Every year, more than 30 million people attend one or more music festivals.
Outdoor festivals have become a hot spot for making new memories, having fun, and seeing friends. They bring the community together, which is rare under positive circumstances. If you want to lift the vibes in your hometown, an outdoor festival could be the solution.
Take a look below to discover how you can turn a festival idea into a reality!
Choose a Fun Theme
One of the most exciting parts of planning an outdoor festival is selecting a theme.
Holidays, town reputations, and history can play a significant role in theme selection. Finding inspiration will help you select an appropriate theme that everyone can enjoy. Food, music, and arts and crafts themes are some of the most common.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate these themes with more specific ideas. For example, Fourth of July festivals and strawberry festivals are common in many areas during the summer months. Talk to your team to identify what theme will bring your town to life, without being a repeat.
If you need help gathering ideas and selecting the best theme, don’t be afraid to reach out to the community. Polls and surveys can help you understand their interests so people are naturally drawn to the event. In the days leading up to the event, you’ll want to decorate the festival with theme-related items.
Create a Budget
Every type of event planning involves a strong budget so you don’t go into debt.
Luckily, festivals incorporate the entire community and more, so there are multiple places you can source funding from. It helps to look at previous years’ festival expenses, but they will likely fluctuate because of inflation and upgrades.
There are several categories of expenses to consider when making a realistic budget. Marketing, transportation, insurance, and entertainment are some of the most obvious categories. You should also consider the expenses for permits, security, and decor, as they quickly add up.
Portioning out your expenses and researching average costs will prepare your financial team and keep you on track. If you’re slipping outside of your budget, you may want to look for vendors who pay a fee to sell on-site.
Start Searching for a Location
Whether you want to host your festival at a beach, park, or in a downtown district, there are festival permits to acquire.
Festivals tend to draw in a lot of traffic, so you’ll need a location with ample parking. Depending on the
If you live in an unpredictable climate, you may want to search for areas with indoor and outdoor space. In the case of wind or rain, you won’t have to cancel the outdoor festival if you can step under a canopy or inside.
The more time you give to reserve a location, the better your availability will be. Many people make the mistake of waiting too long and can’t find a venue at the last minute. Since there are event logistics and outdoor safety measures to consider, you should do this a year out.
Keep in mind that remote locations are great, but you may need to work with shuttle companies to transport attendees. You will also want to select the best time and date for the event, don’t forget to research normal weather conditions for this time.
Spread the Word
Marketing festival activities can come naturally if you focus on your theme’s strengths.
Many cities place banners and flyers around town, but there are other ways to spread the word. Social media platforms, city websites, and radio ads can help you find more attendees so your festival doesn’t fall flat.
Try to highlight the most exciting events and showcase any special entertainers who will be performing. Entertainment, food, and children’s areas can make a big impact on your festival’s success. Encourage people in the community to invite friends and family from out of town to make for an unforgettable event.
Plan Activities & Entertainment
Events and entertainment create good vibes for your entire festival.
Regardless of the theme, you need to have something going on to keep people around. Music, fair games, and petting zoos are often included in summer festivals, but there are endless options to consider. Since there are so many options, you can narrow them down by finding the most appropriate choices for your theme.
Music is a standard form of entertainment at festivals since it creates a positive atmosphere and naturally draws in a crowd. Make sure you book numerous bands and performers to keep the excitement going and try to appeal to as many people as possible.
To ensure no one misses an attraction, post an itinerary with marketing materials and ads.
If you’re worried about any legal matters, contact McGowan Allied Specialty Insurance. Insurance and a plan will help you keep things in order, even if something goes wrong.
Search for Food & Beverage Options
Elephant ears, ice cream, and beer tents are some of the most basic staples of an outdoor festival.
You can get as creative as you’d like with food and beverage options. Food trucks have made this one of the most exciting parts to plan because you aren’t limited to fries and deep-fried Oreos. Gourmet food trucks and brands often reserve a spot at outdoor festivals because they are a great place to share their recipes.
If you’re planning for a beer tent, margarita trucks, or other alcoholic beverages on-site, you will need additional permits. Once you know the date and location of the festival, you can connect with caterers, food truck owners, and restaurants in the community.
Go Big With Your Outdoor Festival
Following this guide can help you plan an outdoor festival, but if you want to create one that’s unforgettable, you need something more. A unique theme and ability to get creative will put your team on the right path for a fun event. Outdoor festivals can bring the community together, especially when the weather cooperates.