Think about the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair; it wasn't without its share of hurdles but still, the occasion stands as a yardstick for modern-day festivals as we know them. Folks no longer remember the rain-soaked grounds at the farm in Bethel that hosted the event but rather, the epic line-up of musical legends who moved the masses during the three-day event.
A lot goes into the process of putting together a festival, whether it's a huge annual event or a small extravaganza. It's not an impossible feat, and several internationally-renowned festivals stand as a testament to the fact. Organizing a festival is all about having a goal, coming up with a selling lineup as well as vendors, marketing the event effectively, and watching the event kick-off.
Most importantly, securing the best festival space will kick off the planning process and also double as a marketing point. Learn the ins and outs of suitable event locations near you.
The Best Festival Venues
You could be planning your local neighborhood festival or organizing a grand musical event for your city. Whatever the case, the process involves several steps including locating an ideal festival venue. Some of these location ideas can help you think outside the box.
- Dance Studios
Event lofts come in all shapes and sizes and the yoga studio-styled locations, in particular, double up as great performance spaces. They can host small indoor festivals, with most able to accommodate 50 to 100 people.
Storefronts also double up as great festival locations. These venues vary in size and hence determine the number of people you can host at any given time. They provide an intimate atmosphere and are ideal for creatives who are putting together their initial performances on the climb to fame.
- Entertainment Venues
Entertainment venues etched out of former warehouses or other vintage buildings equally favor indoor festivals. Each has its own character and you'll come across locations that exude gothic vibes while others appear more modern. A majority come with lobby areas, several smaller rooms, the main staging area, and kitchen service.
- Urban Industrial-style Spaces
Selections of urban industrial-style spaces are coming up as function locations. The majority come with high ceilings, barn-style walls, and chandeliers that give them a rustic appeal. They are perfect locations for hosting small-scale festivals that merge the best of the old and new charm. If a large and natural-feeling room is on your list, consider an urban industrial event space for your upcoming festival.
What to Look for in Festival Spaces
The chosen festival location can make or break the event. Several considerations go into settling for an ideal venue, and these decisions also assist with the overall festival organizing process. That includes whether you should go with a venue that assists in planning the event or if you prefer to personally undertake the task with an outsourced team.
The location of the chosen festival venue should be enticing while also not compromising on accessibility. People enjoy attending art-centric or music events hosted in a relaxed environment that takes them away from daily hustles and bustles. Plan to put in more marketing efforts if you settle for an out-of-town location.
When choosing a festival site, the capacity is crucial for everyone's comfort and safety. Your event needs will determine the amount of space that suits the occasion. However, it should be a sizable venue that can accommodate vendors, the stage or stages, and attendees.
It goes without saying that a festival is an equipment-heavy affair. From sound and visual systems to WiFi, there's a need for unique amenities based on your specific event. Again, having a venue that provides these services and amenities helps a great deal.
- Event Rentals
A festival also requires several event-specific furnishings and decorations. From tables to chairs to stages and dance floors, you'll have an easier time going for a venue that provides event rentals as part of the package.
Even a small school festival still attracts a sizable crowd and with it comes the parking challenge. Most folks are increasingly embracing partnerships with rideshare apps to sort out logistics and also minimize parking issues. You still want to have lots of on-site parking space available for your event.
The precise nature or reason behind the event should determine which festival venue suits your occasion. You might still find it challenging tying the space together with a theme, and we've compiled a few ideas to help you organize a fun and memorable festival.
- A Woodstock-themed Festival at a Farm
Pay homage to the event that essentially got the ball rolling by hosting a Woodstock-themed event at a farm location. Naturally, lessons from the past event will come in handy when planning your own festival. It favors a large-scale arts/music-based city festival.
- A Multi-day Disco-themed Festival at a Dance Studio
Depending on who you ask, the Disco era was one of the greatest. It was marked by great music, bell-bottoms, and extremely puffy hairstyles. It's a fun idea to play around with and like with any other retrospective theme, it helps to merge the old with the new. The theme favors a festival hosted at a dance studio to promote sculptors, local painters, and other artisans.
- A Seasonal-themed Festivity at a Dungeon Space
The harvest and wine-making season are equally other great theme choices for seasonal festivals. A majority of people, for instance, celebrate the Mar Day festival which signals the beginning of spring. Other similar occasions include the hot air balloon festivals held in autumn. A dungeon space would suit a smaller-scale local event along the same lines.
- A Cultural-themed Event at a Bohemian-style Storefront
Cultural festivals celebrate different types of traditions, food, and artwork from across the globe. Oktoberfest is a great example that falls under this category, and in general, the theme helps participants learn more about different parts of the world. A Bohemian-style storefront serves as an ideal festival space in this case.
- Holiday-themed Celebrations at a Historic Building
The big holidays including Easter, the Fourth of July, Christmas, and Thanksgiving are also great themes for festivals hosted at specific times of the year. It's easy to weave-in activities like the Easter Egg Hunt into such an occasion. The themes also work for food-centric festivals and a historic building serves as the perfect festival location.