Last night I posted a simple observation on my home wall which got a lot of reaction.
“Something I’ve noticed in 23 years doing events….It’s easier to criticize them than to organize them”
I really just meant it like that, its easier to criticize than organize. But just because it’s difficult to organize, does not mean that organizers should not be held responsible for their methods and result -they absolutely should. And with the recent release of 2 Fyre Festival movies out on Netflix and Hulu, the idea of promoter responsibility is clearly something on people’s minds.
These films expose the inner-workings of a poorly, planned, rushed festival that was very successfully promoted but not successfully produced. Aside from outrage at how these promoters continually lied and fell short of promises, these films hopefully also give people some appreciation for how much is takes to pull off a successful event – intention, vision, realistic planning/budgeting to carry the vision through, follow-through to make everything come together, and ability to roll with unexpected challenges that can come during the event and the whole way leading up.
No pressure, but months or years of work are going to come down to one weekend, and a lot can still go wrong even if you plan well – honestly pulling off a multi-day outdoor event is one of the most difficult things you could try to do.
If you really understand the above and go to one that runs smoothly, be impressed and know that under the surface the organizers faced many challenges and it was not likely a smooth process to produce that smooth event.
Where do most events falter? I think right at the intention stage – too much ego is involved typically. Watching the Fyre Fest unravel it is pretty obvious that organizers put more emphasis on stroking their own egos than a realistic budget or plan. A similar and much more common problem is all the djs trying to be event organizers for the wrong reason – having a place to dj and promote themselves.
Now there’s nothing wrong with having a place to dj and promoting yourself, it’s just not the right reason to organize an event
The right reason to organize an event is for the love of bringing people together and the opportunity to provide a special experience for them, and that will always reflect in the result.
Organizing an event is one of the hardest things you could try to do, especially the more involved multi-day events. But it’s also an opportunity to really make something special. It’s a lot more than just a place to dj so when that’s all someone is trying to do, you can also feel that.
I would encourage anyone thinking about throwing events to think beyond what it can do for their ego and dj career, and more about what your event can add to what’s already out there, and how it’s going to stand out.
What is the vision, why do this event? If you can get it in people’s heads that your event is special and different, you are going to have an easier time convincing them to come on the adventure. Reality is it will take a lot more than invention and vision to pull it off, and after careful planning and implementation there’s still a lot that can go awry.
That’s why sometimes even seasoned organizers feel like it’s something of a miracle when they pull an event off successfully 😉