Festival Production Services Include “Growing It”

  • Robert M. Brecht, PhD.
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Just what festival production services are needed depends on each particular festival. The diversity of festivals and the background of those producing them vary greatly. Many festivals are long-standing events that have a great volunteer and/or paid organizing staff. Others are new with very little history or knowledgeable staff to carry out such an undertaking. Most others are somewhere in between.

grito festivalThe amount of festival production help required varies along the same lines. Well-established fairs and festivals may require only entertainment booking and local production services. Local production refers to the need for staging, sound and lighting and associated equipment for the concert portion of their events. They are comfortable with their expertise to handle marketing, ticketing, sponsorship, logistics and anything else that goes into putting on a successful festival.

Other festivals are comfortable handling some of these issues while needing help with others. Some may be want to take their knowledge and execution of event production to the next level.

Still others are newbies that require help in getting their festivals off the ground. They want to learn what’s involved in producing a festival. They also need help in all areas of production for their festival or similar kind of event.

What If There Was a One-Stop, Comprehensive Service for All Aspects of Festival Production?

By one stop I mean an entertainment agency where you have one point of contact for the services below.

    • Planning: Identifying all the issues, approaches, potential funding, and implementation tasks involved in festival or event production
    • Budget Development: Working with the entity looking to produce a festival to develop a feasible budget to meet their objectives for the event.
    • Sponsorship Development: Determining the level of sponsorship interest involved with a festival from local sponsors to regional or national brands. Based on the level of interest, move forward with securing sponsorships for the festival.
    • Booking Entertainment: Providing the right entertainment for your budget and the demographics you hope to attract to your festival.
    • Event Production: Handling all the logistical and vendor requirements for the festival. For example, fencing, people barriers, vendors, exhibitors, sound system, staging, lighting, latrines, trash barrels, tents, and any other service needed for the event. Your own festival producer on site to handle anything that arises with the event. Whether it’s a single producer or a producer with a whole team of people handling different facets of the event, your festival is in good hands.
    • Advancing the Show: Depending on the level of services provided, advancing the show can be handling all the details involving the performing artists and their hospitality and technical contract riders for the event with the local festival staff. It can also mean confirming all the other logistical and vendor issues for the festival, including, trash, latrines, tents, exhibitors, food vendors, etc., as well as the performer issues.
    • Ticketing: Many festival use ticketing fees to offset the costs of their event. Ticketing may be limited to the concert portion of the festival, or it may be required to access the entire festival. Working with a festival production company that has a reliable, robust, and inexpensive ticketing platform is a plus.
    • Promoting the Festival: Working with an agency that knows how to take your festival marketing to the next level. Promotion is a partnership between the local staff and the agency you select to help you with it.

Think of you only having to make one phone call to address issues with one or all the services above. That’s what a full-service entertainment festival production agency can do for you.

How this model works for the variety of background possessed by festival promoters

    1. Well-Established Festivals: Even well-established festival and the people who produce them can benefit from help from a full festival production services agency. Help may be as little as consulting on specific issues that have been problematic at previous events. It could also take the form of augmenting what already exists to take the festival to the next level of success.

Another potential service is boosting sponsorship support. Who doesn’t want additional funds to expand the quality of their festival? One way to do that is to make your festival part of something larger when it comes to sponsorship development. Instead of going it alone, a full-service agency could package your festival for national brands either as an individual event; as part of all your annual events; or as part of something even larger that the agency could provide.

    1. Established Festivals: Many festivals are not decades old. They have been holding their festival for several years and are still learning and expanding their vision for it. Imagine if they could turn to one agency to supplement and enlarge their team for expertise that they don’t possess. An agency that becomes part of a bigger team to provide the resources and knowhow missing from their local staff. They can go to one place for whatever resources are needed to take their events to the next level. Sometimes it may just be what we call a PoM person on site to deal with the many issues involved. The PoM person is an experienced professional producer that has seen it all before. That person becomes the liaison between the local festival promoter and all the various vendors and artists for the festival. That level of experience and knowhow would greatly enhance the ability to deal with issues that arise. In case you were wondering, PoM stands for Peace of Mind!
    2. New Festivals: Most organizations contemplating a festival have no idea of all the details, logistics, and budget items involved in putting on such an event. They need an organization that can work with them from the ground up to develop their festival vision. They need their hand held through the whole process to assure them that the planning and execution of the festival is on track for a successful event. Most festivals don’t begin with the whole vision implemented. It’s a learning and growing process. It requires getting the community onboard. By community, we mean political, business, and social organizations as well as the individual citizens. Festivals require the buy in of all these stakeholders. It doesn’t happen overnight or even with the first festival. That’s why it’s important to find the right festival production services company and stay with them to grow the festival into the ultimate vision that the festival promoter want to see.

festival entertainmentA Trusting Working Relationship for Festival Production is Critical

Depending on the level of trust between the local promoter and staff, the process can be accelerated. A good example of this is the Kerrville River Festival in Kerrville Texas. The first festival took place in early September of 2019. The Kerrville Parks and Recreation Department decided to expand their smaller summertime concerts to a large festival with major entertainment. The department selected TSE Entertainment to help them produce the festival with less than six months out from the proposed event. If you have been involved in planning a major event like a full festival, you know that less than six months is a very short amount of time to do all the planning and execution required for a major festival. To make it happen, the model for the first festival was that of a major outdoor concert with food and vendors to take place at a Louise Hays Park in Kerrville.

The first festival went off very well. There were three major outcomes from having the first event successfully done.

    1. Provided confidence to the Parks and Recreation department to move forward with their vision for future festivals.
    2. Earned buy-in from city and community organizations that the festival was indeed something that would be an asset to the community.
    3. Endeared trust between the Parks and Recreation Department and TSE Entertainment that the relationship was a sound one for future festivals.

The last became very important when the Special Events Director for the Parks and Recreation Department had to take leave and eventually resign, leaving the department short handed and without the event memory that person possessed for the 2021 event. That meant a staff member had to do double duty and severely restricted the planning time available for that person. That’s when having a trusted, knowledgeable festival production agency paid off big.

The department communicated their desire to make the festival more of a community event and gave TSE permission to develop the festival with that goal. TSE then ran with the objective and created a festival that had exhibitors, community performing arts showcases, a large Kids Zone in addition to an increased variety of entertainment. In addition, TSE was tasked with securing sponsorship funds for the 2021 Kerrville River Festival.

The result is an upcoming Kerrville River Festival that showcases the history and culture of Kerrville with many other amenities added from the first festival. With the sponsorship funds TSE raised, the festival added shuttle buses, higher quality entertainment, more family and kids’ activities and community performing arts showcases. See for yourself and visit: www.kerrvilleriverfestival.org to see how the festival is evolving.

TSE Entertainment and the Kerrville Parks and Recreation Department are one team and look forward to the second festival. Together, this team is already planning on taking it to another level in 2022.

Related Posts:

Festival Development, Production, Promotion and Sponsorship

Producing a Festival: Preparation and People Are Key

 

About the Author

Robert M. Brecht, PhD.

Doctor Bob has been in the marketing and production side of television and music for over three decades. He, Mike and Glenda form a formidable team in helping artists and venues put on the best events possible.

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