Managing a festival is a beast unto itself. Just ask the creators of Bonnaroo. And it doesn't matter whether it is national, headline-grabbing music or small town fringe theatre. As the event point person, you must constantly balance the ONE vs. the MANY. I define them like this:
The ONE - The Festival itself. A single, massive project.
The Many - The Dozens, maybe hundreds of projects (activities, bands, speakers, exhibitors, classes, shows, etc.) that make up the Festival.
In my experience, when you’re doing one show, you can get by with a fairly inefficient process. Sure, you’ll bang your head against the wall from time to time, but with a few sleepless nights you can generally plow through it. Festivals, however, are a whole new ballgame. Due to the sheer volume and intricacy, managing a festival requires a well developed process for organizing and communicating. Here's how I do it.