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Want to create your own festival? Top tips …

Last updated June 17th, 2015

It’s festival season and we are already filling up our weekends and hoping for scorching weather. With more festivals happening in the UK each year, we can see more and more top event professionals landing amazing jobs as festival organiser. Can you imagine the buzz of creating an event that gave thousands of people one of the best weekends of their lives?
So what do you need to consider if you are event managing an outdoor festival? Beyond the big things like who or what will be headlining and what your festival is about, there are many other things that make a big event run smoothly.
Here are our top tips for things you need to work into your planning:
It is no good hoping for fabulous weather, you might as well resign yourself to the fact that we live in the UK and it may rain. With LoveBox Festival coming up in London’s Victoria Park this weekend, you can bet the organisers have spent a lot of time thinking about this one.
You’ll need to think about all the contingency plans needed for bad weather. Will there be places to shelter? Will there be places on site to purchase umbrellas and ponchos? Will all the staging be safe in extreme weather conditions and what extra costs may be incurred to weather proof equipment?
Have you thought about how your attendees will get to the event and get home afterwards? Last weekend’s Wildlife festival, just outside Brighton, opted against camping for festival goers. However, local public transport was due to finish before the festival end each night.
The organisers arranged for shuttle buses and offered a discount for purchasing bus tickets along with festival tickets to ensure there weren’t problems with festival goers struggling to make it home.
Local community
For a big and potentially disruptive event like a festival, it is key to get the local community and local authorities on board. Whether your event explicitly aims to support local businesses (like the new 2015 Liverpool Loves Culture festival) or not (more like Parklife festival) local hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, taxi firms will all have an interest in the potential increase in revenue from your event.
A clever festival organiser will get them on side, along with local police and councils to ensure your event runs smoothly and guests have everything they need in easy reach of the festival site.
You need people to buy tickets or there will be no festival! Especially for a newer festival, you’ll need to give your potential audience something to be excited about and make sure they get to hear about it.
You’ll need to plan PR, use social and digital media, get your headline acts or supporters in front of the press and media and create the experience for your attendees before they even get there.
If this sounds like the sort of thing you’d love to spend your career doing then we can help you with a solid grounding in events management, including offering a module specifically designed to cover festival management. To find out more have a look at our course brochures or contact Karin on [email protected] or calling 0207 183 5129.
Featured image credit: Takura Kimura via Twitter. Licencing information here.

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