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3 Must-Know Tips for Planning an Outdoor Music Festival

outdoor music festival

Planning an outdoor music festival takes extreme and careful planning. Have you forgotten anything?

As the weather warms up and the days grow longer with sunshine, you might be increasingly excited about welcoming the spring season. If you are one of the millions of music lovers around the world, there’s a good chance you’ve been counting down the days for “festival season” to arrive….Rest assured, it is almost here! Outdoor music festivals provide incredible entertainment for attendees – as long as they are planned effectively. Are you planning an outdoor music festival? Follow our tips below to ensure that the experience is as rewarding for your attendees as it is for you.

1. Do NOT Procrastinate on Planning

Festivals of any size require several MONTHS of careful, strategic planning. There is an overwhelming amount of factors that must be considered when you are planning an outdoor festival and overlooking just one of those factors could result in disaster. Where will your festival take place? Who will provide the entertainment? What are your AVL (audio, video & lighting) production needs? How much will tickets cost? How will you market? How will your attendees get there? What if they get injured? Where will they sleep? Eat? Go to the bathroom? Buy tickets? What will the weather be like? What if inclement weather strikes?

The list goes on, and improper planning can result in danger, lawsuits, chaos, a tarnished reputation and more. Want proof? Check out this article about how Tomorrowworld – an electronic music festival in Georgia – was deemed an “epic disaster” last fall after inclement weather and poor planning left thousands of attendees stranded without appropriate shelter and transportation.

2. Do NOT Underestimate Your Equipment Needs

Outdoor music festivals require a serious amount of technical equipment. We find it shocking how common it is for people who are planning music festivals to forget how essential it is to determine your equipment and production needs at the BEGINNING of the planning process. How many stages will you have? What kinds of instruments do you need? How can you achieve clear audio throughout the festival and not just in one location? How can you be sure that audio from different stages doesn’t overlap? Have the Artist’s’ technical riders been properly addressed? Remember: The success level of any event is predominantly determined by the level of rigor applied to pre-production activities.

At RCI Systems, we specialize in concert and event production and have successfully planned and fulfilled the production needs of several big name festivals, including Artscape in Baltimore.

3. DO Acquire Appropriate Permits and Security

If your outdoor festival is held on public land, you are going to require a permit from the city in order to produce it. Even if you have 99% of your festival planned (artists booked, tickets sold, stages constructed, etc) – a lack of the appropriate paperwork and security could sadly shut the whole thing down. Don’t believe us? Check out this article about how Moonrise Festival – an outdoor music festival in Baltimore that hoped to experience its debut in 2013 with Snoop Dogg booked as a headliner – had to cancel their event in the weeks leading up to the event due to the lack of a final, necessary permit.

Need Help Planning an Outdoor Festival? Contact RCI Systems!

RCI Systems has been in business since 1970 and offers equipment rental, AV integration and installation and event production services. Contact us today! After more than 35 years, our loyal clients have come to trust RCI and rely on us to provide systems on-time and on-budget.  Our national reputation for quality is based in our belief of doing it right the first time. The experienced professionals in our rental department can offer advice and assistance with planning your shows and our quality control and product support is available 24/7.

Contact us today at (301) 993-9001 ext. 204 or by email at rentals@rcisystems.com

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“The difference at RCI is our people.”

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