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Please make sure you have read the Terms and Conditions
Finding a venue
We recommend this list as a good starting point: https://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/oxford/guide/halls-for-hire
Things to think about: How many people do you think will come? Do you have a local following or fan base who you can rely on to buy tickets? Do you want a formal sit down concert or something where people can dance? Is the venue accessible to wheelchair users?
Once you have decided you definitely want to go ahead, you will need to fill in a FW2020 Event Form and submit it to us along with payment of your marketing contribution (see above). When we confirm receipt of these two things then your event is confirmed as part of FW2020.
Things to think about: How long will the performance be? Will you have one artist or will you have a warm up act? How much time will you need to set up beforehand and clear away afterwards? Are you intending to serve refreshments or have a bar (if you are planning to sell alcohol you will need a license from the council)? Does the venue allow you set up time before your booking starts or do you need to book and pay for the additional time?
You should check that your venue is licensed for the performance of live music. (If they are advertising themselves as a venue for event hire they almost certainly will be.) Some venues such as churches are exempt from certain licensing laws, but it is always worth checking.
Whenever live music has been performed, a record of what has been played should be submitted to the Performing Rights Society so they can distribute royalties to the composers. If you or your artists are PRS members then you can do this online, otherwise you can ask PRS for a form to fill in. If your venue is licensed for musical performances then they will pay PRS an annual sum to cover these royalties - if not then you may be liable for this payment. There is more information about music licensing here: https://pplprs.co.uk/themusiclicence/ (NB the onus is on the venue to be licensed rather than you as the promoter, but it is worth you making sure they have the relevant licenses in place before committing to hire.)
If you want to run a bar at your event then you will need a Temporary Event Notice from the council (unless there is already a licensed bar on the premises). If you are using a church you will need to check whether they allow alcohol in the building. There is more information about TENs here: https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20146/streets/35/temporary_event_notices
Things to think about: Do I have enough people to manage the bar/refreshments as well as checking tickets? Is the event going to have an interval where people might want refreshments? Am I going to allow people to bring in their own bottles of water? If I’m serving food or snacks, do I have the correct allergy information to display?
It is advisable to have some sort of public liability insurance to cover your event. Most professional artists will have their own insurance, but as an event organiser it is wise to make sure you are covered for any wider incidents. Folk Arts Oxford will have insurance for the festival as a whole but it’s unlikely that this will cover events run by independent promoters.
For volunteer-led and amateur groups we recommend Making Music: https://www.makingmusic.org.uk/membership-and-insurance, or there are lots of companies you can find online who offer insurance for one-off events.
Folk Arts Oxford require all event organisers to complete a basic Risk Assessment and submit it to us before the event. We will supply you with a template for this along with your Event Form.
For selling tickets we recommend using a third party seller such as Eventbrite, Yapsody, or We Got Tickets (remember they will charge a fee). You can often set this up yourself online.
Things to think about: Will my audience be happy booking online or do I want to take bookings over the phone or by post? Will people be happy to pay a booking fee online or should I absorb that in to the ticket price? How am I going to keep a track of the number of tickets I’ve sold? Will I allow people to reserve tickets and pay on the door? What is my policy on offering refunds if people change their minds or are ill? What will I do if someone asks for a Carer’s ticket? How am I going to keep track of any complimentary tickets I’m giving away?
With regards to accessibility, we recommend giving a free carers ticket when an audience member needs to have a carer with them in order to attend the event. It is fine to ask for proof of need when booking; something like proof of receipt of Carers Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, or Personal Independence Payments is usually acceptable. It is not acceptable to ask someone why they need a carer with them.
If you have limited tickets and are concerned about giving away lots of them for free then it is best to have a clear policy. For example, you could say that a person is entitled to a free carers ticket only if they would be unable to attend without that carer, rather than automatically allocating a free carers ticket to any wheelchair user. Don’t make any assumptions about someone’s ability: some wheelchair users may be totally independent and able to attend events by themselves, and some people who don’t use wheelchairs may have invisible disabilities which mean they are not able to go anywhere independently and need a carer with them at all times. The key thing is making sure that a disabled person doesn’t face any additional costs or barriers to attending your event when compared to a non-disabled person.
