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Advice on running a folk festival

GUEST,Bob Lloyd 11 Feb 03 - 03:18 PM
Bobert 11 Feb 03 - 03:28 PM
Vixen 11 Feb 03 - 03:37 PM
MMario 11 Feb 03 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 11 Feb 03 - 04:01 PM
Bill D 11 Feb 03 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,skippy 11 Feb 03 - 06:40 PM
Callie 11 Feb 03 - 06:47 PM
vindelis 11 Feb 03 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Nancy King at work 11 Feb 03 - 07:51 PM
Deckman 11 Feb 03 - 07:57 PM
Col K 11 Feb 03 - 08:09 PM
Bill D 11 Feb 03 - 08:31 PM
mg 11 Feb 03 - 09:19 PM
Walking Eagle 11 Feb 03 - 09:24 PM
Peter Kasin 12 Feb 03 - 12:07 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 03 - 12:22 AM
Deni-C 12 Feb 03 - 03:25 AM
The Shambles 12 Feb 03 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 12 Feb 03 - 09:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 03 - 09:42 AM
Mooh 12 Feb 03 - 09:46 AM
Declan 12 Feb 03 - 10:16 AM
Sooz 12 Feb 03 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Banjoman 13 Feb 03 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Bob Lloyd 13 Feb 03 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 13 Feb 03 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 13 Feb 03 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Russ 13 Feb 03 - 09:20 AM
IanC 13 Feb 03 - 10:48 AM
Deni-C 13 Feb 03 - 11:14 AM
Gurney 15 Feb 03 - 04:00 AM
Mooh 15 Feb 03 - 07:32 AM
masato sakurai 15 Feb 03 - 08:22 AM
ET 15 Feb 03 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Mary 15 Feb 03 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Mary 15 Feb 03 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,mary 15 Feb 03 - 09:02 PM
dwditty 15 Feb 03 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Scotty B 15 Feb 03 - 10:59 PM
Cappuccino 16 Feb 03 - 06:45 PM
pattyClink 17 Feb 03 - 02:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Feb 03 - 03:31 PM
vectis 17 Feb 03 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,skippy 18 Feb 03 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Peter Stringfellow 19 Feb 03 - 05:25 PM
Gurney 20 Feb 03 - 12:55 AM
Deni-C 20 Feb 03 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,John Rouse 20 Feb 03 - 08:24 AM
Alio 20 Feb 03 - 09:01 AM
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Subject: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Bob Lloyd
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:18 PM

Please could anyone with experience offer their top five pieces of advice about running a folk festival. Please omit the silly stuff like "don't bother" or "get a life". We're serious and want to make sure we don't make mistakes others have learned from. Any sensible suggestions very welcome.

Cheers and thanks.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:28 PM

Now I do not mean for this to be confrontational so please don't take it that way but blues is very much part of folk music. Sometimes organizers loose sight of this simple fact.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Vixen
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:37 PM

1) ask advice of others who have run successful festivals
2) treat your performers like precious, invaluable, beloved individuals--convenient campsites/lodgings, fair pay, food, competent sound technicians, and oodles of courtesy.
3) treat your volunteers like precious, invaluable, beloved individuals--food, clear job descriptions, reasonable shift hours, IDENTIFYING HATS AND/OR TEE SHIRTS.
4) Publicity, publicity, publicity--stay on top of it--don't assume that because you sent it out, the recipient will promote it.
5) Plan for the worst of emergencies--power failures, heart attacks, lightning strikes, lost children, stuck vehicles; honest-ta-pete, the damndest things happen.

BONUS SUGGESTIONS

A) Do an evaluation form and assess the feedback the day after. Don't put it off. Use the feedback, and publicize it for the next one.

B) Have a well-defined hierarchy of communication for the event itself, with BOTH runners AND walkie-talkies.

I've only produced two big concerts, not a festival, but I have produced half-a-dozen equestrian events with two or three activities occuring simultaneously, and over a hundred competitors and their horses, and spectators.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: MMario
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:50 PM

Having worked many different kinds of events - and organized others:

treat your volunteers like precious, invaluable, beloved individuals--food, clear job descriptions, reasonable shift hours,

cannot be repeated often enough.

treat your volunteers like precious, invaluable, beloved individuals--food, clear job descriptions, reasonable shift hours,

The only people that MAY be more important than your volunteers would be paying customers.

treat your volunteers like precious, invaluable, beloved individuals--food, clear job descriptions, reasonable shift hours

Face it - EVERYONE'S happiness and success at an event depends on your volunteers.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 04:01 PM

Vixen and MMario have already said it. Without a good volunteer team you will have problems. As well as filling all the jobs have a couple of your most reliable people simply there on standby to step in for emergencies.

