I’m fortunate that I have a vehicle to share thoughts, impact others and stimulate conversation. I am grateful that so many people read my writing and reach out after. I want to use this platform to showcase how powerful having passion and a sense of purpose are. We had a recent Anthem created and produced festival that teetered on disaster after a powerful storm flooded the event site and damaged all of the infrastructure.
The very popular Frozen Fire Festival was truly salvaged and came to life after a rare and powerful winter storm. Yet, few words can encapsulate the “village” that helped it recover and rebuild. Everyone is to credit the festival’s success – from our senior leadership to our part-time team and also volunteers and Good Samaritans off the street. Our team in Boston to our team incoming from Washington DC and everywhere else played a major role. Neighbors, team members, strangers, volunteers, everybody came together to help make sure that this event came through for the performers, the artists, the public and all the people that support it.
It took working around the clock (not figuratively, but literally). The mix of people that pulled together, sacrificed their holiday celebrations, their Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and all of Christmas day and night. People rushed to rebuild when the event site was left in a compromised and perilous position after up to four feet of ocean water receded. To make the situation more complicated, we had to dispatch teams to repair and secure our other venues and sites. The storm wreaked havoc everywhere. But in Salem we had just under 60 hours to do ten days’ worth of work. A nearly 700-pound curling rink started to float toward the ocean. Trussing, tents and all vertical structures had to be taken down and rushed back up. It was in the simplest of terms, starting from scratch. Not to mention the canceled flights of performers, power loss that damaged vendors, food trucks and suppliers’ ability to operate as well.
Yet, the tide did recede – and a subzero temperature windchill commenced. Despite the harsh conditions and the atypical need to clear buoys that floated in from the ocean, frozen seaweed, hundreds of seashells and stubborn driftwood: the team leverages its collective passion and shared purpose. The show must go on and the event must open. In the end, the result was a beautiful festival that has set the stage for the future for a long time. The drive to pull together the event site, replace participants that could not attend and work straight through the hours leading to opening are what separate people with passion and a sense of purpose from others.
But there is more to the effort of our team and its supporters than just pulling long hours in the cold, outside and over holidays. These acts of effort are representative not just of our future, but our past. This exemplifies who Anthem is and will always be. No one will ever outwork us or hustle our team. The idea of being the “hardest worker in the room” is not just a saying. Some people can listen to people talk about being the hardest worker in the room, and then a select few can hear it. I am grateful that we not only hear it, but we live it.
By Chris Sinclair
Founder, The Anthem Group