Things to think about: Folk Arts Oxford requires that festival events adhere to our accessibility guidelines. Is the venue wheelchair accessible? Is there a quiet space I can offer people if they get overwhelmed? Have I provided information about the venue, disabled toilets, any steps or ramps to access? Is the event going to be amplified? Will there be strong lighting?
When you have set up your online ticket sales (or got details for a phone booking system) then send the details to Folk Arts Oxford to be included on the Folk Weekend website, along with a photo and/or short blurb about the event.
Things to think about: How much should I charge for tickets? What will people be happy to pay to see this artist? How many tickets do I need to sell to break even? Will I offer a reduced price for concessions? Remember you will need to offer a 10% discount to Folk Weekend Friends - can you do this via your third party ticket seller or do you need Friends to purchase tickets directly from you?
Promoting the event
In order for your event to be accepted as part of Folk Weekend: Oxford you will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions (see above) and pay your marketing contribution. Once you have done this your event will be added to our marketing plan, and included on our website and social media channels.
In order for your event to be included in the Folk Weekend: Oxford printed programme you will need to have submitted your FW2020 Event Form and paid your marketing contribution by 31st December 2019 (to reserve your programme space) and provided your event details and copy by 15th January 2020.
The £30 fixed fee covers:
- Listing in the printed programme
- Listing on the FW website, with a direct link to your ticket sales
- Promotion on the FW social media channels
You have the option to upgrade your programme listing to a quarter page advert (priced at £44), a half page advert (priced at £72) or a full page advert (priced at £110). Premium space is also available, please enquire for a full price list.
It is advisable for you to promote your event yourself in addition to the Folk Weekend marketing. For example, you could use listings sites such as Daily Info or Folk in Oxford, or the Oxford Mail or Jack FM events listings. You could make posters or flyers to distribute, set up a Facebook event, or post in local or related facebook groups. You can look on folkinoxford.co.uk for local sessions or folk clubs who may allow you to give out flyers. Please make sure you include the Folk Weekend logo on all marketing material where possible.
Managing the event
Things to think about: How much time do you need to set things up before the event starts? Will you need to put chairs out, or put them away? Do you need a PA system, or a sound engineer? How much time does the artist need to set up and soundcheck? If you have more than one artist performing, how much time will you allow for changeover? How many helpers/stewards will you need to make sure the event runs smoothly? Do you have a contact number for someone at the venue in case of emergencies? Do you know how to unlock the building/turn the heating up/where the extra toilet roll is kept?
As a rough guide, we would usually recommend allowing at least an hour per artist/band for set up and soundchecks, though solo artists may need less than this, and it is worth checking with your artists before confirming times with the venue. If you have more than one artist you should soundcheck them all before the start of the event, and then allow around 15-20 minutes to change over between sets. If you are putting on a workshop then ask the artist how long they will need to set up.
For our higher level ‘Friends’ of the festival we offer to reserve them seats in their favourite concerts (NB they will still have to purchase a ticket for that concert). The requests will come in via our Friends Coordinator and we will let you know before the event if there are any actions you need to take, and provide you with reserved signs if necessary. (There are a limited number of Friends on this level so it is unlikely to be a significant undertaking.)
During your event you will be given a contact number for Folk Weekend HQ if anything should come up that you need help with. In addition a Folk Weekend Committee Member (identifiable by their FW lanyard) will pop in during set up or the event itself to check how things are going. If you have the space, we’d greatly appreciate if you would allow committee members to slip in to the back and watch some of the concert/dance if they want to - these are the volunteers who work on the festival all year round to help it run smoothly and we wouldn’t be here without them!