Planning Local Concerts: Concert Checklist #1

    Local concerts are a great activity that anyone at any age can enjoy. The best part about concerts is they can be as big or as small as you like and can be held at both an indoor or outdoor venue. Local concerts, however, most certainly need to be planned months in advance and can often be a tricky and intricate process. Here is a checklist to help you through the planning process:

    Create a Budget

    An itemized budget is extremely important for a concert since expenses can add up quickly. If you are trying to book a band that is relatively well known, the costs can range anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000, depending on who you request. If you're hosting a concert for a non-profit event, sometimes the cost will be significantly less and is open to negotiation. Once you have established a budget for your venue and your band or bands, then you will know how many people to invite and what sort of band you can afford.

    Secure a Venue

    You will need to lock in an event venue from the very start of the planning process. Often when booking bands, managers want to know where the concert is being held with how many people will be in attendance approximately, as this is important for costs and other logistics concerning the band. Make sure your event venue can accommodate live music and has the proper equipment.

    Book the Band

    Since bands tend to book very early in advance, book your band after your budget is set. Make a list of at least five to ten bands that you want to reach out to and ask. Chances are, they might be out of your price range or on tour during your requested time. Once you find a band within your price range and is available on the date you need them, sign all appropriate contracts and paperwork to make sure everything is set for the big day.

    Book Equipment and Sound

    If the event venue is not a regular concert venue, bring your own music equipment for the concert, such as a soundboard, speakers, stage lights, and anything else the band may need. Additionally, get a knowledgable staff and sound person who can work the soundboards and sound check to make sure everything runs smoothly and/or handle any technical difficulties.

    Create a Guest List

    Now it's time to invite guests or start selling tickets. Check in with the event venue to be sure that you are fully aware of the maximum occupancy. This is critical because if more people show up than the venue can hold, you will have to turn people away or have them wait a long time to get in, which is bad for the venue (and the band!). So create a guest list, be strict about RSVPs, and have a contingency plan if your event starts to look over capacity.

    Hire Security and Staff

    Depending on the music, concerts can get quite rowdy. Additionally, if you manage to get a well known band, you will need to hire security for the stage, entrances, and at the door. You will also need staff to assist with taking tickets or checking in guests, assisting the band with anything they need, working the stage, refreshing drinks and food, and breaking it all down. Have one or two people handy in case of emergencies or last-minute runs.

    Order Food and Drinks

    Decide early on whether or not you are serving alcohol at your concert. If you are hosting an outdoor concert, you will need to check with the event location. If it is a community park for instance, get the okay from the city, ensuring you get all the correct permits. If your concert is at a typical live music venue, they normally have multiple bars. If you're ordering food for your guests, be sure to order items that are easy to transport around and don't necessarily need a dining area, like burritos and sandwiches or burgers. Some live music venues will already have food provided, so be sure to know if your venue provides this service. You could always order food trucks outside the venue for a fun, interactive option for your concert goers.

    What are some items on your local concerts checklist? Are we missing anything? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.