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Music Festival Scheduling Management.

Andy Robertson

When a music festival has multiple stages and hundreds of artists with performances spread over 3 days how can organisers manage the event scheduling to ensure everything happens when it should. The implications of poor scheduling can lead to adverse customer satisfaction and bad publicity so it’s vital that organisers master scheduling.

Irrespective of a music festival's size the same principles apply in scheduling management and requires experience of complex project management related to managing a mix of constantly moving variables. Whether the responsibility falls on an operational director or other senior staff member they really need a deep understanding of music festival business operating procedures.

Performance artists are usually booked well in advance of the festival dates and in the planning phase every artist needs to have their set length along with start times agreed. This should also extend to sound check schedules and dressing room bookings plus any accommodation and transport arrangements which should reflect the timing of agreed set times. Organisers should ensure that sufficient time is allowed for artist set up time between performances. All timings and schedules will form part of the Artist Advance, the formal documented agreement between the artist and festival organisers.

Contractors and Vendors. 
With many festival sites having limited access it is essential that any deliveries of equipment or vendor vehicles are scheduled with specific timing. The provision of windows of time spread over the days prior to the event dates should ensure that organisers avoid any traffic congestion and queuing of delivery vehicles.

Staff and Volunteers.
All festival staff need to have schedules indicating responsibilities and duties with accurate timing and locations on a festival site. With hundreds of volunteers the allocation of duties and their timing is crucial to the safety, security and smooth running of the event.

Access Control.
A prime consideration for organisers is the timing of the entrance gate opening for festival-goers and with careful planning this can help avoid unnecessary queuing and ensure all facilities on-site are ready when visitors arrive on site. 

Dynamic Scheduling.
No festival runs with perfect timing and there are always unforeseen factors that organisers will have to deal with. A single late delivery or a missing artist can have a serious knock-on effect on the entire event scheduling. Having an electronic transparent and dynamic capability for all schedules ensures that the appropriate people are informed in real time about schedule changes so they can adapt accordingly. All relevant parties need access to these dynamic schedules and timetables so they can check current status and receive notifications about changes. The capability for dynamic calendars and scheduling is now a fundamental part of any music festival organisation and forms a key part of their contingency planning.

For music festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics, including dynamic calendar and scheduling functionality. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Photo by Thirdman via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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