Organizing a festival is like starting a business. Enthusiasm is the easy part. It’s the required organizational details that cause all the headaches. Overlook something important and you could find yourself in a serious mess.
If nothing else comes out of the Fayetteville Festival Task Force‘s series of meetings, at least the group can say they helped answer the most important questions event organizers face – the ones they didn’t even know they needed to ask.
What kind of permit do you need for a festival? What are the noise ordinance restrictions if you want to have live music? How can you get one of those fancy banners that hangs over Dickson Street?
People wanting to start a business can at least look to libraries and the business section of a bookstore for help figuring out the details. But where do event organizers begin?
During its first few meetings, and after talking to local event organizers, the group determined that an easily accessible, centralized resource point was a must-have.
As a result, the Fayetteville Visitors Bureau has drafted a new page on its experiencefayetteville.com website that, once launched, will serve as a repository of information for event organizers and will include a master list of Northwest Arkansas events.
The website, which was shown at the task force’s latest meeting on Thursday afternoon, so far includes things like instructions on how to obtain an event permit or a noise ordinance variance, policies and costs for cross-street banners, and media contact information.
A list of local vendors (like trash, tents, and food service) is also in the works.
It’s nice to see something solid come out of Mayor Jordan’s ad hoc group which was tasked with the somewhat vague responsibility of exploring and recommending ways to diversify Fayetteville’s event offerings.
The group is right about organizers needing a single place to find information. The website will certainly be a valuable resource to them.
What the website can’t provide, though, are impassioned, entrepreneurially-spirited individuals who are willing to put in the time and money needed to actually launch an event.
There are a lot of things I’d like to see in Fayetteville – an independent music festival, an expanded First Thursday event, a food truck parade featuring tacos, buffalo burgers and maybe even fancy tater tots.
Here’s hoping the groundwork that the city is laying will provide the extra boost for that would-be festival organizer who’s still sitting on the fence.