What’s it like to organize a festival? Whether you’re looking to scale your existing one, or just want to know what to expect, we have outlined a day in the life of a festival director from sunrise to sunset.
Your first full day of the festival — also known as the calm before the storm. Make sure you set yourself up for success with these key check ins.
7am – 9am
Meet with security: Debrief with the team to see if there have been any problems overnight. Is the site secure and safe? Is it in good condition?
Walk around: Most vendors and crew are normally quite surprised to see a festival organizer actually taking the time to come round and talk to them, but it helps you get a real feeling for what’s happening. Check the vendors and see if they’re happy and ready for the day. Don’t forget to grab some breakfast!
9am – 11am
Go to the ticket office: Make sure it’s staffed, security is in place, and everyone’s ready for bag searches.
Get backstage: As the bands start to arrive, stop and check in with the stage manager to make sure they’re ready to go.
Visit front-of-house: Make sure the sound engineer is happy and has had something to eat (look after the sound engineer and you won’t regret it!). Lighting and sound is one part of the festival you cannot scrimp on.
Bar call: 15 minutes before event start, check on the bar to ensure they’re prepared for the day.
Last looks: When the first bands are about to come on, go backstage to escort the first singer on with lots of encouragement. Make sure your green room is stocked with free food and drinks.
With the festival underway, here’s what you need to do to keep the party going.
12pm – 4pm
Walk the circuit: Pop by the ticket office, vendors, security, and backstage to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Carry a notepad: As you make your rounds, if you see anything you’re not happy with, write it down so you can bring it up during the end-of-day debrief.
Mix and mingle: As long as there’s nothing urgent on your plate, walk around and try to mix with your attendees. Ask them if they’re enjoying the festival — they’re the ones that will tell you the real problems: if security has been heavy-handed, if you’re not being green enough.
Steal some time for you: Set up a small caravan as a crew office. Head over there to take a bit of downtime at some point if you can — you don’t want to run out of steam!
The final stretch. With the festival winding down, time to land this thing.
7pm – 9pm
Last round of check-ins: Meet with security. In terms of dealing with people who’ve had too much to drink, if they’re interfering with anyone else’s enjoyment, then they’re out. Do the full circuit once again.
Stop and listen to the music: Seriously, take the time to listen to the bands.
11pm – 3am
Closing time: When the last band finishes, get security around the main stage. Wrap up and clear everyone off-site. Make sure the bars are all shut down, that the sound engineers are happy with the security, and that the sound equipment has all been left intact. Go to bed exhausted, ready to get up at 7am and do it all again the next day.
Being a festival director is a job is a non-stop job, but if you feel up to the task, it can be very rewarding. Feeling inspired? Get started building your first event on Eventbrite now.