Make sure that you have a clean up team for the end of the event.

Get your booking done in time to get in the year's main festival guides. If you are thinking about Summer 2003 you had better get your skates on.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 05:15 PM

you don't say where you are or what kind and how large a festival you hope to do....and for how many days...one? two?...several weeks? Will it be on public grounds? Private? Who will need to provide insurance and responsibility and/or permissions? Will there be food vendors? Will sales be allowed of CDs and tee shirts?......so many questions..

My group has been doing its own festival for 20 years, and we have refined a few ideas, though I'd say that 5 won't quite cover it..*grin*

(We do s FREE festival done by donations and volunteers...including performers, so that alter some equations.

One of the major points is to track everything and KEEP RECORDS, so you know who did what and where it was found and how much it cost..etc...


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,skippy
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:40 PM

Vixen has it right.
What U/K county or US state do you plan to run this in?
Which (of the too few) weekends do you intend to run this on?
What previous events do you have under your belt?
What is your motivation?

As you are a newcomer to this I wish you well, but with the best part of 30 years organising behind me I warn you to step back & think really hard about why you want to do this.
You cannot please all the people all the time, but you can please most of them most of the time & this will bring you many varied feelings from joy to horror, fear, distress , pride etc. etc.
If you go ahead with this then listen to those who have gone before, we are here to help. If you are U/K based then join AFO (association of festival organisers - look it up, if you can't find it them you have fallen at the first hurdle!) you will then meet with the rest of us who have made most of the possible mistakes before you.
I really wish you well with this venture.
Regards Skippy


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Callie
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:47 PM

Send out contracts to performers which set out exactly what they sould expect, including payment. Also, send them info about parking, instrument security, etc.

Don't give your volunteers and performers unlimited food and drink or you'll go broke (we did!). Instruct kitchen staff to charge everyone.

budget in ticket sales, then do another budget using only 25% of that sales figure. I always believe its best to budget on 'worst case scenario'.

try to get folk clubs involved who will bring the whole gang along.

check out your venue's entertainment/liquor license WELL in advance of the event.

Treat your sound engineers like royalty and give them all the food and drink they want. The musical success of the festival hinges on them!

publicise publicise publicise.

and have a great day!

Callie


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: vindelis
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:54 PM

Start the planning at least a year before the event. People's diaries get filled quickly. Transport to and from the site(s)? Accommodation? Collections? Also there is nothing worse than a total absence of information. Visit other festivals and see how their festivals are run, you might spot possible pitfalls. Good luck and make sure you have plenty of patience, coffee and a permanent smile for the day/weekend - you will need it.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:51 PM

I agree with all of the advice above, and have one thing to add:

START SMALL and expand your event after you have some experience. If you try to do too much first time out, you're asking for trouble. Our Washington Folk Festival (the free one Bill mentioned) started out as a one-day event with only 3 or 4 stages, and over the years became a two-day extravaganza with 7 or 8 stages. There are bound to be problems you haven't forseen, so keep it easily manageable at first!

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:57 PM

I was part of a two man team that put on an annual Folk Festival for five years at our local College. It would help me answer your questions better if you would tell me a little more: what country or state are you in; is this a college setting; a park; a multi day event; free or paid admission; what's the focus musically, etc. Bob


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Col K
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:09 PM

Plenty of good advice so far. Answer the questions and lots more good advice will come your way.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:31 PM

yep...you notice some advice says "charge for everything" and some says "get donations and feed your staff & performers free"...it really makes a difference what you expect to be doing!

'Contracts' are important if this is gonna be a pay/for profit thing, but not necessary if it is volunteer like ours is...

it's like asking "what's a good vehicle to drive?"...you hafta know what's gonna be done with it...


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: mg
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:19 PM

have a plan for rain and people who know how to do safety things around water and electrical equipment..mg


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:24 PM

Check calanders with other folk organizations in the area. You don't want to go up against an older, larger ,and more established festival.

Is it and outside one? Potties! Potties! Potties!

Make sure your food vendors are licensed food handlers.

