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Signs of Poorly Run Music Festivals and Remedies.

Andy Robertson

For every successful music festival there are probably and equal number that are poorly run and there are a multitude of reasons why a music festival is either successful or fails. What are the key signs that indicate if a music festival has not been well organised and what remedies can organisers take to rectify this.

The music festival industry is littered with examples of failed music festivals and anyone attending one can easily spot the tell tales signs of a poorly organised and run event.

Litter and Waste Disposal. 
If a festival site has inadequate waste bins or the ones provided are overflowing this is a clear sign that the organisers have made little or no allowance for the volume of waste that festival-goers generate. In addition, if the organisers leave the site littered with waste after break-down they have not made sufficient plans to recycle waste and return the environment to its natural state. To remedy this organisers should make sufficient plans to accurately estimate the visitor numbers along with the volume and type of waste the event will generate. External contractors with experience of managing waste collection and disposal at large scale events should be employed along with adequate numbers of volunteers to manage waste and keep the festival site clean.

If there is little signage to indicate where facilities, stages and camping areas are festival-goers can get frustrated trying to find what they are looking for. If the organisers have not provided good mapping guides, both physical and online this suggests poor planning. Festival site planning requires experience and knowledge to ensure that everything is logically located. Clear and easy to read and understand on site signage is straightforward to implement but ideally organisers should provide simple printed maps and a dedicated festival app.

Facilities and Vendors. 
Inadequate facilities, particularly toilets and bars for example are still the most complained about aspects of attending a music festival. This can be overcome by good planning and accurate visitor number forecasting to understand likely demand. Organisers should be working with contractors who have experience and knowledge of what is required given the estimated number of festival-goers. 

Artist Schedules. 
Music festivals rely on their line-up and headliners to draw in festival-goers and if the artists do not appear as scheduled or there are no-shows and awkward gaps in the performance schedule this is an indication of poor planning. Organisers should have dynamic planning for stages, shows and artists that allow for last minute changes and additions along with contingency plans, any changes need to be clearly communicated to festival-goers. 

Having an experienced team running a music festival is key to the success and if the experience is not there it would be better to bring in external contractors who have the knowledge and experience to supplement the organising team. 

For music festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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