It has been quite a long time between events for WhiteLeaf—19 months to be precise. Boy, it is good to be back!
During this recent period of uncertainty, many of those in the live events business were forced to make difficult decisions about how to survive . . . literally and figuratively. I, myself, contemplated numerous pivots and adaptations to my core business to help me endure these unsure times.
But alas, July 2021 came. As I joined my team on the first day of our production build in Greenwich, Connecticut, I made every effort to fully embrace the moment and ensure I spoke with each individual on-site. It was vital to me that every single person understood my genuine appreciation, not only for their presence, but also for their strength and willingness to overcome in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
WhiteLeaf Events was tasked with finding a great and unique musical performer to help our client celebrate his 60th birthday party. Additionally, we needed to design an experience that was well thought out, practical and easy to execute based upon the many challenges presented by the residential site. Surrounded by 200 close friends and family, the audience was treated to a performance by the legendary Warren Haynes and his band. Warren has spent the better part of his career as lead guitarist, vocalist, and musical director of the American band, The Allman Brothers, as well as Gov’t Mule, and is considered by most rock critics to be one of the greatest electric guitarists in the world. For this event, Warren handpicked an all-star band, featuring Shawn Pelton on drums (Saturday Night Live Band for 20 years), Dave Dreiwitz on bass guitar (WEEN and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), and the renowned Hammond B-3 organist and keyboardist John Medeski (Medeski, Martin and Wood). In addition to some of Haynes’ well known originals like “Soulshine” and “Beautifully Broken”, the band performed a lengthy set filled with incredible classic and southern rock songs, from The Allman Brothers and U2 to The Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix.
Our production team designed a very well-crafted experience with many moving parts. We were responsible for all aspects of the event, from hiring the tent company, Stamford Tents, to designing and overseeing a complicated off-site parking plan utilizing Parking Productions, as well as providing lavatories, event power, crew catering by Whose Catering and managing the event caterer, The Clambake Company. Atomic Productions provided the sleek and simplistic stage and production design, which was exactly the right look and feel for this event. The crew was comprised of familiar faces, bonded by 20 years of event productions experience, as well as many new and fresh faces. As one big and well-oiled machine, we all seamlessly worked together to deliver a magnificent night that the client will remember for a lifetime.
From a safety perspective, we welcomed multiple site visits from the town of Greenwich to examine our venue for electrical, structural and fire inspections. All inspections were quick and simple, as our site easily met and surpassed all safety expectations. Additionally, our production staff was diligent in adhering to strict COVID-19 safety mandates. Our entire team was required to sign in to our COVID-19 identification board daily, verifying that they are fully vaccinated and have no current symptoms. Temperatures were taken with an electronic thermometer, hand sanitizer was made readily available, and a hand-washing and cleaning station was provided.
I could not be more grateful and awestruck to be back doing what I love to do—produce. I am a producer at heart, finally getting a chance to fulfill my passion again. And boy, it is good to be back.