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Festival Planning 101

event-planning-101

Many event-goers take the festivals that they attend for granted, but any event planner knows that there’s a lot more that goes into festivals than what may meet the eye. Yes, planning a festival is a time-consuming and exhausting task, especially when you consider that the event itself may only last for a day or two.

In terms of festival planning, yes, there’s the matter of selecting a date and venue – and then marketing and promoting the event. But there are also a lot of intangibles that go into festival planning which can slip by the wayside for amateur planners. So whether you’re new to the whole festival planning thing or just want to brush up on some tips and tricks, here are some planning considerations to be aware of:

Festival Planning 101

Permits: Is the festival being held on public land? You’ll likely need to obtain a permit from the city before moving forward with it. Obtaining local land permits are unique to every municipality- information is, however, readily available on the internet for most local governments.

Security: No matter what type of festival it is, if it is open to the public, you’ll need some type of crowd control or security there to make sure nobody is violating any laws or gaining illegal entry into the premises.

Porta Potties: Another common afterthought, people are going to need someplace to go to the bathroom. This is especially important for festivals being held at public parks or outdoor amphitheaters, as indoor bathrooms are normally far away – and limited at that. So make sure there are plenty of porta potties on your premises. Generally speaking, you should have at least 5 porta potties for every 1,000 guests you expect. Naturally, an even planner should NOT neglect this important festival necessity. 

Entering and Exiting: There are obviously entrances and exits to your festival. But how do you handle guests that leave the festival? Are they given wristbands and allowed re-entry? Is there no re-entry? This is something you need to determine.

Technical Equipment: If this is indeed a music festival – or some other type of festival that requires technical equipment – make sure that it is covered. If it’s an outdoor festival, you have to deal with Mother Nature. And whether it’s a hot, sunny day or a rainy one, failure to cover any expensive, technical equipment can do some big damage.

Know What to Expect: If your festival is a public one, it’s essential to select a venue that will be appropriate to the crowd you expect. Obviously, this can be controlled to a certain extent with ticket sales, but it’s important that you select a venue that fits the demand that you’re expecting.

As you can see, planning a festival isn’t easy. In addition to the necessities, there are also the intangibles to keep in mind, so make sure you have all of your bases covered for the best chance at success.