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Rachel Mazzola
Rachel Mazzola | 3 Nov 2021

Concert Planning Checklist

One thing we have certainly missed and are looking forward to again is concerts! While we all get excited to catch our favorite artists on tour, supporting your local musicians is important too. Throwing a local concert with local bands or musicians (or well-known ones if you can get them) is a great way to bring your community together for a fun day or night out. If you are thinking about hosting your own local concert but don’t know where to start, well, then you’ve come to the right place! Check out our checklist that will help you navigate the intricacies of concert planning like a pro.


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Checklist For Planning A Concert

  • Create a Budget
  • Secure a Venue
  • Secure Necessary Permits & Insurance
  • Secure Necessary AV Equipment & AV Technicians
  • Book Some Talent
  • Hire Staff & Security
  • Secure Food & Drinks
  • Market Your Event 
  • Sell Tickets 
  • Create a Show Flow (with rehearsals/call times)


Create a Budget

Like with any event, you should start by creating a budget to stick to. When determining what your budget should be, you should first determine what your revenue streams will be. Will you be hosting a free event and relying on sponsors or volunteers to provide donations of resources and time? Or will you be selling tickets and using profits to cover the costs?  Once you determine how you will pay for your event, you can start putting together an itemized list of potential costs, such as venue, band, staff (if you are paying them), marketing, food & beverage, and permits - just to name a few. 


Secure a Venue

You will need to lock in an event venue from the very start of the planning process. When looking for a concert venue, you’ll want to consider things such as capacity, amenities (do they already have AV equipment? Is there parking?), food & beverage (will you need to hire someone, or are they able to do it in the house?) and age restrictions (are the venues 21+, 18+ or all ages?). Whether you secure a bar, a local concert venue, or an outdoor venue like a public park, you’ll need to be sure to plan out other costs and logistics - like what equipment and permits you will need to make it work. 


Secure Necessary Permits & Insurance

Determine if you need to secure any permits or insurance for your concert event. Depending on your venue, you may need food & beverage, alcohol, or performing permits. Check with your venue and city for what you may require; Your venue may also require you to secure your own insurance should anything happen. 


Secure Necessary AV Equipment & AV Technicians

Some venues may have all of the AV equipment and the staff to run them, but if the event venue is not a regular concert venue, bringing your own AV equipment or hiring an AV staff may be necessary. In addition to securing sound and lighting equipment, you’ll also want to consider having walkie-talkies for your event staff to communicate (this way, you won’t need to rely on spotty wifi), and any video equipment if you want to record or live stream the event. If you are planning on sharing your concert on social media or a streaming platform, having quality footage is key, so you may want to consider hiring a professional videographer too.


Book Some Talent

Obviously, you’ll need to secure some bands for your concert! You’ll want to reach out early to make sure bands have availability. Make a list of at least five to ten bands that you want to reach out to and ask - be sure to be clear about what payment looks like, or if you are looking for bands to donate their 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.


Concert Security


Hire Staff & Security

When planning a concert, there will be a lot of logistics on the day of the show -  so you’ll need to be staffed accordingly. You’ll want to have a production assistant around for anything that may need to be attended to quickly - they can be your right hand on the day of.  You’ll also want to staff people who can help set up/tear down, collect tickets, check bags, and show people to their seats (if needed), and assist the band. It’s also a good idea to have one or two staff handy who can jump in on last-minute tasks or make last-minute runs for supplies. In addition to concert staff, you’ll want to hire security for the stage, entrances, and at the door, especially if you need to check IDs and help with crowd control.


Secure Food & Drink Vendors

Depending on your venue, you’ll need to decide early on what kinds of foods you’ll be able to serve and if you will be serving alcohol. Some venues are already set up for food and beverage sales, while others, you may need to bring outside vendors in. It is also a fun idea to have food trucks outside the venue for a fun, interactive option for your concertgoers.


Market Your Event 

Once all your concert details are in place, you can start marketing and getting people excited about your event. Be sure to use social media to help promote and get the word out about your concert. You can do this on Facebook by setting up an event page, or on Instagram by creating images the band can share on their pages or creating an account specifically for your event. Be sure to link all posts to your registration or concert homepage so that people looking to buy tickets or learn more can do so easily.


Sell Tickets! 

Now that you have started marketing, and have checked in with the venue on what your maximum capacity looks like, you can start to sell your event tickets. You’ll need to set up a registration page and have a way to distribute tickets, such as a ticketing platform, like Eventbrite. Be sure to set up a way to collect fees (if any), keep track of tickets sold and revenue generated, and have clear policies in place, such as a refund policy.


Create a Show Flow (with rehearsals/call times)

Once you have all your details coordinated - a venue, a band, staff, food, and beverage vendors - you’ll need to keep everyone organized to make sure your event runs the day smoothly. The best way to do this is by creating a show flow. Include times for setting up/tear down, important contacts, rehearsal times, and locations where everything is happening, ect. Be sure to work with the venue and establish enough time before your event to get set up - and add in some extra time for any last-minute issues that may pop up. You’ll also want to make sure staff knows what times they are able to take breaks so that you stay appropriately staffed all night; you don’t want everyone taking a break at the same time. It’s good to hold some pre-event calls for your staff and vendors to help answer any questions and provide clarity before the big day.


Planning a concert event is no easy task; it requires a lot of work and organization. You’ll likely need a team of people to make sure everything is getting accomplished. But by following this checklist, you will be off to a great start to putting on an unforgettable event for your community. Good luck!


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