How to organize a festival: tips and strategies to get you started today

How to organize a festival?

If you are looking for tips on organizing a festival, here are tips from Lollapalloza and much more!

Festivals are in fashion! No wonder people are seeking and enjoying personalized experiences like never before.

Every day of the year, somewhere in the world a date (or occasion) is celebrated in the form of an event. There are specific times when each community commemorates some event, linked to a particular theme that represents them.

Festivals usually cover a large part of a community, in some cases 100% of its members. When we talk about a community, we don’t just mean a whole people or a town: a school may hold a festival for its students and their families, a theater group may be the organizer of a regional festival, or an ensemble of bands of a specific genre may organize a music festival.

They are usually events with an annual frequency – that is, they happen once a year. Some good examples are festivals of rock, jazz, cinema, dance, beer, winter, and those that mix many passions, such as the Forró da Lua Cheia Festival.

Their agendas are very rich and varied with the participation of established figures, new talents, and a large number of participants who are eager to enjoy the activities offered by the festival organizers.

Festivals can last anywhere from one to seven days. Depending on the audience they want to reach, they are held in the afternoon or in the evening, with days of 2 to 4 hours, or even longer if we take music festivals as an example. They can be free of charge, with payment in cash, or with an entrance fee through some resource if they have a charitable purpose. The sale of sponsorship quotas also helps (a lot!) to make ends meet!

Numerous activities must be taken into account when planning an event, however there are four points that we want to highlight for you to pay special attention to when organizing your next festival

Search for one to three indoor and/or outdoor spaces in which you are allowed to perform your festival’s scheduled activities. For example: if you are going to put on music, make sure the music can be heard at the desired volume!
Have a rough calculation of the number of attendees so that the venue doesn’t end up being too big or too small.
Plan B in case of rain, what alternative does your venue offer in such a situation?
And about the layout and decoration of the space, take into account whether the audience will stand, sit on the floor or on chairs.

The names, artists or brands invited to perform at the festival are of utmost importance because they are precisely the ones that will be able to influence the massive audience convocation.
Think that the combination of inviting established figures and new bands or talents will make the name of your festival reach different audiences, more communities!
If your festival program includes parallel activities, respect the time allotted for each one, because this way both the public and the invited artists can better plan how they want to make the most of your event.
Consider having a character (like a master of ceremonies) to open the event and also to call and start the performance of each of your guests. Festivals with varied programming use this feature to add value to each event on their busy schedule.

Infrastructure and Equipment:
There is no point in getting the best names and artists confirmed for your festival (or those names most desired by you) and not hiring an excellent or the most adequate infrastructure for your big event.
Months of planning and dedication can go to waste if the audience has a bad experience with the sound system, for example.
The safest thing is to identify and hire qualified companies and professionals with proven experience in these types of events.
Also think about the safety of all your participants (audience and guests); if you need a stage, the structure must support the maximum weight of the equipment and the number of people who will perform at the same time.
Still on safety and welfare, remember that the venue you choose needs to have municipal or state authorizations such as an operating permit and so on.

Review the routes your audience will use to get to the venue. Will it be necessary to have parking? Will it be necessary to have night bus service?
Will the suppliers hired for your festival be able to work at dawn? How and where should the loading and unloading of materials take place?