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Critical Activities for a Music Festival Site with One Month to go.

Andy Robertson

Music festival organisers invest much time, effort and money in preparing for their music festivals with planning often starting over a year in advance. What site activities are critical in the final month prior to the event dates that organisers need to focus on to ensure all their planning comes to fruition.

The final month prior to a music festival's live dates is when certain activities need to take place usually in a specific order on a critical path basis. One delay with a particular aspect of the site set up can have an impact on all the other activities that rely on that being completed. Meticulous planning and day to day management during this final phase of the festival site preparation are essential for success. Here are some typical activities organisers need to perform in this critical phase. 

Logistics and Infrastructure. 
Once organisers have access to a site, they will need to build an infrastructure that can support the size of the event, sometimes the size of a small town. The first actions will be straightforward and may include ground preparation like grass cutting and the building of security fencing surrounding the site. The next stage will be the installation of utilities like temporary power, telecoms towers, water supplies and sanitation facilities. These essential actions allow contractors and staff to work on-site with essential services so they can organise the stage and other temporary structures to undergo construction. On-site staff will need to manage the scheduling of deliveries and managing access passes which should have been completed prior to the site load-in phase. This build up phase is ideal for testing on-site communication systems like walkie talkies and PA systems and that utilities and security procedures are working as they should. During this phase it is preferable to install signage throughout the site indicating to contractors, vendors, volunteers and festival-goers where they can find toilets, exists and first aid stations for example. 

Compliance and Health and Safety. 
The final few weeks prior to any live dates is also a period when local authorities and emergency services make site inspections to ensure everything is in order. This can include checking the organisers have the correct permits and licences in place and that access for emergency services meets requirements. Health and safety inspectors will also visit a site to ensure there are no breaches of guidance or recommendations. Organisers must ensure that any issues identified during these inspections are rectified immediately. 

Staff and Volunteers. 
Staff responsible for the site build and infrastructure will likely be on-site from the time that they have access. During the month prior to the event date staff from different departments may wish to visit to check on progress of aspects important to their responsibilities. Artist management staff may want to check backstage areas, green rooms and hospitality facilities. Sponsor and vendor managers will want to check that designated zones are set up in a way that matches the spaces they have sold. The final two-week period is also ideal for volunteer and staff training days and typically can be held in an unused hospitality marquee if one has been installed. 

Vendors and Sponsors. 
Organisers will have sold pitch spaces and sponsor locations based on a theoretical plan so staff responsible for building these spaces need to ensure reality matches the plans sold. These spaces need to be completed and ready to be occupied during the last week of the preparation period. Vendors will be scheduled to arrive at specific times and days, and they should be able to arrive and immediately get set up on their allocated pitch spaces. Sponsors may require more time to build their hospitality tents and other branded structures typically up to a few weeks prior to live dates. 

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. 

Image by Antranias via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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