Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Building a Music Festival

Over the last 20 years, RDL enterprises’ staff has planned thousands of meetings and conferences from concept to completion throughout the United States, Canada, and U.S. Commonwealth territories. Recently, and thanks to the social networking site Linkedin, RDL was awarded a contract to plan their first music festival. Luckily, one of RDL's planners has the music production experience to draw in this new client. We wrote the bid and won. Suffice it to say, we are all out of our usual day-to-day habitual job duties. I’m reminded of the saying, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” (Neale Donald Walsch)

We have until June to execute this one-day event. In many ways, it’s not that different from planning a meeting. Here, I’d like to use a building metaphor. Before construction can begin, the client/contractor will meet at the site to discuss the basic footprint to ensure the project is understood from each angle. From there, the team will design the layers of the building, determine the responsibilities of the project, distribute the assignments, and the team will begin construction.

Planning a music festival involves the same type of structure. How much space is there? What is the capacity, what permits; codes for traffic and vehicles are needed? How many vendors can we hold, budget, sponsors, advertising, media relations, contracts, volunteers, committees? Most importantly the music! It can be all encompassing. I chuckle at how much is put into a one-day event. It seems to take as much energy to do a three-day conference.

My point is, however broad your event may be, it’s important to remember to slow down, stay organized, ask for help, write down everything, have a co-assistant, and be confident it will all work out. Dealing with the stress of such a harrowing process is crucial. I find that staying in shape is extremely helpful with the demands it takes to plan. Thank you, yoga! [See this post for other ideas. – ed.]

This experience, which is far from completed, has been incredible. I’m thankful to have this opportunity to keep growing and learning, personally and professionally.

For more information on the event, please visit, Tickets go on sale soon!

~ Tess Conrad, Meeting Planner and Coloma Blues Live Event Manager • RDL enterprises