Whether they are purely celebratory in nature, or have fundraising purposes, festivals can be a great way to raise awareness about a cause and encourage the participation of the entire community; from its youngest residents to its oldest. In order for a festival to be successful and provide fun and entertainment for all its participants, it is essential that the event is well planned. To keep costs down, organisers need to involve community stakeholders in the planning of the festival and engage volunteers in meaningful activities of which they can be proud.

Organisation

Decide the nature of the festival and form an organisational committee. Recruit members from appropriate local businesses, organisations and charities. Keep in mind that there will inevitably be costs associated with the event, and it may take time to raise sufficient funds to even get the festival to a realistic stage of plausibility, before the actual festival planning and logistics can take place.

To be able to fund raise, it will be necessary to seek an umbrella charity, which can legally solicit and accept donations for the purpose of the event. This may be a church, school, hospital or other non-profit entity. The committee may be able to persuade some local businesses to come on board as sponsors.

There are tax advantages for businesses that engage in community stewardship, and, providing the reason for the event is of a charitable nature, many businesses will welcome the chance to show their commitment to the local community, since this represents a good marketing and public relations opportunity for them. The committee may also be able to get “in kind” donations of services and supplies from local vendors. If possible, ask for the participation of representatives from the local police and and recreation and parks departments, since they can provide invaluable experience in event planning.

They can also advise on event planning permits, regulations and the necessary legalities, such as health and safety, first aid and emergency preparedness. It is also necessary to consider purchasing insurance to cover unexpected cancellation of the event and related liabilities. It is important to identify key areas to be addressed, and to allocate specific tasks to committee members. These will include:

  • Fundraising and sponsorship
  • Venue
  • Facilities
  • Permits
  • Legalities and insurance
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Advanced ticket sales
  • Volunteer recruitment
  • Vendors
  • Food and beverages/alcohol
  • Entertainment
  • Security
  • Car parking

Venue

The scale of the festival will be determined by the size of a suitable venue. Identify possible sites such as school playing fields and local parks. Formal event spaces such as a convention center or arena may be too expensive to consider.

Approach the management of prospective sites to discuss the possibility of staging the festival and to determine a suitable date. It is important to ensure that the festival does not clash with other local events, since this will drastically reduce local participation, and put additional strain on already committed emergency services.

The municipal event permit issuing authority can advise what major events have been granted permits for specific dates in the future. When considering the potential event site ensure that it is easily accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities, that it is convenient for public transportation, and that there is ample free car parking nearby.

Logistics

If the festival is going to be outdoors, consider what you will do if the weather does not cooperate and it rains. If you are holding the event in a field or car parking is in a field, rain could cause chaos. Anyone that has attended a rainy Glastonbury music festival can attest to this.

Marquees make great sense, but they can be expensive, and your budget may not stretch to the hire of them. Your local municipal event permit and health and safety regulations will specify other logistical considerations, such as stages, lighting, power and water supplies and the number of rest room facilities required, dependent upon the number of participants, you expect.

Portable toilets should be located strategically around the festival site, so that they can be quickly and conveniently accessed by all festival goers. The professionals at a local portable toilet company have the necessary experience to ensure that the event is adequately serviced in terms of facilities and keeping them sanitary during the event.

Entertainment

The festival budget, theme and available space will dictate the types of entertainment that can be included. Particularly, if it is anticipated that the festival will become an annual event, it is necessary to provide fun entertainment and interactive activities that will make attendees want to repeat their experience at a later date. Local musicians, singers and performers will welcome the opportunity to appear in front of a large crowd, since it gives them valuable exposure.

Find local performance and dance academies, schools, colleges and other venues that may have willing performers. Remember that everyone’s idea of fun is different. Try to provide wide-ranging entertainment and activities. These might include:

  • Petting zoo
  • Bouncy castle
  • Fairground attractions
  • Live performances
  • Arts and crafts
  • Marching band and majorettes
  • Martial arts displays
  • Competitions

Article kindly given to us by Griffin Toilet Hire

Amy Griffin

Amy runs Griffin Toilet Hire, based within the South West. Her knowledge of events from discreet to bombastic has helped the company provide a service that the client is always looking for.

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