How to Start a Music Festival

If you love music and are looking for a business opportunity, you may consider learning how to start a music festival. Music festivals allow people to get together, relax and enjoy seeing lots of bands at one outing and enjoy meeting lots of fellow music lovers. Starting a music festival will allow you to be creative in a business venture. You can tailor the festival to attract the most money or your favorite type of music. Follow these steps to get started on this fun endeavor.

  1. Create a business plan. A music festival will be a business. You need to research how other music festivals succeeded. Learn the secrets behind Coachella. Then, research your own chosen niche. It's best to go with something that hasn't been done before or hasn't been done on a grand level. For example, if you are doing a rap music festival, make sure to make  your festival unique. What will make the average listener and fan want to come to your festival? Think long-term and short-term in your business plan.
  2. Go to the Small Business Association. They have mentorship programs, grant programs and loan programs that will help you. Be specific on what you need in order to make your music festival a reality. Submit a copy of your business plan as well.
  3. Set up a Website. All businesses and music festivals need a web presence. This is how many people will find your music festival. You'll also want to establish a Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networking set ups that are official for your music festival. You'll also need an ad person, because you'll need someone who is going to get the word out about your music festival.
  4. Decide on the rules for your music festival. If you want to not allow alcohol, that should be clear to concert goers before they purchase ticket's some musical festival goers are there to party. You don't want to seem like you are bombarding your potential attendees with rules, but they should be clearly stated on your festival's Website.
  5. Choose a location for your music festival. Once you have a plan and idea of the realistic financing that you'll be able to acquire, you want to start looking at venues. Be creative. Woodstock was held in a field. Any place could be a potential locale. It's best to choose a location that matches the genre and type of artists that will be coming. If you want to get more performers, you'll also want to hold it in a location that's central to the type of music you're hosting. For example, a country music festival held near Nashville is ideal.
  6. Make sure that you have someone who can get in touch with musical artists. You'll need a PR person or other representation to play up your venue. You need to have something clear to offer them. Play up the space that you have to sell the band's merchandise, which can be a really lucrative way for the band to make money. If you are hoping for big names  for your start-up music festival, you need to make it clear that you have something special to offer the artists. Also, which certain artists are signed, you can use those bands to lure other bands who may admire them or trust those bands' decisions.
  7. Set up for the music festival. This includes checking acoustics and installing (or using what's already there) high quality equipment. You'll need chairs and seating areas. If it's only a temporary festival location, this will be a lot more work.
  8. Sell concessions at your festival. This can be a great way to make money. Set up concessions alongside the stand where band merchandise is sold.
  9. Personally meet with the bands as they come; make sure staff members cater to their needs. If a band member has a problem, make sure that his needs are addressed and met. It's best to extend your hand more than you wanted than to leave a big band feeling angry about your festival.