July 13 - UK-based air cargo broker Air Charter Service has reported a particularly high demand for air freight charters this year to move bands' and artistes' equipment from show to show - whether it is for festivals or concert tours.
The 2011 summer festival season is now in full swing and popular artistes are often required to play at more than one festival in one weekend or may need to juggle summer touring schedule with festival commitments.
Ben Dinsdale (pictured below), assistant director of ACS's London cargo department, said: "Many American bands and artists combine festivals within their European tours which, whilst logical, often mean very tight schedules that simply cannot be kept unless charters are involved. We help move the valuable stage sets, with the band's road crew often involved in the load planning of the aircraft to ensure a safe and swift transit as many artists have a performance in a different country less than 24 hours after they finish their previous set.
"The size of the aircraft we use is obviously heavily dependent on how big the artiste is and how much stage equipment they need to take with them for particular shows. We've used everything from Metroliners up to B747s andAN-124s before now."
ACS arranges more than 5,000 full charter contracts every year, consisting of tens of thousands of flights.