Several factors must be considered when looking for the perfect venue for a festival. A poorly chosen venue could ruin your audience’s experience. On the contrary, a venue that meets your target audience’s expectations guarantees you’ll attract more attendees and meet their expectations once they’re there.
To make the right choice, you must consider the size and capacity needed to accommodate the expected number of attendees in good conditions. Location, accessibility, services and facilities are decisive elements in your choice. Finally, you must consider the venue’s cost and ensure it fits your budget.
Discover our 7 tips for choosing the perfect venue to celebrate your festival in this article!
1. Choosing a venue of the right size for your festival
a) Number of attendees
First, estimate the expected number of attendees to find the right size for your festival venue. The place you choose must be able to accommodate all the attendees comfortably and safely.
b) Required space
In addition to the expected number of attendees, consider the space needed to set up the facilities. Stages, catering areas, camping, bathrooms, parking spaces, technical installations… Everything has to fit on or near the festival site.
Considering all of these elements, you should be able to calculate the right size for your festival venue.
2. The importance of location when choosing the venue for a festival
The next step is to think about the location of your festival: a crucial element when choosing a venue for your festival. Choosing a strategic location can help attract a larger audience and ensure the event’s success.
The accessibility of the venue must be one of your priorities. In a big city, it must be a place that can be easily accessed by public transport. On the other hand, your festival venue must have enough parking space for attendees’ vehicles.
A location close to popular areas or historic sites can add another dimension to the event and attract more people.
Remember that the location of your festival can affect the type of activities you can offer and the overall logistics of the event.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it’s essential to consider the ideal place for your festival that meets all your requirements and objectives.
3. The facilities and equipment of your festival venue
When looking for the ideal venue for your festival, you must consider the facilities and equipment available and those that you or your suppliers have to provide.
For example, if you organise outdoor concerts, you must ensure the venue has a big enough stage and adequate sound systems. You’ll need a budget to equip the venue if you don’t have these facilities.
If you organise activities for children, you’ll need to make sure that the place has safe spaces and adequate equipment.
It is also important to check that the venue has sufficient bathrooms, water points and shaded areas to ensure the comfort of the attendees.
If you consider these elements, you can choose a place that suits your needs and guarantee the success of your festival.
Tip: To complement these tips, read our full article on how to organise a festival.
4. The role of the budget in choosing the venue for a festival
As in all the steps of organising a festival, the budget is an element that must always be present. When selecting a venue to hold your festival, the cost of renting it can significantly impact your event’s finances.
a) Type of rental
After drawing up the overall budget for your festival, you’ll know how much money you have available to rent the venue. Remember that renting just the space is not the same as renting “turnkey”, with additional services: cleaning, security, equipment, etc., all included in the budget.
b) Additional costs
Don’t forget to consider the additional expenses you have to cover, which may be related to the facilities or special preparations needed to celebrate your festival and its activities.
It’s important to consider all these factors to choose a venue that fits your budget and ensures the economic viability of your event.
5. Key questions to ask yourself when visiting festival venues
Visiting the venues before choosing the ideal one for your festival is essential. To make sure you make the right choice, you need to ask questions that allow you to compare venues with the same criteria and with full knowledge of the facts.
Here are some ideas for questions to ask during your visits. Write down the answers so you don’t miss anything!:
- What is the maximum capacity of the venue?
- What facilities and services are included in the rent?
- What is the exact surface area available? The best option would be to request a detailed plan.
- What are the rental conditions? Please note the payment terms, cancellation conditions and warranty clauses.
- Do you have references from other organisers who have rented this venue? Don’t hesitate to contact former customers of the venue to discuss its quality and features.
- Do you have to apply for any permit or insurance besides those the venue already has?
- Ask anything relevant to visualise the possibilities of the venue and see if it meets the needs of your festival.
If you ask yourself these questions when you visit venues to celebrate your festival, you can make an informed decision and choose the ideal location for your event.
6. How to negotiate the best conditions for a festival venue?
Getting the best conditions for your festival venue is crucial to ensuring its success. It’s usually worth negotiating the budgets received to get the best possible offer.
a) Know the market
To negotiate most efficiently, you must know the rates and conditions of the different venues available. To do this, nothing is more efficient than contacting, visiting and requesting quotes from many venues.
b) Understand the budget
To negotiate a budget correctly, you must understand its parts.
Check that you need all the equipment and facilities included in the budget. Also consider additional costs, such as cleaning and security, and whether you would like to use your own suppliers.
c) Don’t just negotiate the price
If the owner or manager of the venue isn’t willing to offer you a lower price, you can negotiate other terms—for example, payment terms, cancellation terms, etc.
Try to negotiate the best possible terms while remaining realistic and respectful of the work of others.
d) Make concessions
As in any negotiation, it’s essential to be willing to make concessions.
For example, you may be willing to pay a little more for a better venue or accept less favourable rental conditions if the venue perfectly suits your needs.
7. The benefits of working with a venue coordinator
If you want to make it easier for yourself, you can consider working with a venue coordinator. This type of professional has solid experience organising events and, more specifically, managing event venues.
A venue coordinator is an important ally who can help you in several stages: finding the ideal venue that fits your needs and limitations and negotiating with the owner or manager of the chosen location. As a person specialising in event venues, he will help you with logistical management and all the technical and administrative aspects of hiring a venue.
Investing in the services of a professional allows you to benefit from an experience that can save you time and money.
With these 7 tips, you’re ready to choose the perfect place to celebrate your festival.
To learn more, download our free white paper for those who want to organise a festival for the first time.