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Scheduling Music Festival Activities.  

Andy Robertson

Anyone attending a music festival is expecting to be entertained from the moment they arrive until they leave the site. With many festivals taking place over 3 or 4 days it can be challenging to provide non-stop activities for festival-goers. How can organisers ensure their event is scheduled to ensure a continuous flow of activities.

Attending a music festival decades ago would often mean enduring quiet periods because the events focussed solely on musical acts where changeovers could take some time. The modern-day audience is now less tolerant of any gaps between performances and away from the music they have an expectation to find alternative activities to occupy them. What areas can organisers focus on to avoid unnecessary gaps in entertainment.

Artist Scheduling. 
The changeovers between artist’s acts has become a slick and fast routine for stage managers where it’s now feasible for there to be a constant stream of acts on multiple stages for 12 hours a day. This is possible due to the meticulous planning that takes place prior to the festival live dates. All artist’s advances will include details of set times along with stage details and associated logistics including scheduled sound checks and technical specs for their backlines. This planned scheduling enables changeovers to be completed in a matter of minutes with almost no uncomfortable silent periods.

Wellness Services. 
Many festival-goers are attending an event to hear their favourite artists perform however, when there is an artist they are less keen on hearing they will take the opportunity to get away from the music. The provision of wellness services like meditation, yoga and massage can provide a way to spend a few hours while someone waits for the next act they want to see. Wellness services also have the benefit of giving festival-goers a change of pace and a chance to relax and chill out.

Food and Beverages. 
Well positioned food and beverage vendors can ensure that festival-goers who are thirsty or hungry never have to venture too far away from stages. Organisers can provide different options for vendor pitch locations with a dedicated zone some distance away from stages which will suit those who wish to spend more time eating and drinking. Vendor pitches close to stages would need to be carefully managed to avoid unnecessary queuing but provide more options for those who don’t want to miss any performances.

Minimising Downtime. 
Keeping festival-goers occupied with a variety of activity options can increase their satisfaction with the overall event. For organisers the planning of set times, shows, wellness and food and beverage vendors is key to ensuring that festival-goers always have something to do. It is not unusual for organisers to specify operating times for vendors so that food and beverages are always available over several days. In addition there should always contingency plans for stage shows should there be any difficulties with no-show or late arrival artists.

For 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. 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 Andre Moura via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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