The disaster of Fyre Festival is still fresh on everyone's mind. There's value in learning from the failures of others. That said, proper event planning and management can make your's a hit and the talk of the town for all the right reasons—not the wrong ones. Here are the five most common pitfalls that festivals face and how you can overcome them.
1. A Bottleneck at the Gate
A great way to spoil the evening before it begins is an understaffed, disorganized entry gate. First, make sure attendees have clear directions. Use stanchions to help keep everyone in a single line. Having signs that clearly mark entrances and exits, as well as ticketing and information will help the flow of traffic. You also need the gate properly staffed. Not only do you need the numbers, but they need to be well-trained to handle any situation that arises. Regular volunteers need to know when to escalate and call for security, etc.
2. A Lack of Facilities
The long lines for the bathroom can't be avoided, but not having food and drinks and other amenities will quickly make tempers flare-up. Of course, you want to keep the bathroom waiting to a minimum as well. Overestimating your facilities needs will ensure that there is plenty to go around and cost will be well worth it in the long run.
3. A Disjointed Security and Emergency Plans
You want your event on the news because it was so amazing—not because the police had to bust up the party. Depending on the event type, drugs and rowdy crowds can be an issue. You need a proper security team to help enforce rules and protect attendees… and your investment. And in the case of an emergency, all staff and volunteers need to be aware of the emergency plans and their execution.Also, don't forget to keep an eye on the weather and have a plan for adverse conditions.
Planning a festival? - Check out - The Ultimate Festival Event Planning Guide
"Inclusive" is the buzzword here. Think about attendees that need wheelchairs, walking canes, and other tools to help with mobility. Accessibility doesn't just mean a ramp here and there. To ensure your event is truly accessible you need to think of you attendee experience from the moment they arrive. Is there designed accessible parking , is there are gate they can entrance that is that meet their needs? Consider assigning a team of volunteers to direct and help people access the accessible areas of of your festival.
5. Limited Parking and Public Transit Access
People need to be able to and from the event safely and with little hassle. Make sure there's enough parking for those who will arrive by a vehicle (encourage carpooling). Also, think about access to local buses and rails. If possible, coordinate venues and start/end times with public transit patterns to make it as easier for those who can't or don't want to drive.