Esha McCallion takes on Harry Styles!!

21 March 2023

PIHMS was what lead me down the track of wanting to become an Events Coordinator.  Organising an event every year with a different group of students helped me and I am sure all PIHMS students can or will relate to the fact that working in a large group of people who have different views, experiences, and work procedures/ethics can be at times very difficult and stressful, but it comes with the job, and you have to work with it and not against it – PIHMS 100% helped me with this. 

I was also lucky enough at PIHMS to be offered to work different events such as weddings by Ms Manu. Through this I got to experience running and organising a team that work on the ground during the event – giving me a better understanding of what happens in the food and beverage sector during an event which helps me now when planning an event. I also did a placement as a Banquet Attendant at The Crowne Plaza in Auckland – again this gave me a better understanding of what happens on the ground and behind the scenes for different events. 

The lead up to the big night

As you could only imagine the lead up to this event was pretty crazy. Harry Styles shows are unique and this is mostly due to the loyal and dedicated fans. My manager and I were given the concert back around September/October last year and we started to really dig our heels into at the beginning of this year. Once pack in began at the end of February we put in the hard yards of 12+ hour days all the way up until show day. I did start to consider having a go bag ready in case crashing on the office couch was needed (it is a joke but also kind of not). Of course there were some stressful times during the lead up to this event and a couple times where you could definitely see the sleep deprivation take affect but I am really happy to say there were very little of these times thanks to my amazing Event Manager who was there with me every step of the way and seeing him never break a sweat and lead the way was everything I needed to make this an exceptional experience – the cheesy dad jokes did also very much lighten the mood at 1am while printing accreditation. 

Too many choices to pick a favourite

I do not think I can list only one favourite, there were so many exciting moments during the lead up. Getting to meet Harry Styles Tour Management team and discuss show day plans and processes was a significant part for me, it signalled to me that this was happening, and I was a part of it.  

I am a creative person, so I get excited when I get to design and create. Making the little things like suite signage, car park passes, and volunteer handbooks were some of the fun parts as that was my chance to make them unique to the show compared to normal templates we use for others. 

Favourite thing about the concert night

100% it had to be seeing it all come together and watching Harry perform to the 40,000+ fans. This is why I chose to do this. Getting to see all the hard work come together is one of the most rewarding things. Also seeing all the fans having one of the best nights of their lives and creating unforgettable memories is amazing, standing there and knowing you helped make this happen is like being on cloud 9. As a Harry fan I can also easily say that getting to watch him perform and do his magic was also a massive highlight of the night. When the tickets came out for his show last year in April, I knew I was going to be there one way or another, but I never thought it would be this way and I am very thankful it was. 

There were big feelings on the big night

I cannot lie, I did have a little moment on the night. I was watching the show and my manager walked up to me with a huge grin and said, “we did this!” And I am not embarrassed to say it now but through my smile I was welling up and shed a little tear because yes, we did do this! (Hearing Harry sing Sign of the Times and the aforementioned sleep deprivation definitely did not have anything to do with it). 

It was a feeling like no other, working in this industry you never know how the event will go on show day, no matter how much you plan for it. An attribution to the show’s success was the fans. We were prepared for some fanatics, but these fans were amazing, the most understanding and compliant group of people.

My 5 year plan has shifted and I am excited about it!

I am glad you have asked this again, I cannot remember what I wrote last time but I am pretty sure the answer may be somewhat different now.  

My goal now is move over to the production side of the industry. I want to be on the creative side of playing a part in creating the show itself with the artist/performer.  

I am hoping to get more experience and big gigs under my belt before making the leap internationally and joining the like of Live Nation or even joining a performers team and touring the world with them putting on shows for thousands to enjoy every time. 

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