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Seeking advice re: town festival


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  • Seeking advice re: town festival

    I'm unofficially co-chairing the first annual Farmington WA Harvest Festival committee. This coming Wednesday is our second bi-monthly (twice a month) meeting. The first annual Farmington Harvest Festival is scheduled for Sept 22, 2012.

    I've never done this sort of thing before... pulled together a small town festival. I'm hoping there's folks here who can help me down the path.

    Our vision is a fairly generic small town festival:

    1) Main stage with a headliner for an evening street dance at the park and a variety of local entertainment through the afternoon leading up the the headliner event. (which is in-place)

    2) Food & beverages... both children and adult oriented. (which is in-place)

    3) Various events during the day oriented toward families & young-uns: Hay rides, balloons, marshmellow roasting for the kids, marshmellow drive for the adults, crafts in the park, horse-shoe tourney, bouncy air-house for the kids, etc... most of which is in-place.

    4) A motorcycle show and shine on main street, next to the park (which is in-place)... another aspect to the "everybody gets a trophy day (or something to remember) theme of the event"

    The town's insurance covers this sort of activity. We know we'll need to supply a suitable amount of portapotties and sanitation stations, as well as EMT & peace officer presence... that's all in-place. Power, parking, camping... all of that is in-place or well in the works. We have a mission statement (community bonding & enrichment) & "a good cause" (proceeds to go to the park & playground equipment fund).

    Any advice or words of wisdom (knowing that the devil is in the details)?

  • #2

    Bad weather contingency plan

    Power for vendors and main stage


    • #3

      Quote Originally Posted by dennis a
      View Post


      Bad weather contingency plan

      Power for vendors and main stage

      Good points.

      Website: We're working on formulating an official (.gov) website for the community (including upcoming community events) and hope to have that on-line within the month (and realistically the town's website should come together before mid summer).

      Weather: I purposely picked the Sept 22nd date because of likely weather locally for that time of the year. Our climate history suggests the day should be: average low temp of 45F (+/- a few degrees), average high temp of 75F (+/- a few degrees), mean temp of approx. 60F, maximum 24hr. precipitation of 0.00" (+ upwards of a light sprinkle) and calm wind <5mph. As we get close to show day, I can size up the likely upcoming weather (I've lived here most of my past 56 years)... and I do have weather contingency gear (I've been doing outdoor festivals for a few decades).

      Power for vendors and main stage is in-place: 3ea. 200A suitably placed drops with plenty of (knock on wood) feeder cables and distros.


      • #4

        Quote Originally Posted by W. M. Hellinger
        View Post

        Power for vendors and main stage is in-place: 3ea. 200A suitably placed drops with plenty of (knock on wood) feeder cables and distros.

        And a dedicated AC power tech to deal with all of the issues caused by vendors all day long?


        • #5
          Communications. Radios.
          Bill Cronheim
          Entertainment Systems Corporation
          Back stage since 1965
          Equipment specialist since 1973


          • #6
            I second the radios/walkies idea. You can waste a lot of effort roaming back and forth, back and forth. And if you don't want to go that route at least have everybody's cell no. so you can phone or text back and forth. I just did a multi room event where I used (in moderation) texting to coordinate - and I hate to text, but it was a neccesary "evil".

            I would also suggest that everyone involved on game day has a comprehensive, but easy to read schedule of events with onsite contact names and numbers. And speaking of events, spend some time when with your schedule to determine how long each event will really take, and which events should run concurrently and which ones should run consecutively.... so that folks can see each event without rushing from station to station.

            An emergency plan for natural and man made emergencies would also be good. Even just having a chain of command if an emergency arose would be a good start.


            • #7
              Parking for: vendors (and their trailers), acts, emergency services, and the disabled. Volunteers to direct the flow and watch the reserved spaces and entrance/egress points. Mark C.
              "Good tools are expensive. Cheap tools are damned expensive."


              • #8
                Trip hazards well marked and /or eliminated.

                A&H GL2800 console, BagEnd Crystals over D-18's, 12"and 15" BagEnd and EAW wedges powered and processed by QSC, Klark, BSS, Symetrix, Valley, Sabine, Peavey and BagEnd INFRA.


                • #9
                  I presume you are hiring in a good sound/production company for the main stage?

                  Here in FL, September is pretty hot, but I like it when venues have plenty of water to drink at no cost (fountains are great), hand-cleaning stations, and an area where folks can sit and chill out comfortably without getting rained on or baked in the sun.

                  As a dad, I like it when there are some family-friendly change facilities for looking after little ones is handy.
                  Chief fader ape, wire monkey, mic macaque, and speaker chimp.


                  • #10

                    Quote Originally Posted by dedmeet
                    View Post

                    I presume you are hiring in a good sound/production company for the main stage?.

                    I "presume" he joined the festival committee to help score the sound gig for himself.


                    • #11
                      I believe he scores enough LARGE gigs with the "other" company he invested in (not Audiopile) to not be concerned. Unless he has silently sold his share, I surmise he has plenty of shows on the books that would dwarf this event.


                      • #12
                        Recently read the reports from the Indiana State Fair stage collapse last year...

                        Clear authority to cancel anything that's looking dangerous.

                        Safety/code inspection of temporary structures.
                        "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"


                        • #13
                          Plenty of barricades for places you don't want no one or cars. put as man in one spot too , because people will drive around just one in a certain spot, i do events that we have to use them and the people here are plum ignorant about it. if you put one barricade in one area then they drive around it, we have to put them about 2 or 3 at one certain area. I mean one should be enough to say "Hey WE DONT WANT YOU HERE, DONT COME THROUGH HERE" But it don't register in their minds


                          • #14

                            Quote Originally Posted by Axisplayer
                            View Post

                            I surmise he has plenty of shows on the books that would dwarf this event.

                            I'm sure you are right but then why join the committee? They are a PITA that suck up a lot of your time. Also, doing the home town festival is good advertising for a sound company. All the locals get to see what you got.


                            • #15
                              Here's a few things that popped into my head, based on the festivals I've worked at or attended:

                              Make sure you have people constantly emptying garbage cans. Also, have plenty of garbage cans for them to empty. You want people to throw their stuff in the can, not on the ground. They fill up fast.

                              Make sure there's ONE person in charge at the top of the food chain. If someone needs to know something, they can ask that ONE person and get ONE answer. That one person should have lots of people to delegate things to, so they're available to answer all those questions and coordinate things. That person should be everywhere all the time. You don't want a committee in charge on the day of the show.

                              Provide catering or meal vouchers and lots of water for your workers, at least those that will be there all day with no where else to go. And if possible a good-sized air conditioned room for them to let them get out of the sun for a bit, but at least a tent or something.

                              If possible, have seperate restroom facilities for your staff. Hopefully an actual restroom, that gets cleaned and maintained throughout the day.

                              You'll probably need some kind of temporary money-changing facility to service your gate staff and others taking money, as well as your vendors, since the banks probably won't be open. Make sure you have plenty of cash on hand and adequate security.

                              Give people a secure place to lock up their bicycles, or better yet a bike valet.

                              Make sure the backstage area is secure, and you have distinctive passes/wristbands to gain access to the backstage area.

                              Dedicate a parking area close to the stage for crew and talent, give out a specific number of parking passes to gain access to that area, and make sure the people at the entrance are a-holes about who gets in there so that there's parking available for the people who need it, when they need it.

                              That's all that's coming to mind at the moment. Good luck, organizing festivals is a big job, which is why I never want to do it.