As someone who finds themselves working in the wacky world of music festivals, you're constantly dealing with endless challenges day in and day out.
Somehow, some way, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, the same old problems rear their ugly head. It's enough to make a person truly go mad, but being insane in the membrane is a prerequisite for festival operators so we must instead turn to laughter.
It's important to know that your pain is mutually felt and understood wholly. That's why we've taken some time to compile some positively relatable memes that illustrate the frustrations you feel as we ramp up for another year of music festival madness.
So sit back and let the good folks here at Lennd provide you with a little laugh.
THE STAKES ARE SKY HIGH
When your festival pops off and your attendees have an epic experience, there is truly nothing better in the world than that feeling of satisfaction in your work.
On the flip side, when things go sideways, you end up with a career incinerating Netflix documentary that transforms your festival's name into an industry transcending synonym for failure.
Gotta love that pressure!
It's a wild ride that takes it's toll
It always starts off with joy and excitement, followed by absolute terror and anxiety, and then finished off with satisfaction and relief (if you're lucky). The lifecycle of a festival, from the initial advance to load-out, is a roller coaster ride of emotion and physical stamina. You will experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows followed by the overwhelming urge to take a 48 hour nap.
It's all about embracing the madness and living in the moment! You wouldn't have it any other way, would you?
The tech you're relying on determines your stress levels
Of course, despite the nature of the beast that is the festival advance and operation, it doesn't have to be headache inducing. For those who are still trying to manage their festival with spreadsheets, you're not doing yourself any favors. It may seem like it's saving you money, but when you quantify your time and the inevitable mistakes that are made it really ends up costing you more.
Plus, can you really put a price tag on your sanity?
Guest lists are always a guessing game
Artists and their teams are notorious for providing event artist relations folks their guest lists at the 11th hour. It's understandable, they're on tour going from festival to festival and things can and do change at the last minute.
To avoid this pain, Anna Wismer of Black Thorn Productions recommends setting one simple deadline.
Jack of all departments, master of none
Sometimes during the advancing process one unlucky soul is thrust into the role of approving every department's needs. The end result is never pretty because it's an impossible task for one single individual to do, especially on larger festivals. Thankfully, there are some helpful ways to avoid this problem.
First, get everyone on the same page with a master list of what has or has not been approved. Second, set clear expectations with your department heads as to who has the power to approve. Empowering your team and keeping everything transparent will go a long long way.
When you order your assets but something is always missing
In Dude , Where's My Car? Jesse and Chester have misplaced their vehicle after a night of reckless debauchery. In real life, assets like golf carts can easily be overordered or underordered when asset managers are forced to rely on outdated tracking methods. This is where the painful mistakes of spreadsheets or simple miscommunication show up in the form of an unhappy vendor asking, "Dude, where's my golf cart?'.
You can ensure this doesn't occur with a centralized database that shows what everyone requested and is approved for prior to your festival load-in. Once again, transparency wins!
I don't get no respect (from my sponsors)
Sponsors, am I right? They make it all possible and they sure as hell know it. When it comes to this special group, sometimes you have to bend over backwards to accommodate their wants and needs. After all, they're the ones footing the bill for this whole shindig. Much like your artists, they are well known for taking their sweet time getting you everything you need to complete their advance before the show. So what can you do?
The answer is, once again, to keep it simple by setting one deadline. The clever part is that you set the deadline a week before your actual hard deadline. This will give you some much needed wiggle room. It's all about clear communication!
The curious case of the catering conundrum
Catering can make or break your budget! It always seems to feel like your throwing food away, which is to really say you're throwing money in the trash. But if you end up ordering too few meals in hopes of avoiding waste, you run the risk of falling short on feeding everyone. So is it possible to finalize your catering numbers accurately?
Honestly, the best way to remedy the catering catch-22 is by building your advancing deadline around your catering numbers, according to our familiar festival friend Anna Wismer. She explains that it's important to "always pad these areas to be safe" after collecting your catering totals.
Alright, now minimal budget is wasted and no one goes hungry, woohoo!
What do you call a missing artist rider? A Ghost Rider...👻🏍️
We've all been there, desperately sifting through our email inbox and google drive trying to find an artist rider (or any document for that matter), but it's nowhere to be found. As frustration grows and our search yields no results, we begin to believe that the universe is conspiring against us. Often times the last thing we want to do is ask our artist and their team for their rider again, especially when we know they sent it already!
Rather than spend all of eternity on the quest for the missing artist rider, invest your time in a centralized database for your documents and communications. Having a dedicated place where all of your festival advance data can live saves so much time and solves so many problems like this one.
🎵I've got the whole festival, in my hands🎵
Money? It's the number one resource to solve most problems in life. Status? It feels good and it definitely makes getting what you want a lot easier. But a centralized database? Now that's true, raw, unprecedented power in the world of festivals.
There is simply no better way to effectively manage your festival advance than a centralized database. With it you are all seeing, all knowing, all powerful. Without it, you're adrift amid a stormy sea of swirling, scattered information chaos.
Pretty easy choice to make, right?
You reap what you sow
All of the problems we've highlighted here today are, for the most part, optional. That is to say they can either be avoided with proper planning, thwarted with the right tools, or managed with a little grace and preparation.
Whether it's festival management software or best practice education, Lennd has you covered. Not only do we have the a truly breakthrough modernized platform to advance and manage your festival, we also provide a monthly master class series featuring industry experts from some of the biggest festivals in the world.