Festival terms, definitions and questions to ask
“We’re playing our first festival and don’t want to look like total idiots. Are there any terms, definitions, etc we should be aware of?”
Festivals are different animals than traditional club dates. Be sure you ask these questions in your advance conversation.
Will roads be closed or blocked? A very valid question. Can you imagine missing your set time at a festival or street event because you didn’t know the answer to this question and could not get to your stage?
Where is Artist Check In? Generally, Artist Check In is where you’ll pick up laminates, food coupons, and all information about the festival including rules and regulations, maps and parking passes.
Will we have access to a dressing room? Dressing rooms are generally trailers or RVs brought in and set up for artists to chill in before set time. They are usually available ONE HOUR before you play and ONE HOUR after you play then you’re expected to clear out for the other artists. IT IS VERY HELPFUL to know this beforehand.
What are credentials/laminates?- What you’ll wear around your neck to identify you. Press, Backstage, ARTIST,hospitality, staff, etc
Will there be Catering? Most festivals provide ARTISTS with a place to eat and serve regular meals. Sometimes your laminate also is your meal ticket and is punched when you show up at the meal tent. Backstage areas usually have water and snacks.
Who is our production contact? You’ll want to be sure to get in touch with production (staging, load in, audio, video) BEFORE the date of the festival. These people can be your BEST friends or make your show miserable. They need INFO. And they’ll let you know exactly what they DO NEED and DO NOT NEED. They typically ask for a stage plot and input list.
Will we be able to sell merchandise? Festivals provide a central setting to sell band merchandise. You’re responsible for getting the merch to them (so you need to find out where they are located on site), with pricing. Usually, a festival provides a staff to sell your items and they’ll also provide you with a sales sheet and money at the end of the festival. BE SURE to pick up your merchandise at load out. The festival MAY take a % of sales.
Where is the Production Trailer? This is the office of the festival where you will pick up your pay and sign forms. It is no fun to be stumbling around a 3 acre site in the middle of the night after your set trying to find a production trailer. Be sure you know where this is and who will be paying you.