Outdoor festivals form the centerpiece of every summer spectacular. If you are going to organize one of your own, you will need to make sure that you are highly disciplined and you have a clear plan in mind. Otherwise, it will spiral out of control, and you will struggle to get enough people to come along and justify the costs you are putting out.
This blog post will give you a few pointers to ensure that you are fully on track with your plans and are more than likely to turn it all into a great success story.
Allow yourself plenty of time
Before doing anything else at all, you need to have a timetable in mind that ensures you have enough hours in the day to sort it out.
There is more than you think to organize with a festival, and it is often the smaller details that will pass you by if you are not careful.
Your plan should include rough timings of when you can expect everything to be completed by. First of all, you will have to think about the venue before you go into detail about the equipment, the guests, and the permits you need to apply for.
The venue is important to get right as it sets the tone for the entire event. If you have a big team on hand, it is a good idea to start delegating these tasks sooner rather than later.
This way, everyone has their own responsibilities and knows what they have to deal with. This will prevent things from getting overwhelming and will stop people from scrabbling around in panic as the date starts to get closer and closer.
Apply for the necessary permissions
You are bound to need certain permissions to hold the festival in the first place. For example, there may well be certain noise restrictions in place that only allow you to play music during certain hours of the day.
You will probably need a plan for dealing with the amount of trash and rubbish that you are inevitably going to produce along the way.
This is why you need to give yourself such a long leadup time, as permits and permissions can take a long time to come through. It would be best if you also were ready to deal with any queries or questions that may act as obstacles in you getting them.
Applying early gives you this leeway.
Make your bookings
Once you know that you have permission to host the festival in the first place, you are then going to need to think about the bookings.
Right at the top of the list, you have your acts. You need to think about whether you are going to be relying on just music or if you will be bringing in some comedy here or other performers.
Again, this can take a great deal of time as it is inevitable that you will face some negotiations. You don’t want to blow all of your budget on a single great act and not be able to afford the rest. Ultimately, it is a tough balancing act that you need to deal with in the most effective manner possible.
Don’t forget that beyond the main acts, you are also going to need to consider the different crew members that will be working on the festival. They may get booked many months in advance, so you don’t want to risk having a full schedule but not having the staff members to carry off the festival successfully.
Plan other entertainment and hospitality
Beyond the music, you need to think about what other entertainment options are going to come into the space. This could be anything from games like Patriotic Cornhole Boards: American Flag Design to organized events such as group yoga.
You also need to consider the food and drinks you will offer. It might be a good idea to get in touch with local bars and street food vendors to provide a wide variety of options to cater to all tastes.
Come up with a marketing plan
Alongside the actual logistical running of the festival itself, you need to have a clear marketing plan to enable you to sell tickets.
After all, this is where you will be making a big chunk of your money back again, and without the right ticket sales, your festival is going to struggle to get off the ground and come back time and time again. You need to think about your ideal target market and how you will reach out to them.
If your festival is a local event, it is more than likely that you will confine your activity to a regional level. If you are trying to attract a national crowd, you need to consider nationwide campaigns that will bring people through the door.
Digital marketing tends to be the most effective way of doing this as it means you can target your specific audience. Part of your marketing plan is bound to revolve around your branding.
So, it would help if you thought about how to create a brand that ensures people will sit up and take notice and reflects everything that your festival will be about.
Think about an entry policy
You need to have a good idea of the most effective ticketing system that works best for you. For many festivals, they have made the switch to an entirely digital system, but you need to choose the app that is going to support your festival tickets.
At the same time, you also need to think about what people will do once they are in there. For example, you may well want to go for a typical wristband entry system. Of course, this requires you to attach them securely enough. Stamps are another option, but these can easily wash off.
Supervise the setup
The setup process is likely to take longer than the festival itself, so you certainly need to take the time to supervise it effectively to ensure that your vision becomes a reality.
This is where you are likely to be the busiest and need to take on the most hands-on approach. You will also need to do plenty of checks to ensure that everything is working out properly.
For example, sound checks and ensuring the bar is well stocked should be top priorities. While you cannot plan for every single eventuality, you can do your best to iron out some of the problems that have arisen.
Make improvements for next time
As long as your festival has been a roaring success and you have enjoyed running it, it is more than likely that you will want to make some improvements for next time.
This will ensure that you do even better in the future. Hopefully, there will be plenty that has gone right, as well as more than their fair share of things that have gone wrong.
It would be best if you were honest about the latter category and got some detailed feedback to ensure that you improve in the future. Ultimately, this can make all the difference in carrying you to a higher plane next time.
Running a festival is bound to be hard work, but it can also be enormously rewarding at the same time. Therefore, you certainly want to give yourself the very best chance of making it a success that is enjoyed by as many people as possible.
Ultimately, music festivals provide the very highest level of joy in life for many people, and you need to ensure that your next big event is one to remember for the ages.