Having a timetable is essential as all events will be different in their planning stages and what you’ll need to keep track of.

Here’s a sample timetable for a community festival to give you an idea of timescale.  You could also use it as a checklist for what jobs need to be done and where.

Start to organise – appoint a steering committee

Timescale and Task          Date
 1 year ahead
Consult the community
Decide on the project and focus on your aims and objectives
Allocate roles to help with the planning stages
Decide on a venue/site
Have an initial talk to the licensing officer
Tell the your local arts officer what you are planning and ask for any advice
Do a rough budget so you know how much money you need to raise
Start raising money locally and looking into possible sponsorship
Look into the range of grants that are available –  some grants take longer to process than others
Start to look for a community artist, performer or act for your event
9 months ahead
If you need to apply for a premises license, do this now
Interview any artists you would like to work with
Provisionally book any professional performers
Inform the police of your plans
Check the availability of any equipment you may need
Start to apply for grants – some take four months to process, others can take eight weeks
If your event is outside, do a provisional site plan
Begin to think about marketing and ticket sales
6 months ahead
Confirm the contract with the artist or performers
Begin to confirm funding
Make sure you are licensed, insured and are following legal requirements
Do a detailed balanced budget
Apply for any council arts grants now
Confirm the hire of any equipment
Write and send out your first press release and information to the community
Start to contact potential stall holders, caterers, refreshments
Organise St John’s Ambulance or the Red Cross
3 months ahead
Apply for a road closure permit, if applicable to your event. Allow 12 weeks to process
Get the artwork for the posters and leaflets ready
Write and send a second press release and information to the community
Confirm stall holders, caterers etc
 2 months ahead                 
Write and send your third press release
Print your posters and leaflets
1 month ahead 
Distribute your posters and leaflets
Do a final check of equipment, performers, artists, residency dates
Put up bunting or a big sign by the venue to attract attention
Plan your photo opportunity or publicity stunt and invite the media
 1 week after       
Organise a sociable de-briefing for everyone who was involved
Complete your evaluation forms and send them off
Claim all your grants
Start again!

For further information please visit:



Download a sample checklist for events for a more comprehensive checklist
Download a disability and access event checklist by the Voluntary Arts Network

Click here for the next section on how to Record your event


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