With summer fast approaching, festival season is just around the corner and the months of booking artists, arranging food vendors and ordering, shipping and building infrastructure will begin for project managers and site runners around the UK and abroad.

Whether you are setting up a local, independent festival or are part of organising an international music event, many of the core things to consider are the same. When setting up any event there are a number of important factors to consider such as essential amenities, entertainment and equipment.

Once location has been confirmed and tickets have started selling then the organisation on the ground can begin. This guide should tell you everything you need to know about how to set up a festival.


Arguably the most important aspect of setting up any festival is making sure the entertainment, what the paying customers have come for, is set up and organised ahead of time. Be it craft ale at a beer festival or international DJ’s at a music festival, making sure that the entertainment is where it should be when it should be is something that should be prioritised.

This will be different for every festival, with bigger events that have a variety of acts needing much more organisation than smaller festivals with fewer attractions. Whatever size festival you are running though, it is important to book or arrange your entertainment ahead of time and if you have multiple acts using the same stage, making a tightly controlled plan for each day is a must.

Stages and stalls

Making sure that the correct infrastructure is organised for the entertainment should be top of your list when organising any sort of big event. Be it stalls for pop-up restaurants if you are organising a luxury food festival or stages and tents if you are putting on a music festival, this infrastructure is essential for any event and is worth booking well ahead of time.

Food vendors and amenities

Food and drinks festivals will have many of their amenities catered for already, with the entertainment naturally providing food and drinks to the audience. Music and arts festivals will have to consider food and drinks vendors at their event to make sure that their audience have ample options to stay fed and hydrated.

This will take careful planning as you will want to make sure that different dietary requirements are all catered for, there is enough choice and there are enough vendors that the queues are manageable. Booking too many food vendors will also cause issues as those running the small businesses will not be happy if they don’t get enough traffic and the event ends up not being worth their time.

One thing that all festivals big and small will have to bear in mind is toilets, at least one first aid centre and hydration stations. While many smaller festivas will hire their essential amenities, some bigger festivals may have their own infrastructure which needs to be transported to different locations. Because these are so important, it is worth making sure any fragile materials that are involved in providing these essential amenities are delivered in one piece. With our technical foam services we can provide custom foam inserts to provide you with a tailor-made solution to packing your essentials and ensure they arrive undamaged.

Music equipment

Music festival set up can be more complicated than other events because while some bands may bring their own equipment, DJs will all expect equipment to be waiting for them. Some acts may also have different requirements on their rider, such as expensive rotary mixers and top of the range CDJs. Both bands and DJs alike will need a mixing board, stage lighting and possibly smoke machines, all things to consider ahead of time.

Festivals are notorious for having bad conditions, and equipment can often take a beating and get damaged when being transported over muddy fields and used on hastily put up stages. When the event is one that takes place at various locations, damage can also occur in the transportation process too. MSA can provide custom case inserts to ensure that expensive equipment is looked after and can be safely used and transported, helping to make sure nothing breaks before, during or after the festival.

Some festivals may even be broadcasting certain acts online or on television. MSA have experience working in the broadcast industry and are capable of ensuring any broadcast equipment can be transported with ultimate protection.

Contact MSA

At MSA, our team can manufacture custom foam inserts for you to ensure that your valuable musical equipment and other festival essentials are stored safely. Just contact a member of our team and provide us with the specifications of what you need protecting and we will do the rest.