Weatherstock eh? Just a bunch of bands turning up and playing, don’t see what the fuss is really! Until I foolishly volunteered to help out.
For those of you who have been living in a cave in Ered Luin for the past 4 years, Weatherstock is the biggest event in Lotro. A cross-server musical festival with 10 bands competing for the audience’s affections and votes. Held at the summit of Amon Sul (Weatherstock), the event attracts well over 500 music fans ready to sit and chill out to some great music, have a smoke and a drink with friends or simply to spend several hours dancing like crazy.
Prior to the event, each of the bands plays an individual concert on the Landroval server for those who can’t make the event itself .
Then, on the day (June 16th), each band plays a set culminating in a Battle of the Bands – there are 3 prizes:
Light in the Darkness – This prize will be presented to the band who inspires the most participants to raise “hope” tokens immediately after their performance. Hope tokens are available from our vendors in the lemon-yellow outfits.
Lonely Mountain Cup – The Lonely Mountain Cup will be awarded to the band judged winner by the Lonely Mountain Band.
Free People’s Choice - This is the most coveted prize, as the free peoples of Eriador will elect a winner at the end of the concert. All bands will return for a final number, while the free peoples show their preferences by standing with the band they prefer.
In addition there is dancing with the Couples Dance Contest
In this contest, we will have non-stop music while our couples are asked to dance to increasingly difficult partner dances. After a grace period to switch to the dance, we will start eliminating couples for problems with synching, clipping, or position. This will continue on at a faster and faster pace until only one couple is left dancing.
And then we have the Quadrilles Dance Contest
This contest will feature four-dancer sets. No one will be eliminated, but rather judged on each groups performance . We’ll have a final decision by our audience on which is the winner.
The Lonely Mountain Band (LMB) hosts the event but their bands voluntarily bar themselves from competing.
So, sounds simple enough. Then I volunteered.
I soon discovered that LMB are pretty organised about all this. They set themselves up as 4 main teams – Stage Crew, Security, Vending and Freak Out Zone (FOZ). I was placed in the Stage Crew.
Stage Crew can be summarised as managing everything from getting the bands ready and able to play at Weathertop up to running the event itself silently in the background and also feeding our social channels with reports about the event on the 16th. Within the crew are the Roadies, the Social Reporters, the Special Effects Team and the Hope Team.
Roadies are assigned 3 of the competing bands and are responsible for getting into contact with the bands, compiling the list of band members, coordinating the band’s setlist to avoid duplications, providing help with clothing, gold (provided by LMB), teaching instruments (or finding a minstrel who can provide that) – in short: all the bands players need while they are levelling up (remember most band members will be new to Landroval)
and preparing their characters for the event.
You also need to educate the bands about /say and /regional channels to use for their singing and how to put in text into the Lyrical plugin to achieve that.
As my bands are on Laurelin and Crickhollow, this means I need to create characters on those servers as well.
The roadie will also have to host the pre-event concert. So far we have scheduled:
June, 2nd, 3pm : The Songburrow Strollers
June, 8th, 8pm : Mornie Alantie
June, 9th, 2pm : The Breakfast Club
June, 9th, 9:30pm : Mar Vanwa Tyalieva
Times are server time (EDT) – to be clear, 3pm is 8pm in the UK, 9pm in Western Europe.
The Security team are primarily responsible for making sure attendees reach the peak of Weathertop safely, and for ensuring the safety of participants at the top of the peak
This may sound slightly silly, but there will be many people of fairly low levels that attend – especially the many folks that make characters specifically on Landroval solely for the purpose of attending the concert series (as I did last year).
Security also act as porters – people willing to port folks directly to Weathertop, if possible, and escorts, people willing to guard those that can aggro the local wildlife, ensuring that they reach the peak safely. There are also pesky Crebain on Weathertop that need constant attention. There will be escorts from Bree and The Forsaken Inn and the procession up to Weathertop is a sight to behold!
The Vending crew distribute hope tokens, pipeweed and ale to all. The hope tokens are important as they are used by the audience to vote for bands. Of course, this sounds a simple enough task but the items have to be crafted (thousands of them), stored and then carried to Weatherstock – it is quite the strain on your inventory space!
The FOZ team are a technical help desk (Weatherstock WILL strain your PC) and also write up public service announcements (especially about brown lembas), answer Weatherstock-related questions that come up in /advice (our public channel on the day of the show) and play music and otherwise entertain our partied-out/lagged-out guests at the Forsaken Inn.
Oh, and I haven’t mentioned advertising – this a major part of it all not just for the event itself but for the 10 pre-event concerts to be held. Last year, Casual Stroll to Mordor provided a live commentary and a video stream was also provided – hopefully we can arrange something similar this year if you can’t attend in person.
So, like I said, simple really!
I will post after the event but in the meantime, I seem to have all my hours filled :)
Official Lorebook page - http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/Weatherstock