A Comprehensive Guide to Concert Planning

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Organizing concerts has emerged as a dynamic and rewarding endeavor as the event planning business continues to rise. In the past three years, there has been a notable resurgence in the global revenue of the music event industry, which has increased from 14.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 17.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.

However, concert planning is a meticulous process that demands careful planning, coordination, and execution. With so many things to consider (like crowd control and safety), it’s so easy to be overwhelmed. Whether you’ve been in the event industry for years or you’re a first-timer, this guide is here to support you at every stage of the concert planning process.

We’ll explore the key steps for planning a concert and provide an event checklist for a memorable concert experience.

Definition of Concert Planning

A concert is a live musical performance that brings together artists and audiences to enjoy music in a shared space. Concerts can vary in size, location, genre, and atmosphere. Unlike other events, concerts focus on showcasing musical performances to an audience. 

Planning a concert typically consists of budgeting, venue selection, crowd control strategy, artist coordination, and marketing and technical production. However, planning a concert is more complex and time-consuming than planning other events. Bigger concerts usually involve multiple bands or performers, which can have their technical requirements. Furthermore, managing large crowds and safeguarding safety are other serious concerns.

18 Steps in Concert Event Planning

Though planning a concert is not as simple as it is, you can still go through it with as little stress as possible. By following these simple yet powerful steps, you’re on your way to success. 

Establish Clear Goals

Before you begin planning a concert, it’s essential to establish your goals and event details first. Why establish goals? What do you want to achieve with this event? Are you aiming to promote a new album or artist, or are you looking to raise funds for a particular cause? Defining your goals will set the direction of the whole event planning.

Choose the Concert Venue

An empty concert venue-pre event.

When selecting the right venue, consider the type of concert you’re hosting and your audience demographics. The ideal venue should have adequate space for:

  • Audio-visual equipment
  • Acoustic
  • Dressing rooms
  • Backstage areas for performers
  • Catering or food stalls/trucks (if applicable)
  • Accessibility
  • Technical support

Don’t forget to pay attention to practicalities such as parking availability and restroom facilities. These may seem like small details but can significantly impact the attendee experience. The event venue should also comfortably accommodate expected attendance, with suitable seating or standing arrangements. 

To prevent any miscommunications and unexpected costs, clearly negotiate rental terms with the venue owner to clarify fees, setup and teardown times, and any additional services or restrictions.

Outdoor Venue Vs. Indoor Venue

If you want greenery and more space, outdoor venues will be best for your concert. Band concerts are usually held in outdoor spaces where people can freely move and the atmosphere is more relaxed. One downside, however, is the unpredictable weather and noise restrictions (which can be imposed by the local authorities). 

Indoor venues provide climate control and may offer more amenities. Concerts done indoors also offer a more controlled environment (greater control of sound and lighting). However, space could be more limited. 

Related read: How to maximize small spaces for your event

Accessibility Considerations

It’s very important to consider accessibility for attendees with disabilities. This should cover wheelchair access to the venue, including entrances, exits, restrooms, and seating areas. 

Providing sign language interpreters is also necessary for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as audio descriptions for visually impaired individuals. 

Additionally, designate accessible parking spaces and ensure clear signage throughout the event venue.

Finalize Event Date

As an event planner, choosing the perfect date and time for your concert event is everything. Take the time to learn about your audience demographics, availability, sell tickets, preferred event day, and event time.

For example, if your audience consists of young adults with full-time jobs, evenings or weekends may be preferable to ensure maximum attendance. Avoid scheduling conflicts with cultural or local events that may coincide with your proposed concert date.

Create a Realistic Budget

After finalizing the goals, venue, and date for your upcoming concert, creating a realistic budget is next. Consider all potential expenses such as: 

  • Talent fees
  • Venue rental
  • Production costs (including sound and lighting equipment)
  • Marketing expenses
  • Catering
  • Staffing fees
  • Permits/licenses
  • Insurance
  • Contingency funds for unexpected costs

To create a budget, research industry standards, and gather quotes from vendors. Be sure to allocate funds for each aspect of the event and prioritize expenses based on their importance to your overall objectives. Monitor your spending throughout the event planning and be prepared to adjust your budget as needed.

Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

As an event planner, you have to secure all required permits and licenses for the legality and safety of your event. This involves obtaining permits for your sound system, and lighting equipment, and acquiring any necessary liquor licenses if alcohol will be served. You also need to comply with local regulations on noise, crowd control, and fire safety.

Here are some of the permits and licenses you need to obtain in planning a concert:

  • Noise Permit
  • Event Permit
  • Liquor License
  • Music and Entertainment License
  • Street Closure Permit
  • Health and Safety Regulations
  • Tent and Canopy Permit
  • Pyrotechnic Display Permits
  • Venue Permit

Failure to obtain these permits and licenses can result in fines, legal issues, or event cancellation. That’s why you need to start this process early and work closely with local authorities to ensure everything is in order before the event. 

