Event & Emergency Electrical Systems Workshop

On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Majestic Collaborations and are partners The Arts & Cultural Network for Emergency Preparedness network led by Denver Arts & VenuesPerforming Arts Readiness, Colorado Creative Industries , and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation held a free workshop on Temporary Electrical Systems for Festivals, Events and Emergencies. These workshops were a follow-up to our inaugural Art of Mass Gatherings Symposium.

Mass gatherings are a ripe training ground and class room for skill-sharing between creatives, events producers, and the agencies and businesses that serve our communities. Providing a clear understanding of the myriad systems involved, including planning for water, waste, electricity, communications and shelter, will allow everyone to collaborate better in times of celebration and crisis.

The two-day workshop began Sept 30 at the McNichols Civic Center Building. After a reverent Native Land Recognition, the first segment on “Theory of Electricity, Terminology, and AC Power Basics” was led by renowned author and entertainment electrics educator, Richard Cadena, with assistance from Matthew Kowal, who spoke on “Sustainable Waste, Water and Power Systems for Mass Gatherings.” Afterwards, Cadena expounded on “Electrical Safety, Grounding/Earthing and Overload Protection.” Finally, Cadena, Kowal, Stephen Collum of Sunbelt Rentals, and Anne Drake, generator and distribution specialist and master electrician for Denver PRIDE, all presented on “Temporary and Portable Power Distribution System Design for Festivals, Events and Emergencies.”

Richard Cadena on Electrifying the Audience, not the Performers

On Oct 1, The Civic Center EATS food truck festival provided a real world, hands-on opportunity to deploy distributed grid power in lieu of dozens of noisy generators. Sunbelt Rentals provided temporary power and climate control equipment (such as spider boxes, cam-lock and twist lock distribution, cable ramps, AC/Heat units, fans) commonly used during events and emergencies.

Day 2: Oct 1 Hands-On Workshop
Stephen Collum and Matthew Kowal




We were so happy to see such diverse group in attendance! The group included individuals in outdoor/indoor event production, people from performing arts organizations and facilities, and others from temporary housing and sheltering.

The event appealed to folks who work in community resiliency and planning, sustainable and green events, life safety, health and public welfare, as well as people interested in maximizing socio-cultural engagement, enhancing accessibility, managing and reducing event waste, providing alternative power systems for both entertainment and emergencies.

In general, everyone who attended seemed to have a general interest in experiential events with interactive content and innovative programming.

Matthew Kowal and CBS News

CBS News attended the workshop and published a news segment on Oct. 1 in the evening! Here it is:

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