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Top Tips For Running your Arts Festival Smoothly

Paul Fadden
23 June 2014
Top Tips For Running your Arts Festival Smoothly

(You can read that article here)

Mr. Smith's list focused on being bold and brave with the programming, accepting the weather, preparing for crazy, teamwork and being passionate about what you do. I love this list for running arts festivals. And since we work with a number of arts festivals in the UK and Ireland, we thought we might add to the list, and give you more top tips for running your arts festival smoothly.

Let technology help not hinder

Technology can really help in every aspect of your arts festival. For example, with online ticket sales, your technology should be able to support discounts, memberships and cross selling, donations, multiple venues and shows. With the right ticketing software, you can support kiosk sales as well as mobile scanning at your event. Embracing technology as a tool will certainly help increase your sales and boost patron loyalty.

Great support network

For an arts festival (well any festival, event, show), great teamwork is absolutely key. As is the support network around that team. Surrounding yourself with the best people, best tools and best support team, will help you (most of the time) create a flawless festival.

Embrace the unexpected

This goes with out saying. If it isn't the weather, it might be poor ticket sales, or an artist no-show or a problem with a venue - or all of the above. Embrace the unexpected and seriously - you will never be surprised!


Communication. Sometimes I crave less communication (like when I purposely leave my mobile phone at home). For festivals, good communication, or rather targeted/good communication is critical. Again, technology can be a critical tool here. For example, arts festivals who use Ticketsolve have access to a powerful integrated email marketing tool. This tool, Mailchimp, can help you easily communicate with your audiences.

Go to festivals - not just arts festivals

I know you're saying who has the bloody time for festivals! There is a huge difference between networking with people attending festivals, and attending those self same festivals as the average Joe. Maybe you go to loads of arts festivals already? Maybe you feel a bit jaded? Try one father afield for some fresh inspiration or a completely new type of festival.


What I have always loved about the arts and festival industry is the spirit of community. People are always willing to share their insights, of what has worked for them and what hasn't. I think we need to be even more unafraid of this - ultimately it will benefit the entire arts community.

What has worked for you in creating your arts festival?

Share your thoughts here!

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