How to start a festival on your land
If you’ve got land going spare, why not start your own outdoor event? A festival can be an exciting opportunity to raise some income, and design your own perfect event from scratch. However, it can also be hard work, involving lots of planning, paperwork, risk assessing and attention to detail.
Here are some of the key things to consider as you start the process of setting up your festival:
• Choose the right type of event.Is there a market for the kind of festival you have in mind? You need to do some research into demand, to make sure your event will be popular and well attended. A unique idea is great, but make sure it’s not too niche – unless you have a fantastic marketing team to get the word out, or an unbeatable location people will travel a long way to visit.
• Who will plan and run your festival?You don’t need to organise and manage the event yourself as the landowner, unless you want to. Instead, you can outsource to a festival management specialist, who can sort everything from health and safety to staffing. This will cost money and eat into your profit, but it will also take a lot of work and potential headaches off your plate. It could also ensure a safer, better quality event.
• Investigate planning permission.You’re likely to need planning permission for your event from your local authority, and there can be a lot of hoops to jump through. Get started on the paperwork early, as any delays in getting approval could throw your plans off track.
• Get the local community on side.Festivals can be disruptive and noisy, so it’s important that the local community backs your plans. Some ideas for whipping up support – hold regular meetings to keep people updated, use local suppliers and businesses where possible, and put measures in place for noise mitigation.
• Buying equipment.You’ll need lots of on-site facilities to run a successful festival, starting with the basics like toilet and shower blocks. For the entertainment element of your festival, you’ll need covered spaces like stages, stretch tents and marquees – along with a full electrical, sound and technical setup. If you’d like to offer glamping and other upgrades (which can bump up your income for the event), you’ll need to invest in some great quality bell tents or ridge tents and kit them out appropriately.
•Food, drink, stalls and facilities.As we’ve mentioned above, using local producers and vendors for your food and drink offer can be a good way to win over your neighbours. But don’t forget about cover to house them. For example, stretch tents and awnings can create fabulous social and communal spaces for eating and drinking, while gazebos are a good option for small market-style stalls. You’ll also need a first aid station, fresh drinking water, an ATM and waste management facilities.
• Health and safety.Just like with planning permission, you’ll have lots of boxes to tick in order to run your festival safely and responsibly. For example, you should look into essentials like site security, access and traffic control, risk assessments and staff training.
Get inspiration for your event at the SoulPad online shop, where you’ll find a fabulous choice of festival-ready bell tents and more.