Find your festival look!
First up, what kind of vibe are you going for? Hippy Coachella chic or grungy rock and roll? Surrounded by nature and beauty, or a block party street feel? Perhaps you’re looking for family friendly carnival rides and games, or is this more of a late-night smoke and lasers party? Establishing your event theme will influence everything from your location, agenda, production and entertainment, so make sure you’re all on the same page!
Decorating an outdoor event is a whole different ball-game to a nice comfy conference centre, and heavy-duty festoon lighting, wind-proof marquees and giant home-painted signage are going to become your best friends!
No summer festival is complete without a banging main stage line-up, wandering entertainers, and pop-up theatre where you least expect it. Entertainment should be at the forefront of your event marketing and hype, and your production plans need to support them.
Whether your whole event is focused around one massive main-stage, or your building out a whole world of tents, marquees and mini-arenas, you’ll want to plan and communicate your entertainment schedules well ahead of kick-off to give guests time to plan and avoid missing out!
And it doesn’t stop there – from fire performers to face painters, every step of your guests journey should be an experience for all ages!
Festivals aren’t the place for three-course sit-down dinners. Your attendees need to be free to roam, dance and explore everything else on offer. Food trucks such as The Cheese Truck and The Little Taquero provide perfect handfuls of bite-sized grub, or Whole Food Heaven caters for vegans, vegetarians and your more health conscious guests!
When it comes to keeping people hydrated, water and coffee stations are of course a must, but the booze is where you can really have some fun, from Real Ale vans to a dedicated Prosecco tap, and whether it’s Pimms O’Clock or Frozen Margharitas, make sure your ready-to-go cocktails fit in with your theme! The bar is also the perfect centrepiece for any event sponsorship opportunities, due to the constant footfall and everyone being grateful to the brand that bought their drinks!
Be good to the world!
The events industry is becoming more and more conscious of their environmental footprint, and it’s never more important to think about sustainability than when your event takes place outdoors! Collectable, reusable souvenir cups from the likes of Eco Cup are a great take-home gift, and organisations like Every Can Counts offer free collection boxes for your recyclable waste.
Plus, bespoke event apps are now the easiest way to eliminate the need for paper tickets, agendas and maps, and electronic or token-based bars mean everything can now live in your attendees phone!
But your carbon footprint starts before you even get to the festival. We all like the idea of hiring a private island or remote beach for an event, but if you’re chartering planes or asking guests to drive for miles to your event, you might be missing a trick! Have a look at venues and locations with public transport options and if that’s impossible, arrange mass transfers from local hubs to eliminate single person journeys.
And don’t forget, biodegradeable glitter and balloons now mean you can keep your fun and sparkles without the plastic waste but remember, no balloon releasing as this is still bad for the birds and wildlife wherever they end up!
Capture the moment!
With all your guests dolled up in festival attire, the great outdoors drenched in fairy lights and floral displays, and hopefully even the glorious sunshine, you’ll want to remember and share every moment! Why not run a photo-opportunity treasure hunt, with signposted picture-spots like giant deck-chairs, floral walls and neon playgrounds to encourage your guests to take photos and share them with your personalised hashtags and branding.
Plus, make sure you hire a great outdoor videographer to record every aspect of your event – most the action will happen after dark, so make sure to bring on a specialist!
And think about your Plan B!
Look – it’s still Britain. So even if you’re forecast weeks of blue skies, endless sunshine and your event is in Cornwall in the middle of August, there’s still a chance the clouds will roll in, the wind-warnings will start to appear and your whole party will end up in a pile of mud and leaves (just ask Boardmasters).
So aside from a healthy insurance policy, protect yourself with free-ponchos, wellies, temporary footpaths, weather-proof roofs and walls on your structures, and wherever possible – a massive hall on standby down the road!