Tag: festival planning

Festival Planners – Don’t Forget The VIP Tent!

July 13, 20130 Comments

If you are an event planner and you’re involved in the planning of a music festival then you will have a very long ‘to do’ list on your hands! It’s easy to get carried away making sure that everything front of house is under control, but it’s important not to forget the backstage area. Artists will expect dressing rooms and a VIP bar backstage, where they can relax without being hounded by fans and autograph-hunters. Artists may well have travelled a long way to get to your festival, so it’s really essential that you make them feel welcome. Here’s what you need to have installed backstage to help your artists feel relaxed and comfortable.

Backstage Bar

You’ll definitely need a backstage bar. Often, because of the calibre of people that will be in there, festival organisers go all-out and get a really beautifully decorated tent. It can still be a temporary pop-up shelter but one that has all the trimmings of an A list green room. Make sure the bar is tended all the time and that there are plenty of sofas and chairs dotted about to relax in. You should make sure your security staff know the importance of keeping the backstage bar exclusive, so under no circumstances should anyone without an AAA (access all areas) pass be let through. Offer an assortment of drinks including beers, lagers, wines and spirits as well as soft drinks and mixers. They will specify anything they particularly want on their rider.

Dressing Rooms

Often the artists will arrive in their own tour bus, but just in case you should always ensure that they have a dedicated private tent purely for them to get ready in. It is in this shelter that you should put their rider, including food, drinks and a local paper. Leave a free-standing wardrobe in each one for the band to hang their stage outfits on, and if the band is a mix of females and males then make sure they have separate dressing rooms. Some chairs and a table will make it feel more homely. Mark it clearly on the outside so people don’t wander in by mistake.



Don’t insult your artists by expecting them to use grubby port-a-loos. Ubiquitous at every festival, the port-a-loo is okay for the punters, but your artists are going to need something a little more luxurious. A life on the road is a difficult one and they will really appreciate any extra effort you go to for their comfort. Hire mobile units with proper flushable toilets, and sinks. Have them kitted out with soap, towels and hand driers and make sure there are fresh flowers in every cubicle. They should be cleaned regularly and always have air fresheners installed.

Making your artists feel welcome and relaxed will work in your favour. They will put on a much better show if they are happy with the way they have been treated, and they will be far more likely to agree to come back to a repeat event if they leave with happy memories!

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Today’s featured writer, Tom Harper, works as a freelance event planner. He has organized many music festivals and believes party tents from MDM Shelters are second to none.


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