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Organising an Indoor event


Mikalah Houghton

This is a basic guide that covers all that you should need to know about organising indoor events and gigs. This will contain all the needs and expectations when holding an event for both your safety and the public attending.

When the event is being organised, there are many areas that need to be attended to before the event starts. This guide will cover every step of the way starting from the beginning through to the end of the organisation and planning stage. The steps to an organised event are as follows:





Health and Safety




The first thing when planning an event is setting a budget. The budget will not only be what sets out the spenditure but it will also effect the sizing of the event. The larger the budget, the larger the event could be.

The main expenditure for an indoor event comes from the booking of the venue, the booking of the bands, and the booking of any other staff members that may be required. Some money may have to be spent on insurances and licenses however a lot of venues already have these in place.

The best way to set the starter budget is through researching into average prices of venues, staffing, equipment and setting a price for booking bands. By starting here, set a budget for the event that takes into account the licenses needed, and any other aspects that are required for the event.

This example budget sets a good example to the design of how to produce an estimated budget. By dividing the budget into sections it does allow the budget to look clearer as to where the spending is occurring. It also makes it clearer to divide the budget up, so when it is being produced there are clear sections where the spenditure would occur.

In the budget, not only does it outline the expenditure but it also helps determine the price of the entry to the show. For the price of the tickets, the budget must allow for the fact that the whole venue may not sell out. To breakeven the price must be based around a smaller amount of tickets sold than just the capacity of the room, otherwise it could be difficult just too breakeven.


It is important that the venue is a suitable size for the event. It has to be a big enough venue to fit the acts, all entertainment and most importantly it needs to be the right size for expected audience. This is the stage where the audience number should be set out and stuck to, most venues will provide a figure as to their capacity and this should be stuck to.

As a first event with local bands, a venue with a capacity for around 100-200 people is suitable. Most beginners will start by holding gigs in pubs and small clubs, most of these do have a capacity between 100-200 people. With the met lounge in Peterborough, UK, only being designed to only hold 200 people, this is prime example of a small venue. (Skiddle, 2018)

As part of the venue stage, the audience has to be taken into consideration. The safety and free movement of the audience is important, and the lack of it could cause a lot of accidents and injuries. To make sure that the audience is safe there are measures you can take regarding the venue alone. By creating an expected audience, there is a level of control over how many people attend, this then allows the correct sized venue to be selected. (Trafford Council, n.d)

Once the correct type of venue is selected and a date is set, it allows for the other planning aspects to start taking place. This also gives a time frame of how long there is to get all of the aspects completed.

Booking Bands

After having a venue, the next step would be to book the bands. Booking the bands is straight forward. The first decision to make is if there is a theme, this will set the base of the type of music the bands will need to perform. This will allow the selection to be specific to the genre making it easier to search for a type of band. If there is no type of genre the bands you book should be organised in a way that when the play it should flow well.

There are many ways to source local bands to play at an event. The main source of research in the modern day is by looking online. With access to them via Facebook and Twitter, it makes looking for bands to play a lot easier. By researching into musician forums there will be access to hundreds of bands within the local area. There are also community radios and other industry groups on social media that musicians can use to showcase their ability. For example using social media is a great way to find bands just by searching Bands and Musicians in Cambridgeshire, it brings up 3 different groups that involve all musicians and Hundreds of pages for bands and musicians that live in the region. (Facebook, 2018)

Normally with small local bands, there isnt a manager to contact however most bands will have a Facebook or a Twitter page with contact details on so that they can be booked. There are some smaller bands that do have managers however they usually do state who their management company is, this is just another way to contact and book the band. If they do have a manager, this will be who will organise the bands appearances.

Depending on how long the night is depends on how many bands should be booked. How many bands you book does determine how long the set list for the band to play is. The average time for a small gig is around 3 hours, in these three hours the bands should have enough time to express their style of music. For a small time gig of around 3 hours, half an hour to 45 minutes is a reasonable amount of time to showcase their music. This allows for between 4 and 6 bands to play, however the set times are completely flexible and can be changed to suit the event.

Once the bands have been chosen and booked, then the bands should supply you with a set list. This makes communication with the engineer easier as they will know what songs are being played when and how long the change-over times are, this helps make the event flow well without any issues.


The equipment required for the type of event varies. Most indoor events when using a venue intended for music events supply the PA equipment. However if it is a pub being used then there will be a need for a basic PA set up with a small mixer thats big enough to accommodate all instruments, all wires and microphones. This is usually an option that the bands do themselves and as part as an event management team, the aim should be to get a venue that is intended for an event. This saves the money from the budget to hiring the equipment.

The musicians playing will bring all of their own instruments, cables and they should bring their own microphones. Some venues will have the basic sm58s as a backup with a selection of wires however this should not be relied on, the musicians should have all their equipment.

Health and Safety

Health and safety is incredibly important in every task done. A risk assessment is the best way to keep track all aspects to do with health and safety. This allows the venue to be fully assessed and it allows for the event runners to outline all the work that is required to make the venue safe for the event and the audience involved.

For a risk assessment to be complete there are many aspects that need to be taken into account. When creating a risk assessment, there are a few areas that need covering. The first is that the hazard needs to be identified. This needs to outline every hazard that is a potential for the event. These could include:

Fire Safety

Electrical Safety

Trips and falls

Safety of the bands

Audience Safety

Consumption of alcohol

Food consumption

Heavy Lifting

Safe moving

Emergency exercise

There are many more areas that could be covered depending on the venue being used. The risk assessment is the organisers responsibility to make sure that every hazard is covered.

After the hazards have been identified, then the subject of the harm needs to be identified, so who is at a potential to be harmed. There are preventative actions in place to help lower the risk and prevent anything happening, these should be already be in place in an indoor venue. These should be placed in the risk assessment before the risk rating is done because this takes into account the preventions there are. If the rating is high then the final section of the assessment allows for the assessor to put in actions to correct the issues.

This is a great example that shows how a risk assessment should be filled in. With the hazard highlighted, the people involved, the precautions in place, the risk numbers and the further actions all being used appropriately.


With all events there are many legal areas that need to be covered. Most of these are covered by the venue however it is the responsibility of the event organiser to make sure that all of the certificates and licences are in date and that all laws are being followed. The main licences and laws that should be followed are:

Licensing act 2003

PRS licences

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

Electrical Safety at Places of Entertainment (GS50)

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

When it comes to the laws, the risk assessment should cover all of them as they are based around a risk. The laws are already in place acting as a preventative action. Most of the laws involved cover things like fire, electrical safety and health and safety at work. All of these laws will requi