Event Safety Alliance Summit 2018

Event Safety Alliance Summit 2018

Matthew Ché Kowal was honored to be sponsored by Performing Arts Readiness to attend the Event Safety Alliance Summit Nov 28 – Nov 30, 2018 in Lititz, Pennsylvania.

This year’s event, “Designing for Safety: Planning, Creativity, and the Art of Problem Solving,” explored intentional design and safety/operational plans, training, event structures, and careers.  Basically, the summit was a broad survey of event emergency preparedness presented by the very best folks in the industry.

At the summit, Kowal spent several days talking, networking, workshopping, and generally collaborating with key players concerning everything that could possibly go wrong with crowds and events. He was able to experience over 20 presentations, workshops, forums, and activities concerning the importance of preparation for the worst and making secure and sounds for each and every community.




Topics included: Designing for safety, Simulation is a powerful tool, recognizing hazards, human psychology, the effect of stress on health and decision making, the idea of elimination or substitution in designing spaces, conflict resolution, building resilient teams, codes and limitations, rigging safety, the art of explaining safety concerns, weather safety, event safety management, analyzing emergencies, touring production safety, the reality and safety concerns concerning “mud baths” and “mosh pits,” navigating power dynamics, building safe and consistent work practices, rescue planning for when people fall, health awareness, boosting “brand value,” automation and hazard creation, and key strategies to take home and apply to daily work and life.

Check out the event’s full schedule here! 

Event Safety as an industry has come such a long way, and continues to strengthen and grow as it becomes more and more important to rally around event safety considering the world we are living in. The importance of planning for the worst even while celebrating the best of event cannot be emphasized enough. We are excited to see what Kowal’s preparation can do for Majestic Collaborations and the types of contracts we serve!







Howdy A2RU!!

Howdy A2RU, from Matthew Ché Kowal!


In this video filmed for A2RU, Kowal discusses immersive experiences, Majestic Collaborations, emergency preparedness, and the importance of recognizing the history of land and its people.

Scroll down for a synopsis of the video!



Immersive Experiences

One of Kowal’s first immersive experiences was his combined twelve years of involvement in New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat, a festival comprised of “costumed artful parties in the park, with a potluck-vibe. TDF was truly an immersive, cooperative experience centered around bicycle advocacy. There was a car-to-bike trade at every event, a 1000 person dance contest to win a bike, and a “slow ride” emphasizing the bike’s inherent ability to make people slow down and appreciate life.

Majestic Collaborations

Majestic Collaborations was established in 2016 by Kowal and his wife, Molly. Majestic connects bands, brands, and agencies to their communities through community involved events, initiatives, and policy work. Some of our recent clients are the City of Denver Music Strategy, FACTOR Canada, and Sound Diplomacy. Currently, we are serving a Mellon Foundation grant to do Emergency Preparedness for performing arts organizations.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness can be a way to engage with crowds at festivals and other large events. Hands-on skill sharing events can be helpful in training people to be prepared in all types of emergency situations. This idea came to Kowal while he was at Standing Rock where he noticed a great similarity between emergency planning for large demonstrations and emergency planning for festivals.

Indigenous Recognition

Majestic Collaborations believes in the importance of recognizing the history of a land and its people. In Canada, event producers begin each public event with a call to recognize indigenous history. We hope this idea spreads! And, we’re looking at ways to help ground people and remind them that where they are standing now belongs also to the people of the past.



Slow the Funk Down! – A Tactical Urbanism Project

Slow the Funk Down! – A Tactical Urbanism Project 

Written by Molly North

Tactical urbanism is a strategic tool used to try out new or necessary infrastructure, usually related to prioritizing people in the transportation system. The intent is to install something temporarily, measure the impacts, adjust to make improvements, and eventually install it permanently.

For this project, I wanted to see if I could impact the speeds of vehicles on the street next to our house.

