7 steps to organising your own mini music festival

words Al Woods

Are you planning a fundraising event, a milestone birthday celebration or a corporate hospitality jolly?

Do you want the event format to be informal and fun, ideally with music and dancing for old and young? Mini music festivals are becoming increasingly popular and the good news is that creating a DIY music festival is much easier than you may think.

There’s much to think about when you’re organising your festival but if you take a step-by-step approach you can end up with a truly special day filled with music and fun for everyone. Read through our guide to planning a mini music festival to help you stay on track.


  1. Do your planning

First of all you’ll need to set out a plan. It’s fine to do all the planning yourself but you might find it’s a good idea to get a few other people involved at this stage to run through ideas and come up with suggestions – you’ll still have the final say about what happens.

Now is the time to nail a few things down: how many people are likely to attend? How much will it cost to put on and how will you pay for it? When and where will the festival take place?

Once you know the basics you need to decide on a theme and pick a name. This is as much for your benefit as anyone’s – it helps having an idea of what the festival will be like so you can design and market it accordingly.

  1. Delegate tasks

Once you’ve got a decent idea of how the festival will turn out, it’s time to delegate tasks and draw up a schedule of how and when things need to be completed by. One person needs to be in charge of booking bands and DJs, someone else will have to look after the catering, someone to do the marketing and promotions and someone to deal with all the logistical stuff.

  1. Choose a venue

Selecting the right venue is probably the most important part of your festival planning. If you’re lucky enough that you or one of your friends has an enormous back garden then it might serve your purposes. This can make one of the best unique venues for events. Otherwise you will probably need to look into something different.

This is where a professional venue finding agency can be a huge help. At no cost to you, they will research suitable venues and negotiate the best deals for you. All you need to do is provide them with a brief to answer the following questions: Does your festival need to be outdoors or could you use somewhere indoors? How far away will people be willing to travel? What food and drink services can the venue provide? How much space is there? Obviously the needs will be completely different for every festival, so you need to take everything that is relevant to yours into account.

  1. Logistics

The logistics of the festival might not be the most inspiring part of the organising, but getting it wrong could be catastrophic. Remember that if you’re going to be playing loud music you might need permission from the council – check their website for details about putting on events. If there’s no stage and you have a band then you’ll need to sort portable stage platforms for the night.

Think about the needs of the festival goers. Are you going to need portable toilets? Always allow for more toilets than you think will be necessary. You need to think about all possible DIY festival accessories. If it’s an evening event, lighting will need to be provided – for convenience (and to the conveniences!) as much as for health and safety reasons.

You’ll also need to provide bins and recycling facilities and, of course, plenty of parking for out-of-town venues.

  1. The music!

It won’t be much of a music festival without great music – so make sure you put the time it to get a good range of acts. Bands aren’t usually especially expensive to book; in fact many local acts will be willing to play for free if you provide them with food and drink.

Whether your festival is going to be primarily acoustic, metal, dance or DJs, it’s good to have a little variety within the performers to keep things fresh. Remember you can always break up the day with performances from comedians, magicians, dance troupes or other acts.

  1. Food and drink

Catering is always an important part of any festival; people love to eat and drink as they watch bands play. Depending on the venue you have chosen the catering may already be taken care of as part of the package, but otherwise you will need to organise your own.

Check with local micro-breweries who might be willing to do you a deal. It can also be a great move to hire a cocktail service.

  1. Promote it

Whether you’re just throwing a party for friends and extended family or you’re looking to sell tickets, you’ll need to make sure you promote it properly. Create a Facebook page and do everything you can to let people know the festival is happening.


You May Also Like

Light Asylum – Brooklyn Dark Pop

by Charlotte McManus With their unique blend of dancefloor-shaking synth-pop beats and singer Shannon ...

Colin Vearncombe Black

The return of Black (aka Colin Vearncombe) – with a little help from his fans

Black (aka Colin Vearncombe) on pledge campaigns, his new album and brushes with fame ...

Customer Service Amygdala

Customer Service returns with his second EP, Amygdala

Control Freak co-founder Customer Service returns to the label with his second EP, Amygdala. ...

Rise of the Super Furry Animals – book by Ric Rawlins

I recall interviewing Super Furry Animals many moons ago in a scuzzy back room ...

grizzly bear, independent music

Hear Grizzly Bear New Album Track

Grizzly Bear are on the verge of releasing their new album after the much ...

Leonard Cohen last album

Leonard Cohen last album – You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen last album – You Want It Darker – review by Stuart Boyland ...