Find the Perfect Talent

A local band performing in a concert.

All your preparations will go to waste if you don’t get the right talent for your concert. To find the right one, you need to do some research to find performers who match both your event’s goals and the preferences of the concert-goers. This involves researching performers’ past shows, reviews, and fan base.

For example, if you want to organize a live concert in your local community for Gen Z attendees, you can invite local bands or emerging artists that resonate with their tastes and interests. These could include up-and-coming musicians or well-known acts that appeal to younger audiences. 

Next, you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford to pay them. The performer’s fee depends on their popularity, experience, and reputation. You also need to allot a budget for their expenses like travel and accommodation costs (if it’s part of the contract).

Once done, finalize the contract agreement. Ensure that all agreements are clear and in writing to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes later on.

Logistics and Production

Logistics and production involve checking the sound equipment, lighting, stage design, and equipment rental. Collaborate closely with vendors and technicians. You also need to test everything before the event. In order to put everything in place on time, be strict with your timeline. Having a reliable and competent team will also give you the confidence that matters are being correctly attended to.

Promote and Market Your Event

Concerts rely heavily on ticket sales for profit. That’s why concert promotion is a critical step. To promote your event effectively and increase registration, develop a comprehensive marketing strategy covering online and offline promotion. Use a multi-channel approach, such as Google ads, a Facebook event page, and YouTube, to reach a wider audience.

You can also leverage social media influencers for more buzz. In addition, you can print media like posters, flyers, and local newspapers to reach less active online audiences. Also, local media can be an effective concert promoter, especially for targeting specific demographics or local communities.

Set Ticket Price and Registration

After promoting your event, set up an open registration and ticket price on your event website. Start by offering a tiered pricing option such as early bird discounts and group discounts to accommodate different budgets and preferences among the target audience. 

In order to streamline the ticket purchasing process, set up a registration event page and form. Additionally, keep an eye on ticket prices to adjust pricing or promotions as needed.

Pick Your Event Ticketing Partner

Collaborating with a reliable event ticketing partner will help make the registration and ticketing process easier and faster. The right event ticketing partner should have the following factors:

  • Features: Pick a platform with the features you need, such as customizable event pages, multiple ticket types, and email notifications. 
  • Pricing: Compare the pricing of different platforms to ensure it fits your budget.
  • Ease of use: Select a platform with a simple interface and excellent customer support. 

Event Espresso is the best event management software for you. We’ll take care of the whole event registration process (collection of event data, setting up the registration page, etc.). Our features also allow you to offer multiple ticket types for your attendees. We also assist in selling tickets and collecting payments. By streamlining these processes, you’ll have more time on your hands. 

Arrange Security and Staffing

One of the challenges in concert planning is managing and controlling the crowd. This is especially harder during outdoor concerts. That’s why you need to hire experienced security personnel. 

You also need to hire ushers, ticketing staff, and event coordinators. Establish clear communication channels between concert staff, and contingency plans to prepare for any emergencies that may occur. By carefully organizing security and staffing measures, you can help create a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone attending the event.

Develop a Run Sheet

A run sheet, also known as a cue sheet or production schedule, is a detailed timeline or document that outlines the sequence of events and activities for your concert. It serves as a guide for everyone involved in the production, including performers, crew members, technicians, and organizers.

To make one, you need to take note of the start and end times for each performance, including the breaks. Don’t forget to include special moments like introductions or speeches. 

Handle Sponsorship and Partnership

Concerts are very expensive to organize. That’s why data shows that 85% of marketers prioritize event sponsorship. However, around half lack a standardized method to measure it, and 25% don’t analyze sponsorship data for future spending. 

In order to cut down costs, you can coordinate with potential sponsors and partners. These partnerships will also help you market your concert.  

Prepare for a Contingency Plan

Even for veteran event planners and managers, not everything will go exactly as planned. That’s when a contingency plan will come into play. You can start by identifying potential risks and crises. This can include inclement weather, technical difficulties, or medical emergencies. Then, create a detailed backup plan outlining specific actions to take in each scenario.

It might be designating emergency exits, coordinating with local authorities or medical personnel, and informing attendees about evacuation procedures and medical response protocols.

Coordinate On-site Operations

Event planners are always present before, during, and after the event. You must oversee and double-check all on-site operations including venue set-up, sound checks, performer hospitality, and guest experience. 

Integrating sustainable practices into your event planning doesn’t only help the environment but will get the attention of environmentally-conscious attendees. This will promote the organization’s reputation. 

Implementing proper waste disposal, opting for eco-friendly transportation, and utilizing renewable energy sources will reduce your environmental impact.

