Lumped together in this chapter are many other matters that must be attended
to make your festival a success. A few words about the site: it must
be large enough to accommodate the crowd, but not so big that there are
vast distances between the various areas of activity. City parks are commonly
used as are county fairgrounds. Some groups have even had success
with downtown areas, particularly around squares.
Location is another consideration when it comes to site selection. Not only
should events take place fairly near their prospective attendees, these events
need to be easy to get to. Areas along the route with potential bottlenecks -
narrow roads, one-lane bridges, and the like - should be avoided. Likewise,
property subject to fl ooding is not the best choice for an event. And, of
course, there's no getting around the fact that event-goers arrive in vehicles,
which somehow must be parked. If 10,000 people show up and they average
three to a car, then a little over 3,000 vehicles must be parked. It's no
wonder the sole responsibility of some event workers is arranging for parking.
Among other things, their plans should include handicapper spaces.
Once the site is chosen, sketch it out on a big sheet of paper. Draw property
to scale, if possible, and include roads, trees, sidewalks, drainage, fire hydrants,
power lines, and any other important characteristics. When the "base
map" is completed, identify tentative locations for restrooms, a fi rst-aid station,
concession stands, exhibit and entertainment areas, and whatever other
features the festival will include. There are several rules to remember:
Locate restrooms so that they are convenient for the crowd, not just
where they can be conveniently set up. Keep the restrooms in clusters.
It's confusing if the men's facility is at one end of the festival
and the women's is at the other. Make sure they are clearly marked
"Men" or "Women." It has been recommended to have more restrooms
designated for women than men.
Remember electrical needs when pinpointing stage locations and
arts and crafts areas.
Establish some distances between entertainment and exhibits. Otherwise,
an artist may be unable to explain his or her techniques because
of loud music.
Provide benches and even picnic tables in some shady spots for
those visitors who may need to sit and rest a while.
Consider visitors with special needs. How accessible is your festival
to people with physical handicaps? Just as important as structural
features is your attitude in dealing with handicapped visitors? Be
sure to accommodate them.
Consider establishing an information booth. It's a great place to
answer questions, distribute programs, and handle lost-and-found
Put some serious thought into the physical arrangement of booths,
stands and stages. Traffi c - human traffi c - must somehow fl ow between
these attractions. Minimize points of resistance.
Finally, after everything is placed on the map, take the plan out to
the actual site. Visualize what is going to go where. Be certain that
the property can accommodate each item that has been mapped.
Cleanliness is a must and cannot be stressed enough. Provide an adequate
number of trash containers, conveniently and appropriately
placed, and be sure to monitor and empty the containers on a regular
Know that few things are more terrifying for a child than being lost in a
crowd; some festival organizers have devised a way to quickly reunite families.
It's the "Lost People Tree" - a small tree decked out with clear Christmas
tree type lighting - where counselors are stationed. Children who have
become separated from their parents are taken here and so are adults who
have lost their children. It's a great success.