I drew on inspiration from tactical urbanism project in Boston, MA and a year-long study in St Paul, MN. Jonathan Fertig, a Boston resident who has installed many projects over the years, responded to the Mayor who blamed a bicyclist for getting hit and killed by a driver. Fertig installed eight 2-D cartoon characters in the buffers of protected bike lanes. The characters had speech bubbles that said things like “Look for bikes before opening your door (that’s what this buffer is for)” and a conversation between Marty and Matt Damon that goes “C’mon guys, you can pahk better!” “Marty, why don’t you just put in some bollards” “What, I suppose you think you are some sort of genius?” “Um, well, no. But I played one.” In St Paul, Nicole Morris, director of the HumanFIRST Laboratory at the University of Minnesota, measured the number of drivers stopping at crosswalks for pedestrians. Morris installed official-looking street signs around the city to indicate both the percent of drivers who stopped last week and the record. She intentionally used “human factors psychology” to try to influence people to change their behavior toward the behavior of the majority.

My collaborators and I decided to measure speeds on 44th Ave for five weeks (one weekday morning, one weekday mid-day, one weekday evening, and Saturday morning) and then post the percent of people observing the speed limit at the end of each week. In discussion with my adviser, I determined that Westbound drivers would see a human cutout holding a sign with the percentages; Eastbound drivers would see a black and white, campaign-style sign with the percentages. My hypothesis was that drivers in both directions will be influenced to obey the speed limit, but they will be more influenced by the sign being held by the human cutout.





I decided to add WalkDenver’s “Slow the Funk Down” campaign signs to the same side of the street as the human cutout. In discussion with my husband Matt Kowal, we decided Bootsy Collins would be the best artist to (literally) carry our message. Bootsy is the luminary of funk, one of America’s greatest musical styles. We are seeking to use the power of music and art to help make the neighborhood safer.






  • Week of October 29 – I measured speeds on 44th Avenue
  • November 3 – I asked Matt and two friends to help, and we created a Bootsy Collins cutout. We installed the two different signs at opposite ends of the block on 44th
  • Week of November 5 – Matt will measure speeds and we will see if there is a change!
  • Check back next week for an update!






Molly wrote this November 4th.

On the evening of the 4th, or perhaps Monday morning, Bootsy was tragically stolen from his corner outpost. However, his spirit lives on! Boosty’s message can be duplicated and replicated for the benefit of all the neighborhoods in our fair city.


Music Cities Convention Lafayette 2018

From Oct 11-12, Matthew Ché Kowal ventured to Lafayette LA for Music Cities Convention Lafayette.

At Music Cities Lafayette, Kowal noticed a high interest in the utility of emergency preparedness cross-training at festivals to help build resilience in cities.

Majestic Collaborations thinks that training for emergencies could go a long way in helping people respond with more finesse to emergency situations, while at the same time giving agency to city arts and culture institutions by allowing them to plan ahead instead of having authorities make top-down decisions in the event of an emergency.

Emergency preparedness cross-training could provide an answer to the question – How do we build resilience in cities facing climate-induced migration? Sharon Yazowski, the Director of the Levitt Foundation, delivered an excellent presentation about building programming themed towards inclusion and welcoming immigrants. She drew upon the great example that Dayton, OH is providing for the nation: Dayton was the first city in the US to earn the status of Certified Welcoming due to its inclusiveness and integration of immigrants.

In general, many at Music Cities Lafayette agreed that prescribed training would be very applicable to residents of the southern states; pre-planning for emergencies being naturally very important to people who live near the Gulf of Mexico. There was a consensus among convention delegates that we should be looking at long term, big picture goals of boosting the authority and agency of arts and culture institutions so that they can be prepared to make emergency decisions.

All of us at Majestic Collaborations can’t wait to see how this idea grows into practice as more and more artistic and cultural institutions are endowed with the training and knowledge to protect their artists and patrons.



