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Thread: Advice on Starting a Festival

  1. #1

    Default Advice on Starting a Festival

    So, I'm seriously looking into starting a decent sized (bigger then anything in this area, at least) outdoor music festival for next year in my hometown here in Texas (population of 120k). For at least my first year, I was thinking of putting it on the first weekend of SXSW and catching bands coming through for that. I know last year that someone around here put on a fun little day fest where they had a lot of people from TN, NY, Maryland, and places like that, and they said those bands played for very very cheap, just because they wanted a warm-up show and gas money. Also figure that if I could get some of the bigger local bands behind this they might play for a bit cheap, and if I lock up all the big drawing locals (I'd say theres about 4-5 big locals here) then thats a guaranteed local crowd. Owner of this local venue recently bought a stage and sound system too for doing outdoors shows, and I know he'd be behind this, so thats a big cost taken care of already (though I don't know how big the stage is). Have a potential venue in mind that shouldn't be hard to get permission for. Money wise, I was thinking of having maybe 2-3 benefit shows at a local venue throughout the year, book cheap big drawing locals for them. Maybe try kickstarter, though I'm not sure if that'd work around here or not. Plus thinking a bit outside of the box, link sales are really popular around here and I know a friend with a very large grill for cooking them. Was asking around I hear those make anywhere from $400-$1200. Having a few of those throughout the year would be great. And obviously I'd try to get sponsorships, though I do not have much experience at all with that. If I could get together say like a $5000-$6000 budget for booking bands, I'd be happy (I've been booking a much smaller scale festival here in this city on a $1500 budget for the past two years).

    But anyways, all that background information was just to ask you guys- Do you have any tips on doing a music festival like that? And on raising money? What are the biggest hurdles to starting a music festival? What are the big legal hurdles with this (as in, do I need to make sure I'm protected if someone were to get hurt at this festival, stuff like that)? Anyone have advice on getting sponsorships? I'm definitely going to look much more heavily into this next month, as I have another much much smaller scale festival that I booked happening in about two weeks, but for now I'm just kind of planning out how I'm going to do this so I have an idea, and seeing if this is actually possible.

    Also worth mentioning, it'd be nice if my work paid off and I got a little bit of money from this, but my overall goal here is not to make a huge profit. I think my city has a pretty cool little scene, and I really want it to grow. I want to turn this place into a cool place to live. On top of that, I'd like to make new connections and if this is successful at all, I think it'd look pretty damn good on a resume. As long as I dont LOSE money from this, I'm ok with it.

  2. #2
    Lurker adrienneleasah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Hey man, I'd play your festival. I'm a fairly new female singer/songwriter from Philly. Here's ma website, consider me www.adrienneleasa.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by adrienneleasah View Post
    Hey man, I'd play your festival. I'm a fairly new female singer/songwriter from Philly. Here's ma website, consider me www.adrienneleasa.com
    Cool! I'm way too early in the planning stages to actually book anyone yet, but I'll write your info down and remember that when I do start booking.

  4. #4
    Bambi menikmati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Dude we don't need any more festivals.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by menikmati View Post
    Dude we don't need any more festivals.
    I'm not trying to compete with Coachella or whatever. In fact, what I really want to do is bring artists to my city that would normally never come here. My city has never had an outdoors music festival and gets very very few touring acts. I'm also half hoping that the connections I make through this can help me bring in more touring artists through for regular concerts.

    I don't ever expect to have a festival big enough that you have people traveling from all over to visit, like Coachella or even smaller ones like Fun Fun Fun. I wouldn't really expect people driving more then 90 minutes (distance from here to Houston) to come to this. At least not for the first year or two.

    Also tons of bands are coming through for SXSW, and we don't have an outlet for them to play. We have some local venues but they can't fit in all the bands coming through.
    Last edited by Llama of Time; 02-10-2013 at 10:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Member Tikiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Festival in Texas? Does that mean festival goers will be armed to the teeth? Count me out.

