How to organize a festival

Organize a festival yourself. A thought that many of us have before. But what is involved in organizing a festival yourself? We will gladly answer you in this blog. This is how we discuss the following points in this blog:

    • What do you have to pay attention to?
    • Script festival.
    • Determinate the budget.Location festival
    • Site production.
    • Catering.
    • Entertainment.
    • Festival decoration.
    • Event technique.
    • Photo and video.
    • Which permits do I need?
    • Online ?

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What do you have to pay attention to?

When you organize a festival yourself, you are quickly inclined to start the festival immediately. However, this is a beginner’s mistake that is often made. You only get one chance, so use it well. Organizing a festival is only possible through perfect planning. If this doesn’t happen, the festival will soon overtake its goal and you run the risk that the festival will cost more time and money than necessary. The organization of a festival starts with making one or more achievable objectives and determining your target group. When this is clear, you can proceed to create a script for your festival.

Script festival

A very important part of the organization of festivals is the preparation of a detailed script. This involves the tasks and responsibilities of all parties involved. WHO, WHAT and WHEN are the key words of the content of the script. Divide the tasks according to the qualities of the persons. For example, the person with ultimate responsibility must have the best project management skills to manage everything properly.

During the entire process, from preparation to execution, you constantly update the script so that it is always up to date. A list of contact details (name, address, email-address and phone number) of all parties involved ( people of the organization as well as the suppliers) should also be included in the script.

Determinate the budget

Determination of the budget for your festival is a continuous process. You start by making a rough estimate and then, when requesting the tenders, check whether the estimate is somewhat real. After a while you can adjust the provisional budget when you receive the tenders and you can make a more targeted estimate.

View here the checklist for determining the budget for your festival.

Location festival

Choosing the right location for your festival is an important, but difficult task. You have to take into account many factors. Tailor your location to your target group, objectives, size of the festival and what you want to convey with your festival. When you have this clear, you can focus on looking for the perfect location. Let multiple locations pass by before you choose the final location. ALWAYS visit a location first before you finalize it. Don’t forget to take into account the more practical aspects. Use the checklist below to make an informed choice for the right location of your festival.


When the plans for the event have been made and the location is known, the site production can be started. The site production includes tasks such as ordering stages, light, sound, security, toilets, tents, stage decoration, fences, electricity and water to the actual layout of the festival site. Don’t forget that the festival site must be kept clean. Also appoint sufficient staff for this. Just as the entire organization of a festival must be tight with hard deadlines, is this also necessary for the site production. Ensure that deadlines, budget and design are monitored and overseen by the responsible team.


When the budget for your festival is determined and the location has been chosen, you can also give a specific interpretation to the catering. Choose a catering company based on your target group. Choose a company that meets the standards and qualifications for storage, transport, preparation and delivery of food. Then you have to wonder if the snacks and drinks are tasty and original, the service is friendly and well cared for and everything looks representative? Questions that all need to be answered positively in order to spoil your audience during the festival.


A beautiful location and a perfect catering don’t matter at all when the entertainment is very disappointing. Tune the entertainment to your objective and your audience. Take care of bands / DJ’s that appeal to your audience. In addition, there are other forms of entertainment that you can think of as animations, chill spaces with entertainment etc.

However, there is a lot more to entertainment than just choosing good acts and taking care of the necessary animation. What do you do with artists who cancel at the last minute and what about the permits? Aspects that you all need to take into account when organizing your own festival.

Festival decoration

Together with the location and the entertainment, the decoration creates the look and vibe of the festival. Here, too, the decoration must be tuned to your objective and target group. You know what you want to radiate and which audience you have to impress. Therefore ensure your own style, magnificent eye-catchers and a totally new decoration. In this way your audience gets the idea to enter a different world through the atmosphere you create.

Event technique

An important role in the atmosphere experience is reserved for event technology. This means all audiovisual technology that is necessary for the technical production of a festival. People are increasingly used to technical delights during an event. Be aware of this and realize that you have to make an impact on your audience. This way you can support the performances with innovative audiovisual concepts. When choosing the supplier, ask about the possibilities they have to offer in the field of event technology. Strive for the highest possible that falls within your budget. After all, you want to give your audience an unforgettable experience.

Photo and video

An unforgettable experience remains in your memory forever, but how beautiful would it be to relive this experience afterwards for many times?  By appointing a photographer or cameraman you can capture the beautiful atmosphere of your festival in the form of photo and video. That way everyone can enjoy the most beautiful moments of the festival.


Which permits do I need?

To obtain permits can make or break the organization of your festival. As an organizer, you need to inquire about any necessary permits at the city where the event takes place. Make any mention of the organization of your festival to the local government. Below are the most important permits that you will need for your festival.

Event permit

Depending on the size of the festival you need an event permit. When it concerns a very small festival, it’s sometimes sufficient to make a report. This license holder is ultimately responsible for the order and safety of the participants and visitors at the festival site. The permit contains all measures that have to be taken in case of calamities.


When you use music at your festival, you have to pay royalties via Sabam ( Belgium ) or Buma ( the Netherlands ). In addition to copyright, an appropriate fee is also levied for exporters and producers.


Music often plays an important role during festivals. If there is a big festival there can be some noise. Check whether you need a permit for this. This falls under the denominator environmental licenses and will limit the maximum number of decibels permitted. It may be that you need other permits as well. For safety, check with the city where the event takes place. You can think of permits with regard to spirits, food, closing time, places of tents, stages, shelves and stands etc.


As has been shown above, there is a lot to look at when organizing a festival by yourself. Make sure you have the required permits and always keep your objective in mind. If you give all parts the necessary attention, that will result in a fantastic festival.


Meer weten? Plan direct een vrijblijvende afspraak!

In the following video Rick Farman, founder of the large Outside Lands Festival (USA), tells you what’s involved in organizing a 3-day music festival.



Erwin Balkema

Erwin Balkema

Erwin Balkema owner of Bano Can we also help you realize a successful event or exhibition participation online or hybrid? Bano Event Technology

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