I received a letter today from a reader who hoped for a fest in his neighborhood. He wondered if I would produce one or if I knew a producer who would. When I wrote back, I thought I’d like to share the same thoughts with you…
Festivals don’t happen when a producer says, “I want to throw an event”, they happen when a community says, “Let’s have a gathering”. If you have a community already, then call a meeting and say, “Let’s get together and talk about an event of our own”. That’s how the best ones begin, and then leadership emerges. Start small and grow stronger.
The other route requires big investment and more often than not ends up with big losses. It leans hard on big money headliners having a draw.
The community formula is a winner a high percentage of the time. None of the producers I know were producers before they and their friends got together and said let’s gather. Then he/she took on a certain set of tasks like site rental and permits, (which makes them producer) and other folks took on stages, workshops, vendors, food, toilets, recycling, kids etc. In a gathering like that you can showcase music from within your community, and use a flatbed truck for a stage. No one needs to invest a lot of money.
The best and the longest lasting events started with a small group of locals getting together. The heart and soul that they created attracted others who wanted to be part of the good vibes. From there it grew. The money and the budget grows with the growth of the community. That’s a winning formula.
If you have a vision, call a meeting, and make it a potluck 🙂