Event Execution

It’s now the big day. While the day can be hectic and overwhelming, having a checklist at your disposal can make a lot of difference. Some of the tasks that you need to do are:

  • Venue Coordination

Arriving early to the venue to oversee setup and ensure that everything is prepared according to plan. This includes confirming that the stage, seating, lighting, sound equipment, and other technical aspects are in place and functioning properly.

  • Vendor Management

Coordinating with vendors such as catering services, security personnel, ticketing agencies, and equipment rental companies to ensure they arrive on time and fulfill their responsibilities as per the agreement.

  • Staff Coordination

Communicating with event staff, volunteers, ushers, and security personnel to assign duties, provide instructions, and address any last-minute concerns or changes.

  • Artist and Performer Liaison

Acting as a point of contact for artists, performers, and their management teams, addressing any questions or concerns they may have, and ensuring they have everything they need for their performances.

  • Timeline Management

Overseeing the event timeline and ensuring that all activities and performances adhere to the schedule. This involves coordinating cue points, transitions, and any special effects or visual elements.

  • Audience Management

Monitoring crowd flow, ensuring that attendees are safely and efficiently directed to their seats or designated areas, and addressing any issues or concerns audience members raise.

  • Safety and Security

Collaborating with venue security personnel and emergency services to maintain a safe and secure environment for attendees, performers, and staff. This includes implementing crowd control measures, monitoring for any potential hazards or security threats, and coordinating emergency response procedures if needed.

  • Post-Event Wrap-Up

After the concert concludes, conduct a debriefing session with the event team to discuss what went well, areas for improvement, and any lessons learned for future events. Additionally, overseeing the teardown and cleanup process to ensure that the venue is returned to its original condition.

Guest and Audience Experience

When it comes to hosting concerts (and all events at that), the audience experience determines the event’s success. You want to create an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming, and engaging for everyone who attends. 

To achieve this, it’s important to prioritize exceptional customer service, engaging entertainment, and an environment that is comfortable for all guests. One way to ensure that your event runs smoothly is to make sure that your event staff are courteous, knowledgeable, and proactive. 

Another way to enhance the guest experience is to tailor the entertainment options to their preferences. This can be done by conducting surveys or analyzing feedback from previous events. It’s also important to maintain a clean and comfortable venue. This includes everything from having a clean restroom to providing comfortable seating for all guests. 

By adding interactive elements or special amenities, you can elevate the experience even further. Finally, make sure to promptly address any concerns your guests may have. This demonstrates your commitment to guest satisfaction and shows that you care about their experience. By consistently exceeding expectations, you can cultivate a loyal following for future events.

Post-Event Evaluation

You’re still not done yet. After making sure everything is cleaned up, it’s now time to assess if the concert is successful or not. Analyze ticket sales, revenue generation, and attendee feedback to assess concert success and ROI. 

Consolidate feedback from all stakeholders. You can get reviews and recommendations from participants through social media. Once you’ve identified what went right and what needs to improve, don’t forget to thank all volunteers, staff, vendors, partners, and donors. 

Concert Event Planning Checklist for Your Concert Planning

Here is a downloadable Event Planning Checklist for your concert planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to generate sales in live music events?

If you want to increase sales at live music festivals and events, there are several effective marketing tactics you can use. For example, you can promote the events on social media, use targeted advertising campaigns, and collaborate with influencers or local businesses. It’s also a good idea to provide attractive offers, such as early bird discounts or bundled deals that include merchandise or VIP packages.

2. How far in advance should I start planning a concert?

When planning a concert, the timeline can vary depending on factors like the event size, venue and performer availability, and marketing requirements. Generally, it’s recommended to begin planning in 6-12 months to secure venues, book performers, and handle logistics. 

3. What are the benefits for concert attendees?

Concerts are a great way to enjoy live music and create happy memories with others. They offer a break from daily stress and promote social connections, bringing people together through shared musical interests. Additionally, concerts expose people to different genres and talented performers, promoting cultural enrichment and artistic appreciation. Overall, attending concerts can enhance mental and emotional well-being, leading to a better quality of life.

Use Event Espresso as Your Concert Ticketing Partner

Are you planning a concert and looking for a reliable ticketing partner? With the live music industry flourishing, it’s not enough to use effective marketing strategies to drive ticket sales. You also need to choose the right ticketing partner to ensure seamless ticket sales and registration management.

That’s where Event Espresso comes in. Our platform provides a strong foundation for concert ticketing with customizable event pages, various ticket types, and user-friendly interfaces. We offer features and pricing options to meet the needs of your target audience.

With Event Espresso, you can trust us to take care of your ticketing needs so you can focus on the details that matter. We understand how important it is to deliver a great concert experience for your attendees. That’s why we provide a reliable and hassle-free ticketing solution.

Ready to elevate your concert experience? Choose Event Espresso as your ticketing partner today! Check out our live demo now!

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