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Ready for the challenge of large scale outdoor events? The number of festivals across the globe is growing year-on-year – expanding right alongside the opportunities for successful festival managers.

A Day In The Life Of A Festival Director

Being a festival director is a challenging and diverse role – part of the challenge comes from the huge logistics involved in organising a festival event.

You will also be required to trouble-shoot; find creative, original options and solutions; fit in with the event’s overall purpose; adhere to environmental restrictions, manage whole teams of personnel, suppliers and contractors – and that’s before you get to performers and attendees!

At any given time you could be involved in:

  • Client meetings and festival development and branding.
  • Creating innovative proposals, then pitching and planning responsively.
  • Attracting and engaging sponsors.
  • Budgeting and financial management.
  • Venue research and management – including liaising with councils, environmental agencies and emergency services for permissions and licences.
  • Marketing, promotion and publicising.
  • Working with and facilitating celebrities.
  • Risk assessing, and health and safety management.
  • Ticketing and security.
  • Establishing protocols and routines for safe setting up and clearing up.
  • Evaluation and follow up with sponsors, attendees etc.

Remember, these are just some of the facets of festival management, but with the right kind of event qualification, specifically one which includes a marketing focus and CIM accreditation, you can gain the professional skills you need.

Getting Into Festival Management

We’d be lying if we said that festivals are an easy field to get into.

The truth is, in tune with the fast growth of festival popularity, comes the rapid rise in competition for festival event roles. You must put yourself in the spotlight in order to succeed, you can help things along by gaining:

  • Experience – attending festivals is fine but get relevant experience from the delivery side of the festival, through volunteering and work-experience.
  • An industry-related qualification in event management – like one of our CIM-accredited event management qualifications. Successfully completing one of our courses provides knowledge as well as the practical skills and professional knowledge needed to start finding your future in festivals.
  • A network of contacts – get the chance to spend time alongside others who can support your career. All our lecturers offer a vast network of contacts for you to tap into and completing our courses guarantees you’ll also end up with a fast-developing professional network of your own.
  • Focusing on festivals – all our courses will help you experience those fundamentals which underpin all types of events, including festivals, and we can often arrange work experience within festival management (for our Postgraduate and Degree-Alternative students). Additionally, if you want to know more or if you’re moving into festivals from another sector of events, we also offer opportunities to boost your festival focus and extend your industry links with a Festival Masterclass Course.

Career Opportunities

Festival event management encompasses many roles and may include job titles which fit in with other arts and entertainment event roles. These might include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

  • Event Director / Assistant
  • Festival Director / Assistant / Organiser
  • Content Director / Assistant
  • Production Manager
  • Event Producer

We automatically associate festival-going with music but there’s an increasing demand for food, wine, beer, film, history, hobbies and arts festivals sponsored or run by big-name companies.  They are always on the lookout for new talent and new ideas when it comes to festival production.

Many big name brands work with festival agencies, including industry leaders Get InvolvedVision Nine and Brand Events.

Check out how Johnny Grant, Creative Director at The Department manages all aspect of events for big names such as the BBC, Party-in-the-Park and Glastonbury Festival – and works regularly with Event Academy students on Postgraduate work placements.

Our Expert Lecturers

At Event Academy, we’re all about learning through experience. Our lecturers are event industry experts, delivering live events as well as lecturing for us … so you can learn through their experiences too.

Our lecturers also offer their own areas of expertise, so you’ll be learning from those who are centre stage in delivering successful festivals:

  • Martin Turner – Senior Lecturer Martin Turner is known for his dynamic, informative lectures which capture both the excitement and challenge of festival management. Martin’s combination of enthusiasm and wisdom really helps would-be event managers to understand the professional practice that’s involved in events. His experience and inimitable style have made Martin a career role model for many of our students, including alumni Matt King, who studied the Diploma in Event Management with us.
  • Dan Wilson – Festivals don’t come much bigger than Bestival and one of the key professionals behind this event (amongst others in his 20-year career) is also one of our lecturers. Event Producer Dan specialises in those strategic aspects essential for outdoor events such as festivals – including Quality, Health and Safety, Environmental & Sustainability management.

Our lecturers don’t just stand up and tell you all about it, they also show you with on-site visits to events they’re involved in.  This will have a real impact both on your learning experience and your professional experience, as alumni Hayley found on her Postgraduate course:

“It’s brilliant to see how the lecturers actually work when they are on site.”

Our courses readily include this level of immersion with the work of professional event managers. This experiential basis for all our learning content will enhance your own knowledge, practice, network, opportunities, and prospects when it comes to stepping into the festival management spotlight!

Can’t find a sector or unsure which suits you best? We are here to help.

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