Your own mini festival: six tips for organising a gig in your garden

If you’re lucky enough to have a large back garden or if you own some land as a part of your property, you might have the perfect space to host your own mini festival. Whether it’s as part of a big birthday, a wedding celebration or just an amazing party, a gig in the garden will truly make it special.

If this is something you’re interested in doing you should know that it’s a lot of hard work to pull off, but the results can be spectacular. Here are our top six tips for organising a mini festival in your garden.

Select a date

First things first – you need to set a date for your mini festival. Until you’ve decided on a date you won’t be able to organise any other details so this needs to be the task that you get on with straight away. If your festival is part of a birthday celebration it might mean you are limited, but it’s always best to check the calendar to understand a little more about when might be the most appropriate time.

Unsurprisingly, most mini festivals are booked to take place in the summer. This is probably the best idea for yours too; it gives you the opportunity to take advantage of good weather. Muddy Glastonbury revellers in the rain might be an iconic image but dreary days don’t usually make for a great day in your garden.

Set a budget

There is a lot to think about in terms of running a mini festival. Aside from providing everything from food and drinks you might need to hire out certain facilities ranging from sound systems to portable toilets. That’s before you even think about paying bands and other performers for their time. With this in mind, you need to set your festival a budget.

Set it up on paper and start to divide up the money into what is going to be spent where. This will start to give you an idea of what you actually have to work with. Make sure that you don’t go over budget on anything or it will make it impossible to afford some of the things that you want.

Get bands on-board

Many bands will be happy to play at a gig for free if it allows them to promote their music. Let them know exactly how many people you should expect to be coming and give them the opportunity to sell their merchandise. For many bands, this is enough.

Of course, you may wish to get a professional band involved as well. There are many covers bands that put on a fantastic show and are available at a relatively low price. Look out for bands that regularly perform in the local area and see if you can book them for the date that you have in mind.

Sort out security

Depending on the nature of the event, it may be essential to bring in security. This isn’t just to keep out people who you don’t want there but also for the safety of the guests. It can also be very helpful to contain the party within a certain area so that it doesn’t grow and spread out. Security fencing and concrete barriers can be hired in order to ensure that there are certain ‘no go’ areas.

Remember that while your party is supposed to be fun, you still need to maintain a safe atmosphere for everyone involved. Keep the stage separate as well as organising seating areas can be very important.

Be a good neighbour

If you have neighbours who are likely to be disturbed by the loud music and a party, it’s always best to let them know everything you’re planning to do and reassure them that you are in control. If you leave them in the dark and then suddenly spring a noisy festival next door to them when they’re trying to enjoy a relaxed evening, you might end up with them having a big problem with it.

Tell them the time you’re thinking of finishing the party and, if appropriate, invite them along to have a great time. Most people will be very accommodating to your requests as long as they are given plenty of notice.

Consider a charity

If you’re hosting an event with lots of people attending but you’re not looking to make a profit, it could be a great idea to collect for a charity. This can be a chance to turn your party into a fundraising initiative for a good cause.

Written by Dakota Murphey, in partnership with security contractors Maltaward, who were consulted for some of the information provided in this article.

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