Insomniac Events: (in·som·ni·ac e·vents) noun— A production company that amplifies concerts and music festivals with state-of-the-art lighting design, interactive circus and theatrical performances, and audience participation.
Ground Control: (ground con·trol) noun— A volunteer program founded by individuals who believe in the beauty and power of helping others stay happy, healthy, and hydrated at Insomniac’s music and art festivals.
It’s safe to say that Ground Control has grown into an organization that revolutionizes customer appreciation and continues to pay it forward. With a volunteer base consisting mostly of young adults (18-23), Ground Control team members walk around venues keeping an eye out for guests who may need a helping hand or who could benefit from a free water bottle or a hug. Or all of the above.
The brain child of Cal State Long Beach undergrad Laura Newton, she considers volunteers to be “eyes in the crowd” for medical teams working Insomniac’s large-scale events. Mobilizing a support system based in peer-to-peer communication turned out to be the right fix for an atmosphere where festival safety staff lacked a connection with the youth-driven music experience.
In 2011, Laura and her best friend/co-creator Brittany Meckelborg brought together classmates and friends in what became the first Ground Control team to work an event. Since then the program has taken off.
As it rounds out a year of venturing into Insomniac’s world of music, Ground Control has yet to cease from evolving. Using social media as a resource for branding and recruitment, it created an identity festival-goers appreciate. Telling from the high-fives and hugs volunteers receive from friends and strangers alike, knowing someone is looking out for you is reassuring for guests.
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Puerto Rico this past weekend marked Ground Control’s 10th festival with Insomniac after successfully working festivals including EDC New York & Las Vegas, Nocturnal Wonderland Texas, and Escape from Wonderland.
As it prepares to take on a new festival season, we can only imagine what’s in store for the program.