Victorian Music Festivals:

Projects for a New Way

Planning

Information below acts as a guide the development of a specific music festival strategy or communications plan that complements the local agenda, accommodates protocols and procedures, and supports live music.

Land Use

Whether you are planning a free or ticketed event on private or public land you will need to contact the governing body which may be a council, a state government department or agency such as Parks Victoria, or even federal government in the case of crown land. Attendees to events on private property will impact the local area and so it is important communications are inclusive of local emergency services and local government. CLICK HERE to use the Small Business Victoria tool which helps you understand who's in charge of what near the address of your festival.

To find which council oversees the land you will be using, please enter your festival address HERE, alternatively you can access Small Business Victoria's Events portal and enter details of your event to determine what regulations apply to your preferred festival location.

Local Government

Councils can seem unwieldly from the outside, but if you take the time to navigate the structure, local government personnel can make valuable development, communication and delivery partners.

  • Local Government - Mayors and councillors are the elected representatives or spokespeople of the community in a certain geographic area. Apart from ceremonial duties, many councillors are committed to developing opportunity for their community which may include partnering with festivals that improve amenity, complement brand or provide community benefit. To determine if your festival meets council's agreed aims please see 'Pillars' or 'Goals' outlined in Council Strategic Plans.

As an example, City of Melbourne's  Future Melbourne 2026 Plan lists Priority 4.3 - An events city as part of Goal 4 - A prosperous city. Through Plan Melbourne, Councillors are demonstrating their commitment to hosting innovative local, national and global events. The council explains that they are interested in sporting, cultural, knowledge and business events that attract investment, stimulate the economy and contribute to Melbourne's international reputation and brand.

 

If your event or festival assists the local council achieve their social, cultural and/ or economic aims, it may be worthwhile making contact and highlighting the unique aspects of your event and how it meets their objectives.

 

Local Government - Council Officers working in Economic Development, Arts & Culture, Venue Hire and Community Strengthening teams as examples can also positively impact your plans and application for an event permit. Their roles aim to contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of their local communities which can include business, creative, youth, multicultural, first nations groups as well as provide revenue for the council. Councils often offer grants or in-kind support to kickstart a festival that has potential especially if it may improve community wellbeing and have a positive impact on their brand.

Council Officers

  • Economic Development (Eco Dev) Officers work with local businesses and trader groups to promote and develop opportunity that grows the local and visitor economies. These personnel can precipitate festival partnerships, business buy-in and extend PR strategies by involving local food and drink providers, restaurants, hotels and even transport companies. Where appropriate they can facilitate meetings with trader associations, emergency agencies and contribute to event management plans.

  • Arts & Culture teams produce events, festivals, ephemeral and permanent public artworks, manage grants for arts and culture projects, and sometimes run council venues making them available for hire. They can sometimes partner with external parties

  • Community Development teams can assist with resident information sharing, ensuring locals are aware of your event and involved where appropriate. They can facilitate introductions with our nation's first people who live in the area and guide you through any community activity which may complement your program.

  • Parks and Recreation teams look after open space and the associated flora and can be a source of information regarding sources of water, power, ingress and egress as well as provide an understanding of loading in public parks.

  • Communications & Marketing teams can alert residents about a forthcoming event and augment festival promotion campaigns by using their own social and mainstream media platforms and print collateral.

  • OH&S, EEO, Food Safety and Risk Mitigation

    • Environmental Health Officers provide a variety of environmental and public health services including health education and the enforcement of relevant state legislation such as the Food Act 1984.

    • Risk Management Officers mitigate risk for both council and community and can assess OH&S plans, event layouts, oversee compliance and other associated areas such as Emergency Management.

    • Health Vic - Site offering information regarding food safety - Food trucks and market stalls

    • Streatrader - One stop shop online registration for temporary food and drink vendors where businesses and community groups can apply for and manage a Food Act 1984 registration and lodge Statement of Trade (council requirements). If you plan to sell or giveaway product at a festival check HERE whether you need to apply to do so. 

State Government

  • State Government DJPR - Victoria's Government has dedicated divisions to the attraction of large scale events that offer a positive cultural, social and economic benefit. If your festival has the potential to grow the visitor economy, we suggest you contact the Tourism, Events and Visitor Economy (TEVE) branch.

  • Creative Victoria are supporting the festivals sector by funding the development of this toolkit, but also by bolstering existing and developing music festivals that support artists and the live music eco-system.

  • Small Business Victoria

Commonwealth Government

  • Department of the Arts (DOTA) liaises with AFA on regulation, sector support and recovery, and strategies that improve audience safety and access, with Festivals Australia | Office for the Arts stating Festivals Australia supports community participation in, and access to, the arts and aims to support partnerships and collaboration across the sector.

Get in touch

For further information, please contact the Program Managers:
 

Anna Jacobs - [email protected]

Francesca Valmorbida - [email protected]

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This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.