Music festivals are undoubtedly gaining popularity and starting one has become an attractive prospect to creative minds looking for a career in the music industry. If you have experience planning events, you are great a piecing together logistical puzzles, and you’re a strong leader, then you may have what it takes to run a festival! But before you start creating a list of quintessential artists to perform at your event, consider the following:
So you do your research. You locate your target audience. You find a great piece of land in the middle of nowhere that happens to be central to your demographic, and the place even has a peaceful stream with crystal clear water. Sounds like a good fit, right? Well, it would be, except there is nothing to build off of. Previously standing infrastructure is an asset that is often overlooked, but when it comes to a young event with a relatively short budget, it may be the very thing that differentiates between manageable expenses and unexpected costs that break the bank and send your event plummeting into dark hole of financial loss.
When choosing a location, look for an environment that already has the necessities like sheltered platforms that can be used as stages, small buildings for administrative and hospitality spaces, bathrooms, and most importantly, electricity. Having these indispensable resources already on hand will save you hours of organizing and thousands of dollars when it comes time to cut the checks.
Building the Festival Team
Don’t try to save money by cutting corners. Sacrificing quality to save a few bucks is likely to lose you money in the long run. That being said, don’t be naive enough to think that you can do most of it yourself. It may be that you are extremely talented and knowledgeable in a variety of areas and you are capable of completing the many tasks you’ll be faced with, but attempting to conquer all of these hurdles at once is not wise. It is inevitable that something will fall through the cracks, bringing down the overall quality of your event. Besides, the stress of overworking yourself is just not worth it.
Instead, hire professionals to do it right and save your nerves some damage.
Your Talent Buyer
Find an experienced talent buyer to book your artists. They often have deep connections in the industry and know how to negotiate killer deals.
The Social Media Manager
Hire someone that knows the ins and outs of social media marketing to handle your web presence.
Visual Arts Manager
Hire someone to coordinate the visual artists.
The Contract Writer
Hire someone to write your contracts. Spending wisely in areas that will influence the quality and execution of your event will bring you more success than a few unused dollars sitting in a bank account.
When you are planning your event, you should continuously be asking yourself, “Why me? Why will people choose my event over the countless others?” Let’s be honest, most of the musicians that play at festivals play at very many festivals, making it increasingly difficult to book a unique line-up.Very many of these festivals also incorporate workshops, live painting, fire spinners, and the likes.
While music and art are both fundamental parts of the festival experience, it is in your best interest to find at least one other thing that sets your event apart. Maybe you hold your festival on a ranch and attendees have the option to go horseback riding. Maybe you’re based along a river where people can rent kayaks or go white water rafting. Maybe you offer every attendee free ice cream.
The festival scene is an area of the entertainment industry that is seeing expeditious growth, which means broader audiences and more avenues for startups. This also means, however, that there is more competition. To break the mold, you must offer people more than just an awesome, flawlessly executed event.
Your festival must be an entirely immersive experience. Invite attendees to escape their realities by transporting them to an alternative reality, one that cannot be replicated and one that they will be yearning to return to.