How To Organize Your First Music Festival
When it comes to organizing a music festival, there is a lot to consider.
This guide should help all the newbies, who are doing it for the very first time.
Start with a vision
Every successful music festival starts with a solid plan and a good vision.
Ask yourself: what’s the reason for this festival?
Is it to challenge yourself and make money. Celebrate something or someone. Drive awareness for a cause.
Your why will help you determine the what -i.e what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Your vision must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely). For example:
* To sell 5,000 tickets within 3-months, we should raise our target of $100,000. To achieve this we need to
secure 10 big artists with a combined social media following of 1 million to ensure maximum promotion and marketing of the music festival. We will measure our progress through weekly financial reports.
Determine a budget
Know what costs you are up against. Know how to price your tickets to ensure you can fill the seats and cover the costs.
Do your research and speak with suppliers. Get multiple quotes.
General budget considerations should include:
✔️ Equipment (stages, speakers, lights, toilets, furniture). NB! STLS Events offers professional Sound, Lighting & AV hire across London & Surrey.
✔️ Staffing – crew, event managers, volunteer managers, volunteers
Find the venue
Book your event well in advance.
When looking for the right venue, think about location, capacity, and price.
Before selecting a venue, you should consider:
✔️ Permits and licenses needed
✔️ Access to power sockets
✔️ Toilet availability
✔️ Catering options
✔️ Car parking availability
✔️ Close-by accomodation
Once you’ve found the perfect location, you need to book it fast.
Book the best talent lineup
Talent is what going to sell tickets. So get the best names to attend. Don’t count on landing every band you want; your dream lineup may not be possible (yet).
PRO TIP! Book the headlining acts as early as possible. When they’re confirmed, you can begin to contact the smaller and local acts on your shortlist and create a long list of backup acts in case some artists fall through or cancel. (There are always a few).
Create a list of the best talent and get in touch with their managers to see who is available and what their costs are.
Build a festival schedule and fill gaps with new innovative attractions and entertainment.
Promote your event
So you’ve spent the time planning your event – now it’s time to put in place a plan for marketing to ensure that people know about your event and that you sell tickets!
Use a reputable ticket seller (Ticketek, Eventbrite) to ensure that when people are ready to buy tickets to your music festival, they can do so quickly and simply.
Here are a few tips to market your event:
✔️ Social media marketing. Building excitement around your event Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Try and get your talent to also promote via their social channels to further your reach
✔️ PR. Work with local news outlets to have your festival featured in both print and online media.
✔️ Printed collateral. Create flyers and display them around your community.
Plan out the festival’s schedule
Now that your talent and venue are booked and your staff and volunteers are secured, it’s time to look at the event schedule, logistics, and all the details that come with it.
Map out the itinerary of each day or night completely from start to finish.
While you map up your festival schedule, consider how people will move from activity to performance and how to ensure people can do so safely.
Event safety is a core component when considering your event schedule and logistics.
Keep safety in mind
Last, but not least – make sure your venue and everything in it is up to code and safe for use.
Have an emergency plan clearly mapped out as well, along with evacuation routes, emergency procedures, and safety instructions.
Check that your stage and installations are secure and make sure to have enough security for the size and scope of your festival.
Ensure security staff members are briefed on what to check during check-ins.
Run a tight ship and make sure that everyone from your stage crew to your cleaners knows the safety protocols.
Accept the fact that as an organizer, you probably won’t get to fully enjoy the event. Most likely, you’ll be running errands in circles full of adrenaline and a deep sense of satisfaction.