Everything you need to know about organising and running a festival
Music festivals, when done well, are amazing. They attract people from around the country and sometimes from around the world. To keep them coming back year after year, there are some things you need to consider. From strategies around the equipment, to your team and production plans, you need to ensure things go as smoothly as possible whilst making sure other potential issues don’t interfere with the good vibes people will expect to experience.
Your aim should be to establish an excellent reputation as the festival of choice for your target audience. You’ll need to put yourselves in their shoes to so you can plan for every eventuality, but also consider the behind-the-scenes technicalities to ensure success
Don’t expect to pull off a massive four-day festival along with top profit on the first go. Instead, start small and build a reputation slowly with local bands, DJ’s or acts that might be seeking some exposure themselves. This doesn’t mean you can take advantage, but reach out to those who might be in this position and pitch your festival to them well. If you’re excited about it, chances are these like-minded individuals will be too. Build relationships with them via social media – as this could come in handy later down the line when promoting.
Starting small and building connections in this way helps to create a buzz. It also gives you time to work out the kinks on the technical production side, and gradually create a profit over time as you work up to bigger events. Just make sure you don’t forget the little guys who supported you along the way!
Seek out the Perfect Site
Work with local landowners or farmers to see if you can secure a site that suits the vibe of the festival, has plenty of space and is also far enough away from built up areas as to avoid any unnecessary noise pollution. The last thing you want to do is annoy the neighbours or local residents.
It’s important at this stage to make sure the site qualifies for the proper festival permits and licenses (if you’re selling anything like food and drink) or of course, permission to play music. You’ll also need to know the volume requirements between certain hours, to make sure your festival complies with the rules. There’s nothing worse than being shut-down mid festival, so plan ahead to avoid this at all costs.
Another biggie to consider when it comes to the ideal site is it’s uniqueness. What’s going to make your festival stand out from the rest? Choosing something different can add to the ambiance and theme of your festival, and a big part of selecting a good site includes thinking about lighting, visual, and audio needs. After all, these things truly add to the experience, so make sure you give them ample thought in the planning process – the punters will notice if they’re not up to scratch.
Plan B for Weather
We hate to rain on your parade – but this is the UK after all and chances are, the weather could be a huge disappointment. But, the show must go on (unless it poses a threat to safety, of course) so make sure you plan accordingly and it can still be a great festival.
You’ll need to think about wind, rain, and flooding when setting up stages and working with items that require electricity. Think about providing some areas around the festival with shelter – big tents and chillout areas with seating are usually very well used at festivals. They allow people to chill, dry off and gather their thoughts before heading to see the next act, or a welcomed place to eat and refuel. Who knows, it might be glorious weather in which case ample shade will be welcomed too!
Different Amenities are Appreciated
After spending hard-earned cash on the cost of the festival ticket, those attending your festival will be pleasantly surprised if you give them additional amenities to make the festival experience one to remember.
This can include quirky food and drink outlets (again, you can make great connections with these guys on social media – but they will need to be booked in advance), and sanitation facilities goes without saying.
Think about adding other types of activities for those who may want to bring kids or take a break from the music. This can include a market-like area with artists that sell their wares, or even some fun rides for the kids. Just make sure you always consider safety first.
Get Professional Assistance
When it comes to promotion and operations on the day of the festival; it pays to look to professionals to help you out. Whilst this sort of service costs more, it will guarantee a festival that runs smoothly – helping build that positive reputation that makes people come back year on year.
Hiring a quality production company to supply your Sound Lighting and Video does come at a cost, but it undoubtedly gives your festival a professional edge. It will ensure quality sound and visuals on the day, and will also capture some excellent promotional material that will enhance your promotional content for the future – priceless marketing material.
This will include spending time researching which companies offer the best equipment, as well as a team that can handle set-up, production, and tear down for the event. You can also pay professionals to recycle rubbish afterwards, so consider this to ensure you leave the place the state you found it.
Reaching out to other festival promoters can allow you to find out their experiences so you can partner with companies that are reliable, tried-and-tested and focused on creating the perfect experience.
So, are you thinking of organising a festival?
We’ll put together a bespoke quote using our technical expertise to help and advise what products might best fit your requirements, to ensure your festival-goers have the best experience possible, recommend you and keep coming back for more.