Contracts! Contracts! Conrtacts! Can't stress em enough.

Make peace with the neighbors if it is an outside one.

If needed, medical personell.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:07 AM

I would add to all of the above that, if you have outdoor stages, have also rain alternative venues. Also, I'd advise that all recording sales be done through the festival. Buy a certain amount of recordings from each performer, at, say, half price for cd's, and sell them at full price. Set up a well-staffed, visible sales area near whatever the main venue is. It's a win-win situation. The performers are given a guaranteed amount of money, don't have to spend time selling their own recordings, usually come out ahead as opposed to selling cd's themselves at full price due to high visibility and high visitation at the sales area, and the organizers make back some of the cost of producing the festival.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:22 AM

Make it FREE to all musicians and those in costume - let it build for five years and then begin to charge. The reputation of the "good ol' days when it was free" will carry you through the next three decades.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

the "Renaissance Pleasure Faire" grew into a corporation with this strategy.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Deni-C
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 03:25 AM

I asked for the same sort of advice a couple of years ago. one thing I've noticed is that singers/musicians want different things from a festival than menbers of the gen. public. Most festivals try to cater for both and target their publicity accordingly. Gen Public don't generally want to see folk acts unless they are names but this is where charity fundraising etc... comes in. It builds up quite a lot of goodwill with the press and public.

a lot of festivals simply talk about how well they are doing and this brings people,

only one piece of 'advice'

BE Enthusiastic

enthusiasm sells.

cheers
Deni

(the Plymouth Folk Festival are still on that steep uphill learning curve :-) )


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 07:26 AM

Weymouth Folk Festival

Any general advice on the the level of involvement of Local Athorities?


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:13 AM

Legal issues are a minefield.

Contract out catering and bar, let somebody else worry about licensing and public health issues.

Check local regulations regarding events for unacompanied children. Staff may need official registration or checks against paedophile registers.

Confirm all bookings in writing and make sure that artists have acknowledged.

If you are keeping all sales in-house or have contracted exclusive rights to a music store then this must be clear in performers' contracts.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:42 AM

20 years of the Swinton Festival later...

Keep it simple. It is a festival of folk music. NOT a craft fair. NOT a creche for the kids. NOT a political statement. Don't loose sight of what you are trying to achieve.

Bearing the above in mind. While agreeing entirely with the sentiments about volunteers don't make the mistake of trying to run it by committee. Make the decisions yourself or with one or two close friends. People might moan but it sure as hell saves lots of arguments!

Publicity is good. Good publicity is even better. Target the right audience. Go to folk clubs and deliver leaflets yourself. Get it on the folk programs. Advertise the concert(s) in folk clubs and the ceilidh(s) in dance clubs. Go for libraries and tourist information later, after you have got your core audience.

Look on the festival as a series of individual events. Sell the events individualy. Organise them as individual events and the festival becomes so much easier. We now use one main concert and one main ceilidh. Sell them out and the rest is a bonus!

Once the decisions are made and the organisation done, don't worry. Learn to delegate. Learn to trust the people that are arranging and staffing the individual events. ENJOY THE DAY!!!

Hope this helps

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Mooh
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:46 AM

Lots of the following:

Potties...include hand wash stations and ample garbage cans.

Shade...Trees, canvas, tents, tarps, gazebos, etc. Shade umbrellas should be at the back of the audience, not obscuring the view of the stage(s). All stages should be covered, no exceptions.

Water...Bottled and garden variety hydrants.

Garbage containers...Everywhere, and emptied before they're overflowing. Remove all trash from the festival site every day. I witnessed Sunfest in London Ontario this year and they had a huge group of overflowing dumpsters in one corner of the park. They stunk and attracted flies, poorly representing the festival intent.

Visible festival management...Includes lost children service, first aid, disabled patron service, emergency phone, discreet police presence, parking management, shuttle service, volunteer management, and so on wherever applicable.

Instrument security service for music performers...My local festival provides it for free so that musicians don't have to walk about with cases at the ends of their arms all the time.

Ample backstage area...For dressing, washrooms, tuning, and privacy away from the public before performances. Should also be sheltered, and maybe connected to an hospitality service.

Ample lighting...It's dark at night, you can tell by looking, but some organizers don't look.

Signs...And an accurate site map in the program. "Which stage is this" is too common a refrain.

Minimize junk food...And food could reflect the festival theme somehow.

