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Visas, divas and hotel rooms - an eight-week crash course on running a festival
(1 March - 19 April)
1 March - 19 April, 6-9pm
Festivals can take place across fields, buildings, cities, beaches, houses and countries – some last a day, some a weekend, some a number of weeks and they all have one thing in common – they take months, often years in the planning. And if you want to start one or work for one, this is the course for you.
With over 35 years experience in staging the world-renowned biennial festival, LIFT’s new 8-week crash course will take you through the delivery of a festival, from developing your vision and artistic concept to the logistical nuts and bolts of putting it on, and everything in between.
Facilitated by the LIFT team, this modular course will combine talks, case studies, networking and Q&A sessions and feature guest experts from across the festival and arts sector, including speakers from Southbank Centre, Rambert, Women of the World Festival, Forest Fringe, In Between Time, Seeper Digital, Kean Lanyon PR, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) and more.
The course will be packed full of useful topics including artistic positioning, business planning, programming, partnerships negotiation, participatory and engagement work, fundraising and income generation, writing funding applications, finance and budgeting visas, insurance, staffing, branding, marketing, PR, data, digital and evaluation to name a few. We’ll also let you into some LIFT top tips and use live case studies to deliver practical, hands-on learning to prepare you for the world of producing festivals.
So if you’ve always dreamed of running a festival, got an idea or you’re already working on a festival (big or small) and want to develop your skills, this course will give you all the tools and networks you need.
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WEEK ONE, Wed 1 March – What makes a great festival
Context and positioning, strategic long term aims and business planning.
WEEK TWO, Wed 8 March – Establishing the programme
How to find artists, forging partnerships, developing negotiation skills, working on participatory projects.
WEEK THREE, Wed 15 March – Show me the money
Fundraising and income generation, understanding the development landscape, writing funding applications, working with Creative Europe.
WEEK FOUR, Wed 22 March – Maths club
A vital guide to finance and budgeting.
WEEK FIVE, Wed 29 March – Nuts and bolts
The logistics of running a festival including volunteers and staffing, visas, insurance, Front of House and Box Office.
WEEK SIX, Wed 5 April – Finding your voice and your fans
Establishing and growing audiences, marketing, branding and press relations.
WEEK SEVEN, Wed 12 April – Let’s get digital
Understanding and using data, digital platforms and evaluation techniques to develop feedback and audience insight and engagement.
WEEK EIGHT, Wed 19 April – The after-party
An opportunity to look back and answer any final questions, you will also be able to pitch any ideas to the LIFT team and the rest of the course for a critical peer review.
The course will take place from 6-9pm every Wednesday evening from 1 March – 19 April at LIFT HQ, Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street E1 6AB. (view map)
Toynbee Studios is a wheelchair accessible building – if you have any access requirements that you’d like to discuss, please get in touch.
The course fee is £525 gross (£437.50 plus VAT) and can be paid in instalments with a £50 deposit. The final payment must be made by 31 March. Please contact us if you wish to set up a payment plan.
LIFT has the right to cancel this course within 48 hours of the first session, if the course is cancelled a full refund will be provided.