Creating the project schedule for a festival

Creating the project schedule for a festival

Organ­is­ing a fes­ti­val may seem com­pli­cat­ed, but with the help of prop­er plan­ning, it can be much eas­i­er.

Find out in this arti­cle how to effec­tive­ly plan all aspects of your fes­ti­val, from the ini­tial stages to the pro­gramme, venue lay­out and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. We will also give you tips on the organ­i­sa­tion dur­ing the day of the event and post-fes­ti­val.

Fol­low­ing these steps, you can cre­ate a suc­cess­ful and mem­o­rable fes­ti­val for all atten­dees!


    1. Building the framework for the festival

    Like any oth­er event, organ­is­ing a fes­ti­val requires pre­vi­ous steps that will sig­nif­i­cant­ly help the sub­se­quent organ­i­sa­tion.
    So start by defin­ing the goals of your fes­ti­val, its name, the venue and the date.
    You must also ensure you have all the nec­es­sary per­mits to hold the event. Con­tact your local author­i­ties to find out what for­mal­i­ties you need to com­plete.

    2. Create a global organisational plan

    It is essen­tial to spend some time detail­ing the plan­ning sched­ule of your event. Make it as pre­cise as pos­si­ble and describe each stage as much as pos­si­ble. This step is long and tedious, but it gives you an overview of your fes­ti­val.
    A com­plete sched­ule allows you to con­trol the cor­rect devel­op­ment of every­thing and to adapt quick­ly to unfore­seen events. Write down all dead­lines in a cal­en­dar (phys­i­cal, dig­i­tal or both). You can find inspi­ra­tion in our fes­ti­val organ­is­er sched­ule, avail­able for free by click­ing here. Don’t for­get to adapt the spe­cif­ic dead­lines to your fes­ti­val!

    3. Planning the festival programme

    To con­cre­tise your over­all fes­ti­val idea, define your fes­ti­val’s dif­fer­ent activ­i­ties and high­lights. Will there be con­certs? A round table or con­fer­ences? Activ­i­ties for chil­dren? Each point of the pro­gramme will involve spe­cif­ic steps you must fore­see in the even­t’s organ­i­sa­tion.
    Leave enough time in your sched­ule to con­tact the speak­ers you would like to invite. The bet­ter known these peo­ple are, the fur­ther in advance you will need to plan their par­tic­i­pa­tion. Some­times it will be nec­es­sary to con­tact their agents.

    4. Creating the perfect venue layout

    Once you have defined the high­lights of your fes­ti­val, it’s time to think about the lay­out of all areas of the fes­ti­val site.

    Tip: Dis­cov­er our tips on how to find the per­fect venue for your fes­ti­val.

    List the areas required. Con­sid­er, for exam­ple, the fol­low­ing:

    • A management/production area (from where you will run the fes­ti­val).
    • One or more stages.
    • Toi­lets (suf­fi­cient).
    • One or more drink­ing water points.
    • A rest area for your staff and vol­un­teers.
    • One or more bars and food trucks or food stalls area.
    • All oth­er areas that make sense to make your fes­ti­val unique and enjoy­able.

    Once all zones have been defined, you can list and inte­grate the steps to cre­ate them into your glob­al sched­ule.
    It is also essen­tial to plan for staffing needs, whether they are vol­un­teers or employ­ees nec­es­sary to run the event. You will also like­ly use exter­nal pro­fes­sion­als to meet your needs (food and bev­er­age providers, tick­et­ing, secu­ri­ty, etc.).

    5. Planning comunication

    It is essen­tial to plan your com­mu­ni­ca­tion well in advance to attract as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to your fes­ti­val.
    You can start com­mu­ni­cat­ing up to a year before the fes­ti­val and keep it up until D‑Day! This way, you will be sure to tar­get all types of fes­ti­val-goers: those who plan ahead and get organ­ised ear­ly, but also those who buy their tick­ets the day before or even on the day of the event.

    1. Using an online ticketing service

    It is nec­es­sary to plan how to sell tick­ets. We rec­om­mend sell­ing tick­ets online as it is much eas­i­er for atten­dees to buy online and down­load them to their mobile phones than hav­ing to go to a phys­i­cal place to get their tick­ets.
    To increase your sales, you can com­ple­ment your online sales with tick­et offices to sell tick­ets on-site or entrust a sales area to a part­ner (com­pa­ny, munic­i­pal­i­ty, spon­sor, etc.).

    2. Creating different types of tickets and sales moments

    Don’t hes­i­tate to opti­mise tick­et sales by cre­at­ing oth­er sales moments. For exam­ple, you can cre­ate ear­ly bird tick­ets with low­er prices for ear­ly bird buy­ers.
    You can also take advan­tage of spe­cial occa­sions like Black Fri­day to offer dis­counts.
    Final­ly, con­sid­er reward­ing your most loy­al atten­dees by send­ing them a pro­mo­tion­al code by email.

    3. Communicating across channels

    Depend­ing on the tar­get audi­ence of your fes­ti­val, it may be inter­est­ing to com­mu­ni­cate more on one chan­nel or anoth­er. For exam­ple, for young peo­ple focus on social media. For oth­er audi­ences, and depend­ing on your resources, it may make sense to cre­ate posters, radio or TV spots, or send press releas­es to local and spe­cialised jour­nal­ists.
    Your fes­ti­val com­mu­ni­ca­tion does not have to end abrupt­ly at the end of the event. Include in your plan to con­tin­ue to feed your plat­forms (web­site and social media) with post-event con­tent to main­tain the rela­tion­ship with atten­dees and encour­age them to attend your next event.

    5. Organising the day of the festival

    Draw up a detailed sched­ule that includes the arrival of sup­pli­ers and artists, the set-up of the facil­i­ties, the open­ing and clos­ing times, the high­lights of the fes­ti­val, and all dis­man­tling and clean-up that will take place on the last day.
    You can pro­vide a tai­lored ver­sion to each per­son involved in your fes­ti­val so that they know what is expect­ed of them and whom to con­tact in case of need (not for­get­ting to include their con­tact tele­phone num­ber).
    Your role on D‑Day will be to mon­i­tor and con­trol the dif­fer­ent aspects of the fes­ti­val set-up and ensure the activ­i­ties’ smooth run­ning. Avoid over-task­ing your­self, as you will prob­a­bly be busy deal­ing with unfore­seen events (can­cel­la­tion of an artist, bad weath­er, etc.).

    6. Planning post-event steps

    Your sched­ule does­n’t have to end when the fes­ti­val gates close. There are still many steps and tasks to be tack­led and planned.
    For exam­ple, include in your agen­da:

    Tip: Organ­is­ing a fes­ti­val requires atten­tion to detail and effec­tive coor­di­na­tion between depart­ments, so work­ing with a com­pe­tent team and main­tain­ing con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion is essen­tial to ensure the even­t’s suc­cess.

    You already know all the key points that will guide you in organ­is­ing your first fes­ti­val. Now it’s your turn!

    To find out more, down­load the free Prac­ti­cal Guide for Fes­ti­val Organ­is­ers. A free white paper to guide you through the dif­fer­ent stages of cre­at­ing your fes­ti­val!

    Down­load the guide

    Related articles

    You have now subscribed to our newsletter!