If the venue must have booze, contain it, licence it, control it, and evict drunks and disturbances. If you must have booze at least get some sponsorship dollars with it.

Children's activities...crafts, games, performances, supervision, breastfeeding tent, diaper changing area, playground, workshops.

Workshops...A zillion ideas, but keep them on point. Hands-on workshops are cool for those who want to learn/experience. Performance workshops are great for folks who want to see an act again or instead of another.

Control sound bleed...Aim stage sound, buffer zones, lower volume, distance between stages, scheduling of loud acts, etc.

Seating...Not everyone can carry their own chairs, particularly the elderly. Picnic tables, park benches, bleachers, loaned municipal chairs...

Grass...I played a festival in a parking lot once. Worst show I've ever been a part of.

Community co-operation and involvement...be inclusive no matter how much you want to exclude something or somebody. Within reason naturally.

Site security...Private security company, police, volunteers, or whatever it takes to guard the place overnight. My local festival used a private operator one year and the one "officer" was found in the offsite pub when he should have been working. Thank goodness there were still staff on site. Keep an eye on them.

Local services...Keep in touch with the tourist bureau, accommodations, campgrounds and so on regarding the influx of visitors. Ask the municipality for services like water, trash, electrical, and whatever they'll provide for free or cheap.

Without mentioning performer related concerns (I'm getting tired of typing...maybe later), whatever you do don't use the festival to line your own pockets. It should be about community, folk.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Declan
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:16 AM

You may not want to line your own pockets, but it would be a good idea to at least make sure you break even. A lot of people who attend folk festivals are as interested in sessions, sing-arounds etc as they are in seeing booked acts. There have been a lot of Festivals who brought a lot of people to a location and have been enjoyed by a lot of punters, but which lost money because people spent their time in the local pubs rather than going to the gigs.

There are a few ways around this :

(a) Have a licenced Festival Club with space for sessions etc, perhaps franchise out the bar, but make sure you get some sort of cut.

(b) A number of festivals require you to have a Festival Ticket before you can use the Official camp site. People will pay for the ticket and are then free to choose whether they want to be an audience or participants in 'Fringe' events, but at least you get paid for your efforts in organising and publicising the event.

(c) If this is too much trouble then try to find a friendly pub owner/manager and designate their premisis as an official festival session venue. In this case make sure you get the owner to make a generous contribution to the Festival for the privilege.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Sooz
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 03:19 PM

Go to lots of festivals - copy the bits you like (and that work) and avoid repeating the bits you don't. At least you'll enjoy yourself!


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Banjoman
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:11 AM

Most of the points have been made already. One or two more you might like to look at:

1. Beware of the number of "free" tickets/passes given to hangers on wives/partners etc. Set a limit of one per artist.

2. The same applies to Dance Teams, who can quickly produce such numbers of attendant followers that all your venues fill up before you sell any tickets. I've seen this happen.

3. Try and get one artist who has a popular appeal and who will promote ticket sales to the general public. This can raise enough revenue to fund a lot of lesser known or fringe events.

4. Always remember that professional artists make their living doing what they do and are entitled to ask for professional level monies.

5. Don't run a festival for yours or your friends benefit- you will probably find that as organiser you won't be able to "enjoy" the festival but will be fully occupied making sure that everone else does.

Best of luck


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Bob Lloyd
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:55 AM

Thanks to everyone for all the helpful advice. It's in Oxford, England and we are in the early stages of planning. Probably based around the town centre with a small number of venues, over a weekend.

Any further advice gratefully received.

Thanks again.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:18 AM

Try approaching Ruskin College for accommodation, they used to let Headington off during the summer break and may well allow Walton Street to be used for the same. Long time since I lived in Oxford, overdue a visit, keep us all infomed please.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:33 AM

Well my advice would be to ask for advice - looks like I am late to the party.

Seriously though get all the free publicity channels sorted - websites d8^]) - TIC's, Libraries, Local radio & TV (they prefer footage in advance and they use it maybe). If it is Oxford - is the Oxford TV channel still going? Get all your artists to hand-out publicity wherever they appear. They, at least, are motivated but get friendly shy modest folk slueths to do it for you - some of them actually put the paper in peoples hands - it is a bit more personal than dropping it on a table full of bumph. Folk Club members ditto if they are willing. Maybe choose artistes (first year at least) that are good at this eg Andy Caven. AND magazines - but I guess you have that one on board eh? No I meant rival mags.

