With COVID over and the festival circuit back in full swing, more small and boutique festivals than ever are popping up left and right. So many that the music festival industry alone is valued at close to $31 billion worldwide.
And it’s no wonder why the industry is so lucrative; attending festivals cost a pretty penny. And if you’re dropping a week’s worth of your paycheck to attend, the last thing you want is to have red flags popping up the moment you get through security. Because you can see the lineup, know the venue, plan logistics, and be as PLUR as you want before the show, but that doesn’t mean anything if the festival isn’t running well once you’re inside.
Nobody knows this better than the team at Rakastella Music Festival in Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami. This passion-filled gathering features three tastefully eclectic stages covering a broad spectrum of international electronic sound headlined by Dixon, TSHA, DJ Tennis b2b Seth Troxler, Sofia Kourtesis, Moodymann, Jennifer Cardini, and an exceptional guest.
Get your tickets now right here.
Finding a location that connects with your core principles and helps define your story is vital. A space to dream up exciting places to get lost, get surprised, and, most importantly, get inspired will always enhance any experience.
Being able to set an ambiance for people to enjoy the music and vibe memorably truly is always a core principle for us.
The big news this year is that Rakastella has added two Climate Action initiatives for the first time, including a baseline carbon emission assessment and a food rescue program that will donate leftover food to Miami Rescue Mission.
“Rakastella has always been a pioneer in partying sustainably in Miami. They were the first local electronic music festival to go single-use plastic and styrofoam free, the first to have such an obvious sustainability campaign and volunteer program, and now they will be the first to create their reusable cup system.” – Rakastella Team
Music is the reason we all go to a festival. It’s not just about getting the best sound system brand, though – it is also about taking the time to think of what sounds best for your presentation and making sure the sound engineer understands the hardware and can tune it to perfection.
Understanding sound direction and considering other stages or environments that will disrupt the sonic experience is vital.
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When it comes to large gatherings, safety should be a huge priority. A security team that is well-trained to handle various situations with care and discretion is a must.
It would be best if you had clear signage and easy-to-find information, so festival-goers can quickly gain their bearings and confidently explore the grounds. A team that plans their logistic, staffing, and communication protocols early help keeps attendees safe in a seamless way is crucial.
Finally, providing easy-to-find restrooms and washing stations that are regularly cleaned and stocked keeps attendees comfortable, clean and healthy.
Music and lighting go hand-in-hand. Instead of overwhelming with non-stop lights and lasers, there is something more moody and exciting in well-placed hues and restraint on lighting to create moments that complement the music—being careful not to hit attendees’ eyes or disturb the vibe with untimely moments or repetitive programming.
Ensuring the lighting technician understands the music being performed and can match the artist’s energy without ever overwhelming them.
Food & Drink Options
Guests stay at festivals for extended hours, so being considerate of their needs and providing options for everyone to find something they can enjoy quickly. It’s also important to offer guests drink choices beyond water, soda, and alcoholic beverages. Juices, freshly brewed tea, and smoothies keep guests energized in a healthy way to improve their experience.
When food and beverages are not the afterthought, great partnerships can be formed, allowing guests to enjoy a well-curated, thoughtful, and delicious culinary program.
Ensuring that large gatherings minimize their environmental impact is of utmost importance. The world is changing fast, and a festival that shows how important it is to eliminate plastic waste, recycle and use natural, biodegradable materials helps build great habits.
The more festivals work on these programs, the more normalized they become at smaller events and will eventually be a standard. Building relationships with responsible organizations that care about their social and environmental impact makes it easy for festivals to make this happen successfully.
Festivals are big business, and increasingly large companies are taking over music festivals and creating cookie-cutter experiences.
A festival should have its own identity and not be a mashup of other events. With unique production, curated lineups that feature headliners, up-and-comers, and unexpected performers will not only excite the crowd but also surprise them. When festival producers genuinely love what they do, it shows.
When a festival is unique and thoughtful, loyalty emerges, and attendees return year after year. Love and excitement behind what you do make the real magic happen.