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Music Festival Site Planning in 2024.

Andy Robertson

Music festival sites can vary in size and location and planning often starts at least a year in advance of any go live dates. A key element of the logistics planning is determining how the chosen site layout will be managed. This can be a time consuming and expensive operation but there are increasingly a number of software tools available that can reduce costs and save time.   

Whether the organisers are using traditional manual processes to manage their site layout or an advanced software platform the chosen site needs to be physically inspected with a comprehensive survey of the topography and accurate measurement of the location of obstacles and usable areas. What aspects of the site layout management can typically be helped by the use of festival site management planning tools?

Virtual Representation and Interactive Mapping.
Using accurate mapping images can bring a site layout to life and instantly show the size and location of site features. Making these maps interactive allows users to drag and drop structures onto the site an immediately visualise if an intended position will fit in the available space. Users can also mark restricted zones on the mapping visual to indicate areas where any temporary structures are not to be situated. 

Topography and Terrain Analysis. 
It is essentials to understand the geographic terrain where a festival site is located. This data can be added to the visual mapping and indicate steep elevation changes along with the location of any natural immovable obstacles and an assessment of drainage patterns can also indicate areas prone to flooding. With this data added to the visual mapping organisers can quickly assess the total usable area they have for their festival site. 

Vendor Management. 
Using visual mapping organisers can decide on the most suitable location for vendor pitches. This can be divided into usable areas to offer potential vendors a variety of size and location pitch options. Pitch spaces sold can be marked on the mapping visual to indicate that it has been booked and no longer available. 

Performance Area and Infrastructure Planning. 
A visual representation of a festival's site can make it easier to decide where stages should be located along with the supporting infrastructure. The visual maps can assist in determining the stage size and configuration best suited to that space. The stage location can often drive where power generators are situated along with the backstage zones. Site planning tools can help to decide where festival-goer camping areas should be located along with water supplies and toilet facilities for example. 

Access and Egress Assessment. 
A detailed visual map can help to indicate the key access roads to the site along with potential congestion issues. During the load in and load out phases of a festival site build it is not unusual for there to be designated entrances and exits and site planning software can help to visualise the best location for these.  A visual map can also help to plan crowd evacuation routes and preferred routes for emergency services. 

Environmental Assessment. 
A physical inspection of any proposed site is often done along with landowners, local authorities and other interested parties. Any areas that are designated as environmentally sensitive or containing protected wildlife can be identified and marked on a site plan map as no go zones. These actions can help organisers meet their sustainability obligations and contribute towards their festival leaving ‘no trace’. 

A site planning software platform that can integrate with other logistics planning will make the organisers job easier. A comprehensive site planning tool can help collaboration between different festival organiser departments as well as sharing pertinent data with extremal contacts which may include vendors and other suppliers. 

For 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 including a site planner feature. 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. 


Andy Robertson
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