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Summer is here and the time for festival-goers to once again enjoy a full schedule of festivals and events – including yours! But you need to get it right, as poor performance makes for a poor impression. With your festival’s reputation dented, it can be hard to gain support for future events.

Here are a list of some of the do’s and don’ts of festival planning. What would you add to the list?

On the DO list…

Keep attendees and staff hydrated – and that means having plenty of refreshment options on site. For staff and guests, these refreshments should not only be readily available but free. For your punters, you should have plenty of refreshments options.

If you are serving alcohol, make sure you have the correct licence. Bear in mind that heat and long drinking hours can make for ugly scenes, so keep security on standby.

Ensure a logical layout – summer festivals can be popular events. And that means whole swathes of people moving around at the venue in large numbers.
People like the feeling of order, especially in a crowd, so take another look at your event layout. Does it suggest a logical path to attendees? What will you do to keep the crowds moving, whilst also not overcrowding certain areas?

Security and safety are priorities – for any summer festival to run smoothly, there needs to be a combination of factors that all come together. Adequate, professional security and extensive health and safety measures are two of the most important.

Security personnel need to be proactive, but friendly. Safety needs to be continual monitored and when hazards and risks identified, action should be taken.

Consider all of your audience – festivals are not just for young people but families, older age groups, single people male and females… and you want them all to enjoy themselves.

People will move through your event at various times. It makes sense that families with more than likely be your day visitors, and the young, free and single crew around of an evening or night time.
Have different activities on that are attractive to these age groups, and make sure they are on at the right time of day.

Be appreciative of sponsors support – even if it’s a small advert in the festival programme, or a billboard in the venue, thanking your sponsors ensures that should you ask for investment or support in the future, they are more than likely to consider your request.

On the DON’T list…

Don’t underestimate the importance of the latest tech and sound systems
for any summer festival, from a musical event to a family fun day, your festival needs to be serviced with the latest tech.

And that means planning well in advance everything from the sound systems to walkie-talkie radios and more. Source companies that offer advice, as well as the latest gear such as Funktion-One.

Don’t underestimate the tidying up – all too often, plans extend from marketing and ticket sales, to marquees and bars but rarely contain the crucial step of ‘tidying away’.

Volunteers and staff, worn out from a long day in the sun, will want to disappear when the festival shuts. They just may not have the energy to spend hours litter picking a field.

Consider buying in specialist services to deal quickly with litter picking, rubbish as well as dealing with chemical toilets as soon as possible.
And make sure the place is left spotless.

Don’t be understaffed or too adventurous - many summer festivals fail because they attempted to be too big too quickly, without the support, the investment and the staff and volunteers to run it.

Running a summer festival is a lot of work, but rewarding! Follow this list and you’re sure to find it a little less stressful!

Last edited by Ruby Daub
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