided with the exam period, many of the regular participants declined to be involved in the event. This meant having to double up on recruitment to ensure that there would be enough manpower to run the show. Their efforts certainly paid off in the end, with over 60 ushers and assistants engaged to aid in the concert.

For Xin Zhi, being able to witness the fans was the best part. “Getting them organised, making sure that they were all properly taken care of and receiving their appreciation, it made all our hard work worth it. I’m really glad I could help them see their idols in real life!” .