Worked example for building a typical small-scale structure at an outdoor festival


A local Parish Council decides to have a festival on their village green, to celebrate summer time. The Council appoints a Festival Organiser (a small company) to organise and run the event for them. The Council's only involvement is to provide the budget. 

The Festival Organiser decides to build a simple stage consisting of a ground support truss / roof with flown PA lights, drapes plus a Front of House (FOH) shelter. Several contractors are involved in this work.

Acting as the CDM Client, the Festival Organiser also plans, manages, monitors and coordinates the construction work and therefore it retains the CDM Principal Designer (PD) and Principal Contractor (PC) roles.

The Festival Organiser discharges these CDM duties with the assistance of those working for it as part of its production team. For the purposes of this scenario, the team consists of a Production Manager (PM), Site Manager (SM) and a Crew Boss (CB).

There are other space only plots for market stalls and concessions along the edge of the village green. These are being managed as separate projects by the renter of each space, with the Festival Organiser controlling the common parts. The production office and performer's accommodation are within a village hall on the green.

Pre-construction information

The PM arranges for pre-construction information to be sent to the contractors, which include a site drawing giving the proposed location of the stage and other structures, the location of known overhead and underground services plus arrangements for making the first point of electrical contact for each structure. Design information, including the weight of the lighting and sound equipment to be hung in the stage roof, is also communicated to the TDS contractor.  

The TDS contractor (acting as a CDM designer) ensures the proposed structures have a design prepared by a competent person, which takes account of the use and conditions in which they are to be installed.

The PM and SM liaise with all the contractors (including stalls and concessions) to agree the site health and safety co-operation and co-ordinating arrangements and safe vehicle access to the site. In turn, contractors ensure their health and safety arrangements are in line with the main site rules, welfare provision etc.

Information is shared via email, with face-to-face meetings at key stages.

Planning and design

As part of the Festival Organiser's general venue and site design tasks, the PM and SM visit the village green and carry out an assessment to determine its suitability for the intended structures and decide where they will be located.

There are several bands booked for the festival. In this scenario, each band has a booking agent or manager, who send a list of requirements ('Technical Rider') to the Festival Organiser, as part of their contracts, including power requirements and the lighting/sound equipment truss weightings for the stage.

The PM prepares a clear specification for the structure's required uses.

The Festival Organiser appoints a Temporary Demountable Structures (TDS) contractor to design and build the structures onsite. The Festival Organiser also appoints a Lighting company, a PA company and Décor company to undertake the additional fit out work, together with a Mains Electrical contractor who provides power to the whole site.

Build and strike

The PM and SM coordinate the work of the various CDM contractors during construction of the stage, FOH shelter and associated services eg site power, welfare etc. Proper cooperation and coordination helps to minimise confusion and conflict between those contractors carrying out concurrent or consecutive activities on the same structure.

All crew receive an appropriate briefing before starting work onsite.

The TDS contractor has two skilled operatives and a supervisor, who build the stage and FOH structures. The lighting company has three crew led by their lighting designer. They also provide rigging services for the stage. The PA Company has two crew led by their systems engineer. 

The CB manages an additional local crew, who undertake direct works for the Festival Organiser and assist the stage, PA and lighting contractors.

After the festival, contractors return at a pre-arranged date to take down the structures, again following a safe system of work and agreed co-operation and co-ordination with others on-site.

The PM oversees the preparation of a construction phase plan (CPP) to cover the build and strike at the end of the festival.

Example of a Construction Phase Plan (CPP) for this scenario.

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Updated 2022-11-01