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Organising a mini festival from scratch

Mo the caller 08 Oct 10 - 06:16 AM
Mr Happy 08 Oct 10 - 08:45 AM
Desi C 08 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM
Mr Happy 08 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM
Mr Happy 08 Oct 10 - 10:22 AM
open mike 08 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM
Mr Happy 08 Oct 10 - 11:50 AM
Acorn4 08 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM
Girl Friday 08 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM
Girl Friday 08 Oct 10 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,mg 08 Oct 10 - 01:08 PM
Mr Happy 10 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM
Mo the caller 10 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM
Desi C 10 Oct 10 - 08:16 AM
OlgaJ 10 Oct 10 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,PeterC 10 Oct 10 - 09:40 AM
Rob Naylor 10 Oct 10 - 09:57 AM
Rafflesbear 10 Oct 10 - 10:30 AM
Girl Friday 10 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM
Zany Mouse 10 Oct 10 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,PeterC 11 Oct 10 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,vectis at work 11 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM
Mr Happy 11 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM
doc.tom 11 Oct 10 - 12:01 PM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM
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Subject: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mo the caller
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 06:16 AM

There are several threads here about folk clubs who have put on free Folk Days based on the local pub where thet meet, using local musicians.
How long did it take you from mentioning an idea to getting it up and running?
What did you have to consider, and what should you have considered and didn't think of till afterwards.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 08:45 AM

Hi Mo!

I've been running an annual DIY gathering every Easter for the last 6 years.

What prompted me to initiate this event was that around our area or within reasonable striking distance, there weren't any festivals during the Easter period especially when there were the 2 extra Bank Hols.

The requirements were:

A folk/music friendly pub or other suitable venue.

A campsite next door or very close by.


The first couple of years, it took place at a rural pub in the Peak District, with excellent real ales, food & campsite right next door.

Unfortunately as the pub was quite small, increasing numbers of attendees over the years forced a decision to find somewhere bigger.

Luckily, I was able to move the event to a hotel in Anglesey, also with decent beer, food & camping field close by.


********

As regards having the initial idea & bringing it to fruition during the first year took about the length of time between then Februaryish & April when Easter fell.

Liaised with the pub management by phone to give 'em fair warning & also for them to order extra beer, food etc


Publicity for the event done by word of mouth, at various seshes around Chester & district, by phone arounds, & networking via internet.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Desi C
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM

Good question and thanks to Mr Happy, as we're hoping to have a similar day event in 2011. Would appreciate any more input advice, suggestions etc

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
Coseley
West Mids
WV14 8PA
Open mic every Wed night


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM

I run a weakly [sp] music & song sesh in a super real ale pub in Chester.

There's a number of other similar events go on run by others both locally & further afield into Cheshire county, N. Wales & surrounding areas.

However, there's nowhere appropriate as far as I've researched in the immediate vicinity.

Drawing on my prior experiences attending others mini-fests, gatherings, etc, I concluded that the best settings for such occasions are best situated well away from mass population centres - in rural settings, which hopefully will avoid attracting the attentions of the wrong sort of people [he said pompously!] such as opportunist thieves making off with instruments from tents, cara/ campervans etc or causing drunken noise/ stroke aggression in the venue.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:22 AM

Also, when seeking a campsite, the camping & caravan club ones or some private sites are usu luxurious but often don't look kindly on folks having a jam & sing around their tents, which is an important requirement of me & chums.

On some sites have had wardens come & say neighbours in caravans can't hear the x factor [whatever that is?] on their tellies.

Therefore, rural settings esp in walking, climbing, caving areas are a good bet as they often have lots basic camping fields dirt cheap with the bare essentials of a water tap & toilet.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: open mike
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM

if you are hiring talent, it would be good to make arrangements up to a year ahead as some musicians will have their schedules planned well into the future.

is there a stage?

will you need sound amplification equip?

would any other consession (food, arts, crafts, music) booths be there?

will you ask people to pay to come?

what do they get for their money, and how to you make sure no-one
sneaks in for free?

will you have any individuals or businesses providing sponsorship?


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 11:50 AM

Mo's not said what she has in mind for her minifest.

So all my advice in on setting up DIY events, with no paid guests etc


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Acorn4
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM

We're thinking of doing one in May based on the Folk Club we run, so will be looking closely here to pick up tips.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Girl Friday
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM

This one is a first for me. Luckily it's a first for us all at Crayside, so we're all on a learning curve.

We started holding our club at The Seven Stars on June 28th, and within a few weeks decided it was a good festival venue. The landlord, was very encouraging, though he'd not had any experience of folk music. We tossed several earlier dates around before settling on October 9th.
Luckily, we have a lot of friends around the local clubs. Being organiser of a long standing club myself, I was able to call on some good friends on the local circuit, who are happy to play for us for free. Getting a Morris side was the most difficult thing. They need plenty of warning, so they can rustle up enough dancers and musicians.

