How to Throw a Music Festival, Bro

Anyone can book a lot of celebrities to come to a big party, as long as they have millions of dollars. This is how to throw a music festival.

If you want to throw a music festival and you have millions of dollars then the first step is to plan ahead. A music festival is a massive operation that should be carefully produced months or even a year ahead of time. You don’t want to end up like Jarule with a complete clusterfuck on your hands.

 

Billy McFarland, Cofounder of Fyre Festival

  • Consult with an expert promoter

If this is your first jaunt in the music industry, or you just don’t want to do any of the work yourself, you should consult with an expert that has experience organizing large events. If you find someone that is already successful you can add “From the creators of _____” to the flyers.

 

  • Rent a huge venue

Most famous music festivals are oversold so that it is very difficult to walk anywhere. If there is not a sea of people packed tightly against the stage then it is not a good music festival. There are a lot of places that will fit thousands of human beings such as a stadium or a big forest.

 

  • Find a shit ton of technical equipment

Those pretty lights on the stage are not free. Actually they are super expensive. You also need the audio equipment, stage decorations, pillars of fire, and a phat VJ setup. If you don’t know how to use this stuff then you have to hire a team of audio/visual engineers to man the stage.

 

  • Book the most famous celebrities ever

A celebrity headliner is free publicity because they will share your music festival on social media to promote themselves. Most “hardcore festies” are there to stare at famous people on the stage from thousands of yards away while standing very close to thousands of other drunk, sweaty fans. Some of them don’t actually know anything about music, but they really love music festivals.

 

  • Get good sponsors and partners

Sponsors will give you money for the music festival if you agree to let them advertise. Try to find a sponsor that the bros love such as Budweiser. People really like beer so make sure to charge at least $10 a glass, even though that would get you a 12-pack at the Circle K outside.

 

  • Accommodate for vending stations

Having thousands of people in one place involves plenty of bathrooms, food vendors and water stations. If you care about what happens to the attendees it is a great idea to have a first aid station in case of alcohol poisoning or overdose. If you don’t really give a shit and simply want to make a lot of money, then just tell them that it’s wrong to take illegal drugs on the website.

 

  • Don’t forget the rides and games

Sometimes people get tired of standing by the stage and they need a diversion. Carnival rides, fun houses and face painting stations bring in an extra source of revenue, and they make your festival look fancy. You know you’re at a good music festival when there is a ferris wheel in every photo.

 

  • Pay for fees and permits

Part of gathering that many people in a single place involves applying for the correct permits. Check with your local government to learn more about hosting a public event. Almost anyone can do it if they have the money. They will probably ask if you are on parole.

 

  • Hire staff of hundreds of people

Now that the music festival is approaching there has to be a trained staff to work the event. This requires a lot of ticket takers, security, go-go dancers, a cleaning crew, paramedics and an operations manager. Try to get volunteers to do it for free by saying its for the Industry.

 

  • Deploy the marketing plan

No one will attend your festival if they don’t hear about it. You need a proper flyer with a line up that has the most famous celebrities at the top in descending order. Partner with a ticket site so festies get an alert about the event. Then post a promotional video on YouTube that makes it look like the most perfect day anyone has ever had on Earth, even if it’s not.

 

  • Sell a lot of overpriced tickets

Remember if they can afford to pay their rent at the end of the month then you are not charging enough. It is not a real music festival if they don’t go into debt paying for food and water. It is a good thing that they got tents because they are going to need them after they get evicted.

 

  • Take pictures with celebrities

Now that you are a festival promoter you are better than normal people. The best way to prove this is by taking pictures with the celebrities you know. Since you a paying them they kind of have to be nice to you and agree to take a photo for Instagram. Unless they are total assholes like Kanye West.

 

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Elizabeth de Moya has a BA in Linguistics from UC Berkeley. She has contributed to DJ Mag, DJ TechTools, LA Weekly and Thump (Vice). Check out the new women's street fashion and music blog for people that love EDM and music festivals: sluttyravercostumes.com!

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