  7. #7
    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    AGGIECHELLA
    Quote Originally Posted by efrain44 View Post
    Anyone know who the guy in the Cardinals jersey is? I've seen him in pictures on the board and I thought I saw him this year.

  8. #8
    Coachella Junkie sonofhal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Book Daft Punk. People seem keen to catch them live.

    ..or Bowie.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustSteve View Post
    well, for all intensive porpoises it is, will sell out within seconds tomorrow.
    Quote Originally Posted by korbinn View Post
    It's jsut dawned on me that I'm overly confident and a extremely ocd perfectionist.
    Quote Originally Posted by kroqken View Post
    I don't give a flying fuck about the Kardashians, I doubt they know who Belle and Sebastian are.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofhal View Post
    Book Daft Punk. People seem keen to catch them live.

    ..or Bowie.
    I'll get the Talking Heads to reunite while I'm at it

  10. #10
    Cult Leader koryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Peruse this thread for most of what you're looking for.
    Wow, 12 step meetings at Coachella, who knew? SOBERCHELLA.COM

    I'm a reasonable man, get off my case....

  11. #11
    Cult Leader koryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    And I second getting Daft Punk. That's is a pretty good suggestion.
    Wow, 12 step meetings at Coachella, who knew? SOBERCHELLA.COM

    I'm a reasonable man, get off my case....

  12. #12
    Member Godspeed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofhal View Post
    Book Daft Punk. People seem keen to catch them live.

    ..or Bowie.
    Bowie and DP is credited. I heard DP is putting out a new album, so they'll probably be up for a gig or two.

  13. #13
    Coachella Junkie sonofhal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Daft Punk . If you book them, Tom won't come.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustSteve View Post
    well, for all intensive porpoises it is, will sell out within seconds tomorrow.
    Quote Originally Posted by korbinn View Post
    It's jsut dawned on me that I'm overly confident and a extremely ocd perfectionist.
    Quote Originally Posted by kroqken View Post
    I don't give a flying fuck about the Kardashians, I doubt they know who Belle and Sebastian are.

  14. #14
    Old Gay Guy gaypalmsprings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Call it the Funky Llama Festival.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by koryp View Post
    Peruse this thread for most of what you're looking for.
    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by gaypalmsprings View Post
    Call it the Funky Llama Festival.
    I like it

  16. #16
    Coachella Junkie sonofhal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Not Llamapalooza?
    Quote Originally Posted by JustSteve View Post
    well, for all intensive porpoises it is, will sell out within seconds tomorrow.
    Quote Originally Posted by korbinn View Post
    It's jsut dawned on me that I'm overly confident and a extremely ocd perfectionist.
    Quote Originally Posted by kroqken View Post
    I don't give a flying fuck about the Kardashians, I doubt they know who Belle and Sebastian are.

  17. #17
    Cult Leader koryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    I don't like spitters
    Last edited by koryp; 02-11-2013 at 06:03 AM.
    Wow, 12 step meetings at Coachella, who knew? SOBERCHELLA.COM

    I'm a reasonable man, get off my case....

  18. #18

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofhal View Post
    Not Llamapalooza?
    Could go with that. Or maybe Llamaroo. Or Llamabury.

  19. #19
    Pedley Rocks JustSteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama of Time View Post
    As long as I dont LOSE money from this, I'm ok with it.
    You are pretty much guaranteed to lose money at first.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Here's a question- If this is an all ages event, but I want to sell alcohol, will that require me to pay a lot of extra money in insurance money/open up new legal issues, or is that a big deal?

  21. #21
    Lurker adrienneleasah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    I figured, but I thought I'd plant the seed early. shameless self-promotion, cause nobody else is going to promote me lol.

