Case Study

Pope Francis Festival of Families


World of Meeting Families Philadelphia Host Committee contracted ESM Productions to serve as executive producer of the 2015 World Meeting of Families Papal visit.


Our team created site plans, managed all onsite logistics; acted as a liaison for city services; managed labor, designed all lighting, staging and scenic for the Ben Franklin Parkway and Independence Mall; and handled talent acquisition and management. ESM Productions was the host entity for the global broadcast, so our team produced the feed for distribution and staffed the entire crew of nearly 100 broadcast professionals including camera operators, directors, technical directors, script writers and many more. We created the press operations plan, communicated with the members of the press, and we built out the entire infrastructure for media and press outlets.

Due to the size and nature of this event, we had to create a large-scale safety and security plan. We helped to coordinate and acted as a unifying force between the safety and security entities of the U.S. Secret Service, the Philadelphia Police Department, Homeland Security and Vatican Security offices.


ESM Productions successfully hosted Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, which was the largest public event to occur in the United States in 2015. Over the two-day Papal visit, there were over 1.2 million attendees at Sunday Mass, and over 750,000 at the Festival of Families, a variety program hosted by Mark Wahlberg, which featured musical performances by Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, The Fray and other artists.

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