14 Different Jobs at Music Festivals
From huge music festivals to yoga, dance, arts, food, and beer festivals, festivals are becoming a summer staple across the world. Of course, festivals don't produce themselves. It takes a diverse and hardworking team to bring a festival to life.
Accordingly, there are a lot of different jobs associated with festivals. Some of these jobs are often full-time, while others are part-time. The benefit of all of them is that they allow you to play an active role in putting festivals together.
Being a brand ambassador is an easy, non-professional festival job. Many companies recruit outgoing, engaging, and friendly people to promote their products or company at events, including at festivals. Responsibilities include chatting with attendees about the product, offering samples, and increasing awareness about the brand.
You see the ads on the Internet, or on the street. You get the emails in your inbox or follow your favorite festival on Facebook or Instagram. Perhaps you hear about the headliners on the radio, or you pick up a flyer.
All of those efforts don’t come out of thin air. In fact, many festivals employ their own in-house marketing team, focusing on everything from developing social media platforms to ads to billboards, all promoting the festival.
If you have any interest in marketing or social media marketing, this might be the job for you.
Social Media Manager
Speaking of social media, if you’re a networking maven and also a festival fan, consider pursuing a job in social media management or marketing. In this day and age, it’s pretty much required for any legitimate festival to have an active and engaging presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and somebody’s got to make it happen.
Travel and Lodging Coordinator
Festivals bring together the best of the best of the music, food, film, yoga or arts scene. Coordinating the flights, lodging, and transportation of so many people, and in some cases, important headliners isn’t an easy task. To get there, consider pursuing a career in the group or corporate hospitality or travel.
Public Relations or Communications Manager
A festival will likely want coverage of its event - in blogs, in magazines, on television, or on the radio. They want to get the word out, in a positive light. An event public relations or communications manager is responsible for managing external reporting or communication about the festival. He or she might also serve as the public face or spokesperson for the festival in interviews.
If you have your own small business, whether it's a food truck, a clothing company, or a jewelry stand, for example, you can apply to be a vendor on festival grounds. Many festivals have designated areas for vendors, placed in strategic locations that get a lot of foot traffic during the day.
Sponsorship or Sales Manager
Sponsors make a festival come to life, and in many cases, sponsorship revenue is a huge component of a festival’s overall income. Of course, sponsors won’t just get on board with any festival. Festival producers need to convince like-minded brands and organizations that their event will be an opportunity to connect with potential customers and increase awareness and engagement. This isn’t an easy task, which is why many festivals and large event companies hire a sponsorship or sales team to obtain partnership agreements with key partners.
Festivals need a strong visual presence to catch your eye and to keep you entertained: from advertisements to posters, banners to stage and set decor, wristbands to program guides, visual images are key. This requires a team of various designers, including visual designers, set designers, and graphic designers.
An event producer coordinates and oversees all aspects of the festival: the event space, they running of the show, the talent, the vendors, the quality of the attendee experience, and logistical details like budget, production timelines and much, much more. It's not an easy job and certainly not an entry-level one, but if you're clear-headed, meticulously detail-oriented and hard-working, it might be a good fit for you.
A talent manager or booker is in charge of securing key entertainers for the festival's lineup. This involves reaching out to managers, negotiating a budget and contract for pay, and ensuring that the talent is taken care of while onsite.
Any legitimate festival needs an accounting staff to oversee budget, invoices, taxes, and expenses, and to analyze various ways to increase revenue. There are a lot of practices specific to accounting for wristbands events, so festival companies often look for accountants who have experience in the field.
Audio and Visual Technician
From light design to sound engineering, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes of your favorite musician's set. Festivals employ technicians and designers to ensure each musical act is top quality and engaging for the audience.
Many festivals "hire" a team of volunteers to help with behind-the-scenes work and various tasks necessary to make the event run smoothly. Typically, volunteers receive free admission to the festival in exchange for their assistance. Depending on the size of the festival, volunteer teams can exceed 100 to 200 people, or sometimes more. In many cases, festivals employ a volunteer coordinator to both recruit and manage volunteers.
Of course, festivals can't rely solely on volunteers to get the heavy lifting done. Many festivals employ an operations team to assist with necessary but sometimes difficult tasks that need to get done on-site, like building sets, delivering equipment and supplies, keeping the staff fed, cleaning up, and anything else that may arise during the event.