  22. #22
    Coachella Junkie Neighborhood Creep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Dude, best of luck but you seem to have no idea what you are doing. I am sure we have all day dreamed about throwing our own festival. From eyeing up potential properties, to what vendors you would want, to booking of bands. It's a fun thought, but you really need the knowledge and you are coming onto this board just proving you haven't the slightest clue.
    Quote Originally Posted by theklein25 View Post
    When Foster the People played Pumped Up Kicks I freaked the fuck out because I thought that song was long gone

  23. #23
    Old Gay Guy gaypalmsprings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Have a Gay Orgy Tent.

  24. #24
    Pedley Rocks JustSteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama of Time View Post
    Here's a question- If this is an all ages event, but I want to sell alcohol, will that require me to pay a lot of extra money in insurance money/open up new legal issues, or is that a big deal?
    Want legal advice, consult a lawyer. No one here knows, we don't know your local city ordinances, state laws, etc.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Neighborhood Creep View Post
    Dude, best of luck but you seem to have no idea what you are doing. I am sure we have all day dreamed about throwing our own festival. From eyeing up potential properties, to what vendors you would want, to booking of bands. It's a fun thought, but you really need the knowledge and you are coming onto this board just proving you haven't the slightest clue.
    There's a lot I don't know, for sure, which is why I am trying to figure stuff out and ask around. But I am not clueless. I have experience putting on shows. I've been working with a much smaller scale festival for the past 3 years, and been booking it for the past 2. I've just never done an outdoors show, or something of the scale I want with this. Also, I will most likely have the people who book the two most popular music venues here (for the type of music I want at least) helping me out, so its not like I'm jumping headfirst into this by myself.

    I just figured I might get some decent advice and tips here. Why not pull from every resource I can think of? Maybe someone here wold think of something that me and the others wouldn't. I dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustSteve View Post
    Want legal advice, consult a lawyer. No one here knows, we don't know your local city ordinances, state laws, etc.
    I already plan to contact a lawyer, I have a family friend that I was planning to talk to once this is more planned out and off the ground. I'm not expecting firm answers here, I just wanted an idea of how that works.

  26. #26
    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Don't name it Woodyfest.

    8/16: Anthony Naples, Maxmillion Dunbar @ f8
    8/18: Man Man @ The Chapel
    8/23-8/24: FYF Fest
    8/30: Peaking Lights @ The Chapel
    9/3: Bear in Heaven @ The Independent
    9/24 - 28: Decibel Festival
    10/5: The War on Drugs, Cass McCombs @ The Fillmore
    10/18-19: Treasure Island Music Festival

  27. #27

    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama of Time View Post
    Here's a question- If this is an all ages event, but I want to sell alcohol, will that require me to pay a lot of extra money in insurance money/open up new legal issues, or is that a big deal?
    I have no idea about Texas, but up in Canada it sure as hell does.

    You should start with throwing small shows and work your way up. Throwing an outdoor with little to no knowledge of event planning will ruin you.
    06,11,12,13,14(1+2)

  28. #28
    Cult Leader koryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    I've always regretted not making it to Woodyfest®.
    Wow, 12 step meetings at Coachella, who knew? SOBERCHELLA.COM

    I'm a reasonable man, get off my case....

  29. #29
    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    The success rate of festivals guided by advice from the Coachella Message Board Forum hovers around zero.

    8/16: Anthony Naples, Maxmillion Dunbar @ f8
    8/18: Man Man @ The Chapel
    8/23-8/24: FYF Fest
    8/30: Peaking Lights @ The Chapel
    9/3: Bear in Heaven @ The Independent
    9/24 - 28: Decibel Festival
    10/5: The War on Drugs, Cass McCombs @ The Fillmore
    10/18-19: Treasure Island Music Festival

  30. #30
    Coachella Junkie Miroir Noir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Starting a Festival

    Everything you need to know:

    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    To you guys I say Wat?????????? Off to ?????? ....... cr****
    Quote Originally Posted by TomAz View Post
    It's hard to argue with that.

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