5 Simple Ways to Improve the Average Festival Experience

Photo by Marc Brubaker
Free ice would be nice too. Just saying.
Music festivals are a bit of a no-brainer for live music fans. Getting to see a ton of bands for a mostly reasonable price? What's not to love?

Well, a few things, if we're being honest.

Don't get me wrong, plenty of little things that have happened over the last few years have made the festival experience better. Vendors taking credit cards, more food options, and VIP ticketing levels are all things I appreciate.

There are certain things promoters can't control -- the weather, how late the shows can go on, jerks in the crowd -- but there are little things they can do to make it better for everyone. Here are five suggestions for future festival promoters looking to take their show to the next level.

Lollapalooza with a good example of social media usage.
5. Make the Most of Social Media

Most fests are really good at pimping their show on Facebook and Twitter. In the lead-up to the event, followers are blasted with countless countdowns and retweets of people excited to head to the show. Then the festival actually starts and many of these accounts go dead or just switch over to posting Instagram photos.

It would be great if they'd be more active with actual information. Ever been at a show where a band was running late? Wouldn't it be great if someone let you know what was up so you could adjust your plans accordingly? That's one of many different ways fests could use social media in an active way.

Photo by Cory Garcia
Litterbugs just waiting to happen.
4. More Waste Disposal Options

While I don't live the greenest life, I try and do my part to look out for the Earth. One of the more disappointing things about a lot of fests is the amount of litter that covers the grounds. While it's great that more fests are putting down the money to hire people to make an active effort to collect trash throughout the day, as opposed to waiting until after the show is over, simply adding a few more trash cans and recycling bins wouldn't hurt.

I'm not foolish enough to believe that their presence would make people less lazy, but on the whole I think it would reduce at least a little bit of the waste on the ground. As a bonus, cleaner grounds equal more places to sit.

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More free water, always.


i feel like this must be just a bash on summerfest. most festivals do a all of these, maps, lockers, lights shining on the portacans, lots of trash cans and giveaways for ppl who keep the park clean.. weather is not something you can control, just PERSONALLY be prepared for, and the flagpoles are genius. maybe not the extravagant ones, but a flagpole or balloon is the perfect way to find your group all weekend. summerfest will catch up soon. so glad its a part of Houston. one more thing that summerfest will never have control over, the sound ordinance.. but again everyone can personally do something about this by signing the petition to have it removed. 




My 2 cents? Put a sign up with the *name* of whatever band happens to be playing at the time. Doesn't have to be fancy -- hell, a whiteboard would work, and you could just wipe it & rewrite it each time a new band takes the stage. There're few things more frustrating (to me, at least) than standing at Stage X watching some nondescript bunch of people play and having NO idea who they are -- or worse, thinking they're somebody else.


 @CoryGarcia While I love Summerfest, it's something I've run into there, even, and I already *know* most of the bands. *sigh*. I'm still not sure I saw Los Skarnales or Bombon at this past summer's 'fest...


 @chris.gray  @CoryGarcia Right? And yet, because they were listed for the slot while a band that definitely did *not* look like them were playing, I was confused; thought maybe they'd turned into a full-on salsa band when I wasn't looking...

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