I have done beer mats, stickers, Sweat/T-shirts in advance for the committee (indeed the sales paid for all advertising the first year I did this - 9 months in advance!!). I got a lot of comments like "you're a bit ahead of yourself aren't you" to which I replied "well you know it's on and when don't you?" - they always replied in the affirmative. I even indelibly marked the "house" logo on an umbrella. It all gives it a patina of professionalism and a sense of having been established - some folkies never come to the first one!

Bob - is this theoretical or have you a location in mind?

If Oxford there are very healthy Oxfolk events - so a ceilidh starts with a potential audience - if possible liaise with their organisers to avoid clashes.

If Oxford there must be some gov budget for this - payback is usually morris displays etc but this what you would be doing anyway - maximise the local and casual tourist draw. Play on the Headington Morris connection etc etc.

Good luck Bob - I feel sure most of what is said is not new to you but it does help with proiritorising it.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:20 AM

Decide how much money you can afford to lose. There is a chance that putting on the first festival (and perhaps the first few festivals) will be functionally equivalent to filling a shopping bag with currency and burning it.

Now decide if you love your concept festival enough to do it purely for love.

Set realistic goals/expectations about attendance. This is VERY HARD. Even those who style themselves the most hard-headed of realists are easily overcome by wishful thinking here. You cannot be TOO pessimistic when doing this.

Prepare for the LONG haul.

Festival do not develop a "critical mass" of attendees immediately. Clifftop comes to mind here. There's intense competition for people's time and discretionary income. Your potential attendees live very busy lives with full calendars. It might be a while before all the people who "should" be attending your festival actually show up. I can name 10 festivals off the top of my head that I'd attend if I had the free time.

Russ (been there, done that)


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: IanC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 10:48 AM

Bob

Roger asked above about Local Authorities. I know you asked people not to say "don't bother" and I'm not saying that.

However, it might be worth avoiding associating yourself with this particular Local Authority seeing as they're one of the few hardline authorities with regard to PELs.

My experience of organising festivals etc. is limited to small scale events - the largest being the local pub's free 3-day "Solstice Festival" with 3-4 bands, some dancing and a singaround. Your festival seems to be a little bigger, but still small scale.

I like smaller events, not least because I can control the whole thing myself with a few friends. I'm not sure that I agree with some of the others' implicit suggestion that it should necessarily grow. To my mind, small is good. As things get bigger, they change their nature and can be something you didn't really want.

I can only reiterate that, once you've got the organisation sorted out, and assuming you're being nice to everybody, good publicity is the next most important thing. It might be worth reminding you that good publicity and most publicity aren't necessarily the same.

Best of luck anyhow.

Invite me!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Deni-C
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 11:14 AM

I've never been to Oxford, but if a mudcatter is running it, perhaps we should support it!
D


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 04:00 AM

SOUGHT advice... Wow.
A large proportion of the punters will be performers, even if not very good ones. Have lots of 'Open Mikes.'

One of the worst jobs is the gate-man's. Turn them over.

Presell tickets (at a discount) for cash-flow.

Ban dogs, cats, and all other animals.

My favourite event is at the Auckland (NZ) festival. A popular and large man brews lots of home-brew, and the event is called 'the Homebrew and Drinking Songs Workshop' Timing is after an evening concert and beer is free! It sounds dangerous, but I've never seen a serious drunk and the singing goes on until everyone's had enough singing, about 4 am. The beer runs out when the beer runs out, and the Traddy singers have a particularly good time.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 07:32 AM

I agree about banning animals, except for seeing-eye dogs.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 08:22 AM

There's a handbook.

Joe Wilson and Lee Udall, Folk Festivals: A Handbook for Organization and Management (University of Tennessee Press, 1982, x+278 pp.)

