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Festival Planning Checklist

festival plannign tips -1

Festival Planning Checklist

All the range with the youth market, festivals (be it dance party, music or other) have grown in size, scope and popularity.  A Professionally run festival can be success vehicles and yet, many poorly run festival’s have terminally short life spans, through mis-management and poorly executed plans.

Professional event management and excellent entertainment are key to the success of any festival.

Festival Planning Checklist

1. Timing is everything when running a festival

When selecting a date for you event, always attempt to avoid clashing with other events. Also, do not plan your event in a known quiet period when large numbers of your target audience are out of town or away. Consider planning you event during  the peak season to have the most success.


2. Choose your festival location wisely

Location, location, location. Ensure there is easy access, ample parking, suitable access to public transport, and plenty of load in time, so setting up your event can be done with minimal pressure.

festival tips-location

3. Financial Planning

You may have a great idea for your event, but ensure it is deliverable and financially viable.

Budget– use spreadsheets and be realistic

Income- look at ways or earning incomes (tickets etc) as well as sponsorship, grants and other offsets (Value in kind or contra deals)

Expenditure– group them into categories, overheads, site costs, promotion, talent or artist costs,  Don’t forget GST!

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4. Insurance

Insurance is critical for all public events, especially ones of a festival or festive nature!

Make sure you do appropriate risk assessments- employ a professional to help you with this

5. Festival Site Plan Checklist

A Site Plan  (& Checklist) is critical for any event planning and management.  Involve all key stakeholder in the planning process to ensure they are engaged and aware of what is happening, when and why.  It should include (but not limited to)

  • Event & incident coordination centre
  • First aid posts
  • Licenses areas
  • Mains power/water/ gas
  • Toilet blocks
  • Restricted areas
  • Media
  • Vehicle access routes
  • Emergency access routes
  • Stage locations
  • Rubbish bins
  • Fire Equipment
  • Lost property / Lost Kids
  • Exits/entrances
  • Information centre
  • Entertainment sites
  • Activity Sites

festival site map

6. Festival Contingency Plan

What happens if it rains? what about lightening?  What about extreme temperatures?  consider and plan for everything. know what you will do if it happens, then simply do it!

7. Traffic and Pedestrian Management

Patron access must be planning to avoid disruption to the neighbourhood, local businesses and to ensure your patrons have a pleasurable experience.

Event organisers must make arrangements for the following:

  • Adequate car parking, allowing for over floe
  • Access for disabled persons
  • Adequate lighting
  • Shuttle buses from parking to main venue area
  • Appropriate signage to explain these routes and parking areas

Do you need to close roads? If so contact local police and councils.

Traffic-festival-traffic manegement

8. Waste management- keep it clean at your festival

Have more bins than you need,! have separate recycling bins on site- this is a minimum expectation!

9. Festival Promotion & Marketing

Get the information out early. People plan ahead!

If you want to get the large numbers of your target audience to attend, give them plenty of time and warning well in advance.

You need to make them aware in your event and interested, and thus desire to come to your festival or event.  Make the ticket price affordable and attractive and ensure you have a good name and positioning for the event, to make it attractive to your audience.

Plan using a promotion schedule or engage a professional, (such as Instinct) to help you execute you event from concept to post event evaluation.

10. Other important thing to remember for your festival

Insurance– get it covered, a MUST!

Electricity– get a professional sparky in – another MUST

Generators– if needed make sure you have calculated the requirements and comply wit Work safe and OH&S requirements.

Security and money handling– get a professional in? ask you self if you want to count thousands of dollars of coins and carry them to the car your self?

Equipment Hire –  do this early, get multiple quotes, meet the people and make sure you have a good feel for who they are

Toilets & bins– you can never have enough of either!

First aid – use professionals, not you mum!

Market day– bring in outside vendors to increase the vibe and yield! but make sure you check they are certified and covered to health standardsaccounting-finance-budget-money0


A program with a site map will inform patrons of what they can find, do and have at your event.  It will free up loads of time from volunteers (who would otherwise be constantly telling people where the toilets are!) and it allows you space  (…now listen carefully) to SELL ADVERTISING! (or thank you sponsors!)

WOW..  worth reading to the end right ?!