September 25-27, 2018

CIVIC CENTER EATS Green Week (guest post by Antonina Clarke) 

Last week through the combined efforts of four different teams & some seriously practical skill sharing, we were able to run 90% of Civic Center Eats’ (CCE) food trucks on grid power instead of the fleet of gasoline powered generators traditionally relied on. Matthew Ché Kowal, founder of Majestic Collaborations, used his knowledge of music festival temporary electricity to suggest to Eric Lazzari, director of operations for Civic Center Eats, that the food trucks be powered from existing grid infrastructure from the city instead of individual gasoline mechanisms.


Eric and Matt then collaborated with Pamela Maragh of Siteline Events to teach six of her eager workers in a new practical skill: temporary electricity. Utilized for more than just food trucks and concert lights, temporary power is how cities get back on their feet in emergencies; an important part of Matthew’s intention is to teach his practical knowledge of how to draw and distribute power safely. In order to pull this off, the team at Siteline Events learned a whole new language of power jargon with terms like spider boxes, California twist locks, feeder cables, turtles and L14-30’s in order to operate the equipment, which was provided by Sunbelt Rentals.


The food truck operators then enthusiastically participated in this important pilot program as it not only meant a day of not running their fumy loud mechanical portable power sources, but because the information offered to them on their wiring set-ups enables them to connect at more breweries and outdoor festivals safely in the future. All parties were excited that the patrons would be able to smell food (not gasoline) and hear the live music (not generators). The vendors were also asked to bring all compostable wares and most were happy to comply – we achieved very good diversion from landfill thanks to staffing and waste stations from Cut the Plastic. 


A few rigs were discovered to have faulty electrical hookups their operators were unaware of. This is where convenience appears again and again as an obstacle in our long term evolution toward more efficient systems. If the electricians hired to wire the food trucks initially hadn’t taken shortcuts, some costly and safety-compromising mistakes could have been avoided. Currently gasoline is so cheap, and generators are accessible to many, and convenient in the short term, but in terms of energy efficiency, we CAN do better.


The success of supplying grid power to 49 uniquely wired food trucks is a testament to collaboration, skill sharing, and changing toward better methods. The fact that the lines the city has laid are able to tap into renewable energy sources, reduce air pollution in the immediate area, and create safer electrical systems for all, make green-lighting this program for next year a serious consideration.

Antonina Clarke is an artist-carpenter, welder, trades-lady who had the opportunity to assist Matthew and Pamela and learn heaps in the process, as per Majestic Collaborations’ ethos of empowering creatives and their communities through skill sharing and cross pollination.

Performing Arts Readiness has employed  Majestic Collaborations though funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop emergency preparedness in Colorado’s creative and Performing Arts community. This position, also know as “Circuit Rider”, is hosted by Denver Arts & Venues 

Below you’ll find a few impromptu phone-captured videos documenting a few atmospheric, technical, and collaborative details of our work with CIVIC CENTER EATS Green Week !! 











Music Cities Lafayette

October 11-12, 2018

Majestic Collaborations will be heading to Lafayette this October for the Music Cities Convention, the largest and most extensive global gathering on the topic of Music Cities. This conference brings together leaders from governments, cities and regions, academics, organizations, and the music scene to discuss, debate, and introduce new thinking regarding best practices for improving urban planning, quality of life, city policy and development strategies through music. Majestic Collaborations will provide marketing, media relations and community liaising for this conference.


Majestic Collaborations to work as Emergency Preparedness Consultant for Denver Arts & Venues

July 12, 2018 

Majestic Collaborations will be Emergency Preparedness Consultant for Performing Arts Readiness hosted by Denver Arts & Venues

We are very excited to share that Performing Arts Readiness has employed Majestic Collaborations in the role of Emergency Preparedness Consultant to develop emergency preparedness in Colorado’s creative and Performing Arts community. This position, also known as “Circuit Rider”, is hosted by Denver Arts & Venues. We will work to define the scope of the Emergency Preparedness Program, develop emergency preparedness plans, and build networks and partnerships with performance art entities in the Colorado Region.

Funding was was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Melon Foundation, a foundation that provides advocacy and support for the humanities and the arts.