Industry Insights – Episode 5


Welcome! FEP Presents: Industry Insights is a recurring podcast that dives into specific areas of event and festival production.

Hosted by Mike Hanley, founder of and a 20 year veteran of the industry, each episode will feature a recap of current events as well as interviews and discussions with other industry professionals.

The podcast is a source of event industry updates, branching out and understanding different departments and roles within the industry, and highlighting various ways we can take our industry skills and help others by volunteering in our communities and beyond.

Have any questions or suggestions for future podcast episodes?  Reach us at

Listen here: 

Episode 5:
Virtual Victories with Tami Richter

Featured Guest:
Tami Richter, Director of Event Staffing and Resources at SXSW; Board of Directors of the Event Safety Alliance

Find Tami at https:/

Episode Notes and Summary:

In episode five of Industry Insights, we give updates on all of the new festival news, including ACL’s announcement that they are returning to Zilker Park in 2021, the State of Texas’ announcement of no longer requiring mask wearing, and more.   We also highlight the coming together of many event professionals to help distribute much-needed food, water, and personal items to those affected by Texas’ winter storm in February. Next, we welcome a longtime industry professional with SXSW, Tami Richter, who, as the Director of Staffing, has helped mold SXSW into what it is today by utilizing a small army of vols and workers each and every year. Anyone that has volunteered at SXSW knows just how incredible the learning opportunities are, along with unparalleled networking and experiencing never-before-seen showcases, speakers, and activations.

We cover how SXSW was hit with the pandemic – from that fateful day everything was canceled on March 6th, 2020 and how they adjusted – to what’s new for 2021. Of note, SXSW Online XR promises to be an innovative and exciting new way to experience the festival as if you’re really walking the streets of Red River and South Congress.

We also talk about the Event Safety Alliance, an important and well-respected industry non-profit formally started in 2013 with the release of their Event Safety Guide, and what’s on their plate for 2021, including the free (for members, but it’s only $25/year to join right now) Virtual Severe Weather Summit in April.

Finally, we end this episode with our highlighted non-profit: Austin Animal Center.    It’s a great place to go and serve the community by doing something as simple as walking a few of the dogs there around the property.  You can also play with the cats in their kennels, or if you have more time and resources, foster or adopt a pet there as well!  And for those of you who don’t live near Central Texas, we offer a link below to find your local shelter and look into volunteering. Most will accept folks willing to spend time improving the quality of life for cats and dogs!

Other Photos For This Episode:

SXSW Video:

Other Links Mentioned in the Podcast:

  3. Virtual Severe Weather Summit
  4. ANSI Standards for Crowd Safety
  5. Austin Animal Center
  6. Adopt A Pet – Ways to Volunteer
  7. CDC Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals
  8. Austin Chronicle Article about Event Professionals Working Emergency Water and Food Distros
  9. Texas’ Lifting of State Mask Mandate
  10. California’s COVID Tier System Explained

Previous Episodes: Episode 4 – Episode 3Episode 2 –  Episode 1