While the event itself doesn’t really come under the remit of this blog I think this video publicising the Epic Skate Park Beer Festival that was posted on YouTube is really interesting.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for people putting on events is, I think, reputation. If you have a big name draw or a well known brand (such as Capsule’s Supersonic festival being headlined by Mogwai) then you’re okay but if you don’t have those then you’re only going to get your friends coming along. Everyone else is asking “who are these people?”
One way to get a reputation before you’ve really done anything is to present yourself, which is where this video comes in. Before viewing it you probably didn’t know much about the beer festival other than having perhaps seen a poster or flyer. Now you know what the people who are organising it are like and how seriously they take their beer along with having a better idea about the venue. A whole bunch of uncertainties have been banished.
Compare this (without criticism) to the Project X Presents event Like Fxck which also took place at the Epic Skate Park last summer. This was an event that was very hard to describe in advance and which was more about an idea than big names. It turned out to be successful but I found it very hard to get people I knew to go along. There were too many questions for what was a relatively high ticket price (at least compared to a gig at the Jug).
While the Project X people were probably too busy setting things up run a blog or photo diary on their site it would have been feasible to keep some kind of video diary, especially given there were already video people involved. Shoot some of the setup, interview some of the people involved, quickly edit it into a 5 minute piece, whack it on YouTube and embed it in the event’s website. I’d guess an evening’s work once you’ve got the filming done. (Note how the beer festival video was filmed on Wednesday and online by Thursday morning.)
The doesn’t just apply to large scale music events. You could do it with theatre, art shows, anything where the personalities that feed the event and make it what it is tend to be hidden on the day itself. It doesn’t have to be professionally polished, it just has to be honest. And then you’ve started building your reputation before the doors have even opened.