Big thank you from

Jenny Monroe talks to Judith Farrell-Rowan

JUDITH Farrell-Rowan, 35, runs events company PLM (Planet Love Music) promotions with her husband Eddie from their offices on the Ballynahinch Road.

She trained as journalist and set up BBM magazine, which closed in 2004, with Eddie. When running the magazine the couple also organised club nights and in 1998 PLANET-LOVE was born. The company has been bringing the world's biggest DJs to Ireland for ten years and the annual dance music festival attracts thousands of clubbers from right across the UK and further a field each year. This weekend sees its 10th birthday and biggest gig to date; a two day event (including camping) incorporating DJ Tiesto's massive 'In Search of Sunrise 2008 Tour' and the annual showpiece festival, PLANETLOVE at Shanes Castle. Judith and Eddie have a baby daughter Rebecca-May.

I get up at 7am, usually to the sound of 'mamma' or 'dadda' coming from the nursery. My husband and I take it in turns to get up with the baby. I am fortunate that my childminder comes to my house to look after Rebecca-May - it saves me a lot of hassle.

When I arrive at the office I check my emails and this could take a good half hour. I will designate days to different tasks but every day the website needs to be updated and I'm always involved in some form of marketing.

During the down time period (after an event) we look to the year ahead and start planning the next one. We assess how the last gig went and think of ways to make the next one even better. This year has been phenomenal for us as there seems to have been a big shift in the music industry to one off events and that is, of course, what we specialise in.

When we are planning an event we pinpoint a date and venue and draw up a wish list of artists. We are competing with America, which has a bigger market and more money, hut we do have a lot of contacts all over the world and agents are great at getting the artists to agree to play for us. There is a considerable amount of negotiating behind the scenes but once the artist confirms we then sort out the contracts.

We work on a release schedule about 12 weeks before the gig and get together all the artwork and concepts for the festival. Then we will plan the physical side of things - tents, stages, boundaries, security for example, with the manager of the site. We have a big launch and reveal the line up to the press and create some momentum. The pr/media campaign will run for about 10 weeks. We start thinking about logistics which means sorting out travelling arrangements and booking hotels for the artists. About a week before the event, the stages and fencing will be erected at the site and it will be made safe and secure. The canvas for the main arena will be one of the largest single temporary structures built in the country.

The day before, the traders and concessions arrive, then on the day, Eddie and I meet and greet the headlining star at the airport while the team of around 100 people prepare for the festival goers.

As well as the general overseeing with Eddie, I organise the bars and I have to look after the staff, sales, stock and deliveries. Once the festival is over, the stages have to be dismantled and the site cleared. We have to do a bit of PR work to show how good it was and I'll finalise figures as well as sort out lost property. We are exhausted at the end but all the hard work is worth it. We are hoping everyone will enjoy the festival this weekend - it really is going to be the single biggest thing in the electronic music world to happen in the north.

Ulster Star