I'm just praying that the weather gods smile on us, and all will go smoothly. Will let you know

Click on Festival


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Girl Friday
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 12:49 PM

That link doesn't work Try this one!
http://www.craysidefolk.co.uk/festival.htm


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 01:08 PM

Bathrooms and security first and the rest will fall into place. mg


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM

Bathrooms??


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM

Thanks. All a very back of the mind idea just now.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Desi C
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 08:16 AM

Interesting you mentioned the difficulty in getting Morris Dancers. I tried to get some for an event lasy year, contacted several but not one bothered to even reply! It's not that long ago I saw a feature on BBC TV a morris dance org trying to drum up new members for fear if the tradition dying out. Yet while there are several Morris teams in this area they showed no interest. Parhaps some Morris Dance people could tell me why?
Desi C


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: OlgaJ
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 09:28 AM

Could be that what Morris sides there are get booked up early. If you don't contact them before October of the year before your event they will probably be booked up for the dates you want them.

Now if anyone wants to book a good band?........

http://www.whats-the-point.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 09:40 AM

Not just morris dancers but anybody who plays in a dance or ceilidh band is also likely to be booked up well in advance. Make sure of your venue in good time especially if you want a hall rather than just the back room of a pub.

One of the most important things is simply an awareness of what else is going on and what else the potential participants are likely to be involved in. Talk to other organisers to avoid clashes. It is worth having a chat with the editor of your local folk listings magazine if your area has one as he or she should hear about other events that you might miss.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 09:57 AM

OlgaJ: Could be that what Morris sides there are get booked up early. If you don't contact them before October of the year before your event they will probably be booked up for the dates you want them.

Quite likely, but that's still no excuse for a complete absence of replies to a query about availability. Even if a side's not available, it's just good manners to reply to the enquirer and let him/ her know.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 10:30 AM

We had our first ever Crayside festival yesterday and with all due modesty it was a cracking success built on lots of goodwill

It was the first such venture for Girl Friday and myself as organisers, put together in the space of three months

It ran from 12.30 until closing time at a large pub with a garden by a river on the outskirts of London

As everything is fresh in our minds and the project went so well and appears to mirror what you are looking to do Mo, please PM me if you would like to know more

RB


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Girl Friday
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM

Rob Naylor "Quite likely, but that's still no excuse for a complete absence of replies to a query about availability. Even if a side's not available, it's just good manners to reply to the enquirer and let him/ her know. "

Rob : To be fair, a lot of sides did reply, but we were enquiring in August when they were all festivalling. Some tried hard to get a team together without success. We put on the duck racing after giving up hope. Then, out of the blue, Wild Hunt came up trumps. Wadard applied last Monday ! Happily they accepted our invitation to come and sing. They were awesome. Hoping they can cxome and dance at our second one.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 06:30 PM

Worksop Lions were going to put a mini festival on in Worksop but ran foul of PEL requirements.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 05:28 AM

PEL requirements? That must have been some time ago, PELS were abolished under the current licensing act.

Of course if a Temporary Events Notice is required then you do need to get that submitted in the correct timescale. Not a problem if you are working within the existing licence terms of the venue concerned of course, but it is your responsibility to check that your event is compliant. A copy of the licence should be posted somewhere in the venue.


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: GUEST,vectis at work
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM

Toilet rolls by the ton, soap and hand towels if no air dryers on site. TEN, a bar if not at a pub (local licence holders will be able to get their own TEN which will cover the event if you want to go down that route.

We did our first song and ale beside a pub in their function hall. After it closed we used a village hall, remote from the village centre, with a camping field which has proved to be an excellent location.

The main problem for most organisers is getting the right location. Once you have the right place then everything else seems to follow.

Good luck


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM

The right location is paramount!

Preferably in a rural setting


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: doc.tom
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:01 PM

Make sure you know EXACTLY what you're trying to offer in the programme: concerts? displays? just singarounds? musicians sessions? : loud camping? quiet camping? caravans & campervans? : how many? - pick a venue accordingly. Make sure you are properly licensed - a T.E.N. if there is no extant music license in place otherwise you could find yourself instantaneously closed down - and then prosecuted. Is there a market for what you want to do?

Say exactly what your event offers AND what is doesn't offer - you don't want people coming with the wrong idea and then being disappointed/grumpy/badmouthing you. THEN STICK TO WHAT YOU'VE SAID YOU'LL DO - you can always change it next year if need be - or else, next year, stick to what you want and if there's a market for it, it will develop with a comitted audience.

There will be costs, make sure you can cover them and let your punters see what's happening to the money: licenses, insurance, etc. If the event is not for profit say so. If the event is a fundraiser for something, say so. If the event is for profit, say so. To a great extewnt, perople don't care what it's for as long as they can see where the money goes and they are having a good time.

And good luck - you'll need some of that too.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Organising a mini festival from scratch
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM

Mo, you might want to contact Conrad Bladey, or #!PEASANT, and seek his advice on mini-festivals.
He's a veritable fountain of knowledge on the subject. ;>)


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