Danny Wimmer Presents
VP of Operations
Success was far from a given for festival producers in 2021, as companies navigated a shortened season, competitive booking landscape and the still-looming coronavirus.
That Danny Wimmer Presents pulled off four such events from coast to coast – Aftershock in Sacramento, Calif.; Welcome To Rockville in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Louder Than Life in Louisville, Ky.; and Inkcarceration in Mansfield, Ohio – was a logistical triumph, and the company’s vice president of operations, Molly Zidow, played a key role. Zidow leads project management for DWP’s festivals, handling all aspects of onsite layout and fan experience, in addition to safety protocols, revenue programs, traffic management, parking, shuttles and camping.
“To ensure we could have our events, we knew we had to implement COVID policies at our festivals to protect our artists, staff and fans,” Zidow says, citing requirements for proof of vaccination or a negative test and DWP’s decision to offer onsite testing for fans at no additional cost. “In an already shortened planning window for regular operations, adding this additional layer was a challenge.”
More than 20 years in the business prepared Zidow for the challenges of the last two years. Prior to joining DWP in early 2019, Zidow worked for eight years as senior director of event operations at Superfly, handling logistics for fests such as Bonnaroo and Outside Lands. Earlier in her career, she was GM of White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Wash.
Aftershock, Louder Than Life, Welcome To Rockville and Inkcarceration all return this year, with headliners including Nine Inch Nails, KISS, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Slipknot. And despite lingering industry shortages of staffing and equipment, Zidow expects an easier season due to a more diffuse calendar.
Among her goals? Focusing on staff training to improve the fan experience and implementing new incentive programs for staff.
All the while, memories of live’s restart will be front of mind.
Opening the gates at our first live event last year – after having none in 2020 – was something I won’t ever forget,” Zidow says. “Seeing the excitement and joy of our fans coming together to enjoy their favorite music was a reminder for me of why I love doing what I do.”