> My local kite club is thinking of putting on a kite festival next year, and
> we'd like to ask the kiting world what it wants from a kite festival.
> First off, how far are you prepared to travel to get to a festival?
Depends how good it is :). But seriously, you shouldn't place too much
emphasis on this consideration when starting a new festival.
If you want a 'general purpose' festival that attracts the public, you
are dependant primarily on your local communitie(s). Cultivate them
assiduously. Talk to local authorities. Talk to local schools, scout
groups, etc. Investigate local sponsors. You need to design the event
to appeal to/make use of all of these, whilst at the same time
catering for ( rather than depending on ) kitefliers from outside your
local group. Try to get as much free publicity as possible from the
local free paper(s).
If you're thinking of a highly specialised event that focuses on
particular kiteflying niche, it's likely that the ( small number of )
participants will be willing to travel a large distance.
> Should it be a one day event, or be a camp-over for a weekend ?
There are pro's and conn's each way. The camping needs to be very
close indeed to the site itself. If people have to walk more than 100m
from their tent to the arena, they'll moan :). Remember that you will,
at the very least, have to provide a drinking water supply and
toilets. Security may be a concern too, depending on the exact
circumstances. If you're strapped for funds ( and you probably are )
you should reckon on charging for camping, which means that you must
somehow ensure that campers have paid up before they leave ( or even
before they pitch ).
I'd say keep it simple the first time round, and just do the one day.
You'll learn alot, you probably won't need time off work to recover,
and you'll reduce your costs.
> Should it be an event for "serious kite fliers" only?
That's a policy decision for you alone. But remember that it will make
funding the event more difficult, because you may well find that you
have overheads that *won't* decrease substantially if you just have a
few kitefliers there as opposed to larger numbers of people. Plus,
non-kite related sponsors want public.
> Should it be an event for the general public who will tangle and then throw
> away a 1.99 mickey mouse on a string?
> Should we invite dealers?
I think you mean 'traders', unless you plan on using chemicals other
than *** and nicotine :). Yes, you should invite them. They are
another source of income, although they won't expect to pay much for a
new, small, one day festival.
> Should we put on refreshments?
Again, another source of income. But watch out for any local authority
health regulations. The local authority may have an 'approved list' of
food vendors, which you may wish to consult. All food vendors should
have a some sort of hygiene certificate ( I forget what it's called
exactly ). Be a little careful about doing it yourselves if you're
dealing with the general public - I don't know exactly what the legal
situation is there.
Be careful about ice cream vendors in particular. Of all the many food
traders we've had at Basingstoke, many of which have been very good,
that's the category that's given us most hassle.
> Should we have toilet facilities?
Yes. Think 'women and children'....
> Should we have an arena featuring display flying?
Probably. It helps to focus the public's attention, and is a 'safe' (
or 'safer', anyway ) space to fly fast/big/powerful/expensive stuff.
But this is another policy decision - what's your festival all about ?
> Should we have a buggy-ing area?
> If so, should we have buggy-ing competitions (races, etc)?
Don't underestimate the amount of room this will need if thirty or
forty buggiers descend on you. And I've yet to be persuaded that buggy
competitions constitute entertainment for the general public, though
this might not be your plan. But again, your festival, your call.
Some things to think about :
1. Will you need a PA system ? Its tricky to announce/describe
displays to the public without one.
2. Will you charge for car parking ? That needs personnel.
3. Will you want first aid ? If you need St Johns etc, book them as
soon as possible.
4. If you want to pull in general public, consider having some
non-kiteflying attractions there aswell ( bouncy castle, etc ).
5. If you want a beer tent ( potentially a good source of income ),
you need a friendly landlord to get the license ( + beer ) for you, or
someone credible to stand up in court :). They'll be concerned about
children ( will you be selling soft drinks ? ), about security, about
whether you can shut the place down effectively when it's supposed to
be shut, about the proximity of schools ( but it's on a weekend... ),
proximity of other licenced premises, but nothing too dramatic - any
semi-sensible application should succeed.
6. Will you get third party insurance for the event ? Sponsors may
require that you have this. It might be sensible anyway.
7. As with the first aid, book the toilets ASAP.
8. If you want kite traders and other kitefliers, your main problem is
to pick a suitable date that doesn't clash too badly with other
festivals. Think of it like this - if, on the date you're thinking of,
you would otherwise be considering being somewhere else, then you've
got a problem.