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I want to take the initiative to start a jazz festival in my town.
I'm aware of the fact that it's a huge thing and it's easier said than done, but right now I'm in the research phase.
So, I was wondering what are the main thing that I should focus on (and maybe a which one has priority over another).
So far I've sketched a few milestones:

  • getting sponsors and partners
  • inviting the bands to perform
  • getting volunteers
  • promoting the event

There isn't any magic recipe for making a music festival and the internet isn't full with articles on this topic, so any tip/idea/advise is welcomed.

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closed as off topic by American Luke, nonpop, Jason W, Andrew, Dr Mayhem May 29 '13 at 12:49

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Some things you probably should sort out: Finding a venue; sorting out sound and light engineering; ticket booking and administering; staffing; artist lodging; press relations; getting and setting up (including tuning of) "non-movable" instruments such as (grand) pianos. –  Ulf Åkerstedt May 25 '13 at 21:24
    
While I think this question is interesting, and put forth my answer, I have to agree with the 4 close votes - this isn't around music, but around organising an event, so off topic. –  Dr Mayhem May 29 '13 at 12:50
    
Is there any stackexchange site that my question would fit better into? –  gion_13 May 29 '13 at 13:33

2 Answers 2

I would think Insurance would be a MAJOR bullet point to look into. No matter who/how/when someone gets hurt, the organizer is always on the list of sued entities.

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Thanks! I haven't even thought about ensurance –  gion_13 May 25 '13 at 16:59

A huge gotcha is licencing, both for the performance, but also the catering.

  • For music - you need to look at whether the venue has specific rules regarding times, types of music, types of insurance, types of performance, or even which unions are required in order to fulfil licence requirements.
  • Local fire department or ambulance teams may have to be involved.

  • For the bar - well, this one is probably optional, but being able to supply beers at a music festival lreally helps.


In addition to @Ulf's essential list, make sure you also prepare for failures:

  • Have bands on standby to fill in if you have no-shows, either bands already lined up who could add extra perfomrances, or other bands who may be happy to be there on a guest pass as a standby (often local unsigned acts can fit this bill)
  • Have extra kit on standby in case of failures. And look at being able to swap in an acoustic set if power dies, for example.
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