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What It’s Like to Pull Off a Last Minute Fred again.. Show

Some venues get less than 24 hours notice when the hugely popular English producer comes calling. This is what goes on behind the scenes when that happens.

If you were one of the thousands of Aussies stressing about grabbing tickets to one of Fred again..‘s last minute Australia shows in March – just imagine the immense pressure on the venue organisers. Some had less than 24 hours notice when the hugely popular English producer came calling.

Take Melbourne’s Timber Yard venue director Gideon Luber, for example. He got a call from Fred’s manager the night before at 6pm about a pop-up show the very next day.

“We essentially had 12 hours to organise one of the most anticipated moments in Melbourne music scene for 2024,” Luber, who was in the middle of working on Reminisce at Sidney Myer Music Bowl at the time, tells Rolling Stone AU/NZ.

With relentless determination, Luber navigated negotiations and orchestrated a custom stage build, ensuring everything met Fred and his crew’s exacting standards. Despite the tight timeframe, the event boasted the venue’s largest PA system, a multi-tiered stage, and unique lighting setups. 

True to Fred’s feverish popularity, tickets sold out in under two minutes, with fans eagerly lining up outside The Timber Yard.

Read more about the impressively fast-paced preparation in our chat with Luber below, including what happened when he met up with the producer-of-the-moment himself.

Fred Again..

Fred again.. performs a last-minute pop-up show at Melbourne’s Timber Yard

Rolling Stone AU/NZ: How did it feel when you first got the call about hosting Fred’s pop-up show?

Gideon Luber: To be honest, we were really excited. When the call came in at 6pm on Friday from Fred’s team, we immediately knew that this would be an insane feat if we pulled it off as our suppliers and staffing companies were closed for business over the weekend. 

After a site visit from about 12 members of his team at 8pm (during a 500pax corporate event), followed by a three hour Zoom call with all stakeholders, including his tour director, creative, production, security, legal and ticketing team, the event was confirmed at 1am Saturday morning – to be announced at 2pm via Fred’s Instagram Story.  We essentially had 12 hours to organise one of Melbourne’s most anticipated music events of 2024. The feeling was initially daunting but [we] knew we had the team in place to get this done, planning every aspect of the show.

Did you believe that organising his show in such little time was possible?!

Honestly, we weren’t completely sure off the bat, but we were confident if there was anyone who could pull this off it, it was our team. Obviously there were a few key elements of the show that needed to be confirmed before we really had full confidence.

One of the biggest elements to a show like this is the technical production. I have to shout out our good friend Cory Hoyling from Shadow AV, who without knowing what he was about to undertake said confidently, “I’ll handle the production, boys.” He then proceeded to cancel his flights out of Melbourne and drove straight to our office in the middle of the night to start planning the show.

After sitting down with Fred’s team in the middle of the night, we delved into his tech rider and production requirements, and with the help of Will from FOHP, we assessed available gear for the event.

Simultaneously the calls and emails were put out to all of our networks including labour, security, bar, medical, traffic, and event infrastructure providers to procure almost 130 staff within six hours. The classic “you up?” text message was sent to our internal staff and [a] bunch of mates that night hoping they could meet us onsite at 7am to provide extra hands with whatever was needed.

All I can say is we have some of the most supportive networks and friends in the industry, all of whom dropped everything (including a proper night’s sleep) to make this show what it was!

By 2:30am, after several group conference calls and coffees, a comprehensive plan began to take shape. With the framework established, a decision was made around 3am to break for the night, recharging before we began the build at 7am.

Why do you think Fred’s team chose your venue for the show?

I think because we are not a predominantly a music-only venue, and the fact that The Timber Yard has built a name in Melbourne for hosting unique/renowned/cool events, we were a great fit for this show. Fred wanted scale and flexibility to create a bespoke production to make his show unique and intimate, but aesthetically he also wanted a location that was very on-brand for him, and I think our warehouse really fit the brief.

How many design plans did Fred’s team have for the show? Was it a big spectacle?

Fred and his team were amazing to work with. They had some ideas/concepts they wanted to implement, however this had to be crafted by what technical elements were available to us on such short notice. We really wanted to impress them and make this show special for his fans so we spec’d the biggest PA we’ve had in our venue, with [a] multi-tiered stage for guests and boatloads of uniquely placed upright lighting trusses and fixtures.

It must have been crazy witnessing the huge queues outside…

We’re used to seeing lines outside the venue, but what we were completely unprepared for was the hoards of superfans who gathered across the road from the venue with huge homemade signs for four hours before the gig even started, before it was even announced online.

Fred announced the show at 2pm via his Instagram Story, sold out the show by 2:05pm, and by 2:15pm we had over 350 people gathered, none of whom had tickets but were all hoping to catch a glimpse of him arriving at the venue. Our team kept them hydrated throughout the afternoon in the 30+ degrees temperature so they could hang around and eventually catch some of the action

How did the show go in the end? Off without a hitch?

It was one of those pinch me moments. Absolutely no issues asides from dealing with some overexcited fans trying to get in without a ticket. One that stands out to me was a guy that dressed in a full paramedic outfit with an emergency medical kit in hand who tried to talk his way through security saying he was one of the medical staff. Needless to say, the man was rewarded for his efforts and we sent him straight to the dancefloor. 


Fred again at timber yard in melbourne

♬ original sound – Melbourne_Lines

Were you a Fred again.. fan before the pop-up show? It’s hard to ignore him these days!

I always thought he was a super talented producer, however never truly understood the ‘Taylor Swift effect’ he had on Australia. After our pop-up show he invited us to his arena show on the Tuesday night. It was then I got to witness his live performance in full effect and now I get it!

He’s such a relatable guy and I think that rings true when you follow his social media and witness how he conducts his live shows trying to individually connect with his fans. His on-the-fly performance style is what makes him stand out. I’ve been to Rod Laver [Arena] many times before for some of the biggest acts in the world, but I have never witnessed the electric energy in the room that night. It was seriously something else!

Did you get to meet the producer himself?

Right after the show, once the venue was clear, I went up to our green room to check in on him and his team. They were all sitting around laughing and drinking, reminiscing on the last 24 hours and how incredible the show was.

Fred came straight up to me and said how impressed he was that we could take this huge ask and turn his concept into a reality. We sat and chatted about how much he loves Australia, and then [he] gave our entire team tickets to his arena shows that week.

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