Festivals are fun! From local agricultural shows to music festivals and international arts festivals to street parties, festivals offer that sparkle, energy and atmosphere that brings communities together.

Presenters in managed venues who offer an annual program of shows develop and maintain audiences by offering regular, consistent and high quality performances across multiple art forms. They need to keep their dance audiences happy, their theatre buffs content and their music-lovers satisfied. Festivals offer the chance to throw it all up in the air and target a specific audience or art form.

Festival-goers are generally more open to seeing and experiencing new things too. Their appetite for trying out things they’ve never seen before is bigger than usual, making festivals the perfect vehicle for presenting new work and developing new audiences.

So what types of shows work for festivals? Well, to a large extent it depends on your festival but here’s a small start.

A mix of big-ticket items, smaller less known work and engagement-focussed activities are a great start to a successful festival program. The blockbuster shows act as a ‘hook’ to attract new audiences and the others offer something special and out of the ordinary for your existing audiences. 

It’s also worth thinking about small free activities and performances that help create atmosphere or offer unique experiences for the public. Installations in foyers, buskers, live art work, interactive tours, story telling for kids and other activities like this add texture to your program and make it memorable, immersive experiences.

If you’re involved in managing or programming festivals in your community, Queensland Touring Showcase is a fantastic way to find out what’s available and discuss the potential community outcomes directly with artists.