15 Steps to Starting a Local Music Festival (in a bad economy)

Last year I had the good fortune to get pulled in to help out with marketing for the first-ever JP Music Festival in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

Put together by Rick Berlin, Shamus Moynihan, and Randace Moore, it was created because they and others recognized that Jamaica Plain has a vibrant music scene that was kind of hiding under the covers. The neighborhood has lots of musicians who lived and work here and we have several other neighborhood festivals, but we all wanted a festival that was all about the local music to bring it to the front and bring together the ‘hood.

The first festival took place on Saturday, August 20, 2011 and was an unqualified success. More than 20 artists and bands performed over six hours to at least 1,200 people. It was a hot summer day, but I, for one, was amazed at how smoothly everything went and what a great time people had.

Afterward, a number of people asked us how we put the event on, especially given how bad the economy is/was, so we’ve put together a two-page pdf document that we want to share with others who want to put on local music festivals around the US and around the world.

We call it “15 Steps to Starting a Local Music Festival (in a bad economy” and we hope others can learn from what the team behind the JP Music Festival have learned and bring more live music to their community!

- Charlie