There comes a time in all music-lovers’ lives when they feel the need to share their passion with others. Sometimes, all that is involved in the sharing process is a simple burned CD. Other times, the method is a bit more extensive.
Are you ready to host a music festival? Do you want to introduce locals to your favorite bands and musicians? Good idea! We’ll help you get started.
Pick a date for your event. Actually, pick several dates. Ultimately, the final scheduling decision will come down to the availability of the venue you choose. Consider things like holidays, weather, other local happenings, school sporting events, and anything else that might draw fans away from your event.
Make a list of popular local bands and artists. Naturally, you think you have good taste in music, so your favorites will obviously make the list. However, you can’t stop there. You need to remember you are trying to appeal to a wide variety of music lovers and fans of varying ages. While you may not be a fan of all genres, make sure you have equal representation from rock, pop, hip-hop, rappers, and family friendly acts.
Begin contacting bands and musicians. Checking their websites is a good place to start. Ask about the handful of dates you have chosen. Would any of them work for the band? Ask about fees, equipment needs, and other demands.
Think about who else you want to invite to your event. You, as a music lover, may find this hard to believe, but festivals are about more than just the music. Some patrons enjoy things like food and water! Plus, the younger crowd might like alternative activities – especially between musical sets.
Contact local restaurants. See who would be willing to sell food and beverages at your event. Just like the musical acts, you’ll want to have a variety of options available.
Consider including “fun” activities. How about scheduling a cornhole tournament between sets? Would the kids in the audience enjoy inflatable games?
Once you have an idea of how many bands will be participating and how much space you’ll need for “extras,” start looking for a venue. You’ll need a space large enough to accommodate multiple musical acts and all the fans those acts will draw.
Usually, outdoor venues are preferable to indoor ones. Can you find a local space big enough? Talk to local real estate agents. See if friends and family have any suggestions.
Once you have found a place, ask local authorities about necessary permits. Will you need their permission to build a stage? Will noise be an issue?
Also, if you are starting from scratch with your venue, you’ll need to think about things like portable toilets. Also, your fans will probably appreciate protection from the blazing sun and unexpected rain showers,
If weather doesn’t permit an outdoor event, you’ll have to take the fun indoors. While on the surface an indoor venue might not seem ideal, it comes with perks – all the amenities are included (running water!). Check with local theaters. Is anyone willing to rent their space? Sports arenas also work well for music festivals. However, they can sometimes be expensive. Don’t try to snag a big sports stadium unless you have well-established, big-name bands coming.
The Little Things
Once all the big decisions have been made, you can focus on the little details. Make a lineup of your acts. Schedule the family-friendly groups first. Then, as the kiddies’ bedtime approaches, the more adult groups can take the stage.
Hire top-notch sound and engineering people. After all, you can’t expect the musicians to handle unexpected problems with the lights or sound.
Find lots of big, burly security people. Their mere presents will probably deter lots of rowdy outbursts. If not, they can handle problems when the do arise.
Good luck with your music festival. Hopefully, it will be an event to remember for years to come. And, if you plan it properly, you might even be able to kick back and enjoy the tunes yourself!
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Freelance writer Ryan Smith is an organizational freak – he readily admits it. As such, he has become an expert at planning big events. For example, he recently shared tips for planning a charity run. You can trust him to get you from beginning to end without skipping any event planning steps!