Contents:
Part One
1. History, Concepts, Definitions
2. Administration
3. Programming
4. Publicity
5. Hospitality
6. Production
Part Two
7. Examples of Festivals
8. A Performer's Point of View
9. Samples of Festival Communications
Bibliography of Folklore in America by Charles L. Perdue, Jr.
Index

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: ET
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:56 PM

Read the guidance in the DCMS website on the new Licensing Bill and work out how you can get 72 hours to stretch to five days - page 46 of the guidance - see sign an e-mail etc


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Mary
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 06:59 PM

We have a fabulous festival every year in Shawano Wisconsin
It is called the Old Time Music Festival.
They do have a website...if you type it in google search it will
come up.   The majority of music is Folk Music its held in a gorgeous
small park facility for two days.   We have an open stage that goes all day, right by the food.....one half our is what each group gets..
we found that if the music isn't what I would call delightful..at least its only a half hour.   We have been asked to fill in whenever
there is an opening and we've played 3 hours in a day..its such a blast.   The local school kids have fundraisers where they sell
hamburgers, soda , ect...so the festival itself does not have to worry about food preparation..and the kids make the money with the parents help of course. Sunday morning there is always a wonderful one hour of gospel where all the musicians get on a makeshift dirt stage under gorgeous trees and have a huge gospel sing. This gives you alittle idea. If you need to hear more...my email is meverc@aol.com.   Starting small.. the first time    is a wonderful piece of advice .

Mary V.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Mary
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 07:02 PM

Bill D...
Where's your festival???

Mary


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,mary
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:02 PM

HI BILL D.
The festival is in Shawano, Wisconsin.
Aug. 15 16 17
One of the nicest small ones I've ever been to.
It grows bigger every year.
They do have a website .
Shawano Old Time Music Festival.
Its really nice as the open stage is all
day long, so you really have lots of
opportunities to play with other musicians,also.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: dwditty
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:16 PM

there are tips here at folk.org


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Scotty B
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 10:59 PM

Always remember the prime thing people come to a folk festival for is to listen to the performers. Make sure your PA system and its operators are suited, and sympathetic, to folk music.

good luck


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Cappuccino
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 06:45 PM

Bob, as we're both in Oxford, and so are the guys who run Cropredy, visit www.skywriter.demon.co.uk and follow the Fairport link on the left.   You may get some ideas.

Regards
-Ian B


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: pattyClink
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 02:18 PM

Rain insurance (yes, there is such a thing) has kept our local event from going bust on a few occasions. I don't know if it's available in England or not but thought I would mention it.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 03:31 PM

Deckman, I still have the posters from those concerts.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: vectis
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 07:33 PM

Avoid the first full weekend in July or we'll end up sharing performers.


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,skippy
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 06:29 PM

Bob, see my previous, we are on the same patch & you know me!
Work out who I am and give me a call, you must both pop over for a meal and a long chat, it's not far away. Come on Claire you can work it out! Clue avoid August!
Regards skippy


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,Peter Stringfellow
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 05:25 PM

Provide plenty of toilets & a fruit flavoured condom machine


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Gurney
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 12:55 AM

Peter, what the devil does one DO with a fruit flavoured condom? On second thoughts, please don't tell me. Or is the machine itself some sort of guide for the visually challenged?


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Deni-C
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 01:49 AM

I wish there was a list of performers who don't charge a fortune to perform. It takes ages chasing performers up only to find you can't afford them anyway. We don't have a grant for the Plymouth Folk Festival yet. This produces a catch 22 in that we're afraid of booking an act until we know about money, but if we leave it too late they'll all be busy!!!!!!!

Cheers
Deni


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: GUEST,John Rouse
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 08:24 AM

I must underline the bit about sound systems. I've been to several festivals where the performance has been ruined by a sound man who thinks that louder is better. From being sound reinforcement the sound system has become a performer in its own right. At the recent AFO showcase, we even had performers on stage asking for the volume to be reduced.

I used to know a sound engineer who reckoned monitor volumes were so high in studios these days that most sound engineers were going prematurely deaf, and it would seem that in retirement they all go to folk festivals!

John


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Subject: RE: Advice on running a folk festival
From: Alio
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 09:01 AM

My Top Tips may have been mentioned before, but I've only just seen this thread.

I run Saddleworth Folk Festival, and we're still pretty new (6 years), so we're still learning.

1. Go to lots of other festivals - make yourself known and visible so that poeople come to yours, and also see what works / what doesn't.

2. Don't cut corners on your advertising - it really does pay dividends.

3. Make time to look for sponsorship - money doesn't generally fall in to your lap unfortunately.

4. Keep it small and friendly to begin with - make time to speak to all your punters - that way they're kore likely to return.

5. Think very carefully about your campsite - there are some festivals which I will not go to now because of the poor facilities.

Good Luck! And enjoy it!!

Ali (Sadleworth Festival)


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