10 Tips to Set up a Music Event in London

May 8, 2024

London’s music scene is globally renowned for its diversity and vibrancy. From legendary concert halls to intimate underground venues, the city offers many spaces and opportunities for music lovers and event planners. However, setting up a music event here is no small feat.

This guide provides ten comprehensive tips to help you navigate the intricacies of event planning in London, from budgeting to promotion and everything in between.

1. Define Your Event’s Purpose and Budget

The first step in planning a music event is to define your event’s purpose clearly. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with this event. Is it to promote a new band, raise funds for a cause, or simply provide entertainment? The purpose will shape many aspects of your planning process.

Next, set a realistic budget. Account for expenses such as venue hire, performers’ fees, equipment rental, staff wages, insurance, catering, marketing, and other essentials. Keeping a well-defined budget will help you manage your resources effectively and avoid unexpected costs.

2. Choose the Right Venue

Choosing the right venue is crucial for your event’s success. When evaluating potential venues, consider factors such as layout, technical setup, capacity, and location. The layout should align with your event’s needs, whether it involves a stage, dance floor, or seating.

The technical setup should accommodate your performers’ requirements for sound and lighting. Capacity is also important to ensure the venue comfortably holds your expected audience. Lastly, consider the venue’s location for accessibility, including transport links and parking facilities.

3. Find the Right Music Acts

Selecting the right musical acts can make or break your event. The acts should align with your audience’s preferences and fit the event’s theme. To find talent, you can scout local musicians at live performances, explore online music platforms, or use music directories. It’s essential to balance well-known artists and fresh talent to create a dynamic lineup.

4. Design a Ticketing System

A smooth ticketing system is crucial for managing attendance and ensuring a seamless check-in process. Online ticket selling is a convenient and efficient method allowing advanced sales and different pricing options. Make sure the event details, seating information, and refund policies are clearly indicated on the tickets.

5. Develop a Setlist and Schedule

Creating a set list and detailed schedule helps ensure the event runs smoothly. Coordinate with performers to determine the timing of each act. This lets you plan for equipment needs, stage setup, and staffing requirements. A clear schedule also helps manage transitions between acts, minimizing downtime and keeping the audience engaged.

6. Organize Staffing and Security

Adequate staffing and security are essential for both safety and operational efficiency. Depending on the size of your event, you may need security personnel, door staff, technicians, and event assistants.

Clear communication is key; ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities to maintain smooth operations throughout the event.

7. Plan Your Equipment and Tech

A well-executed technical setup is crucial for any music event. Confirm with the venue and artists what equipment is needed, such as PA systems, lighting, and sound engineers.

Some venues may provide the necessary equipment, while others require you to bring your own. Always communicate clearly with all parties involved to ensure all technical requirements are met and to avoid any last-minute surprises.

8. Promote the Event

Effective promotion is vital for attracting attendees. Utilize various marketing channels, including digital PR, social media, email, local media, and printed materials. Collaborating with the artists to leverage their fan base can also create buzz around the event. Listing your event on multiple online platforms can boost visibility.

9. Prepare for Event Day

On the event day, ensure all technical equipment, staging, and seating are set up properly. Have a clear schedule, provide a toolkit for emergencies, and ensure performers are comfortable. Be prepared for potential issues, such as equipment failure or inclement weather, with backup plans.

10. Follow Up After the Event

After the event, gather feedback from attendees, strengthen relationships with artists and vendors, and retain customer interest through mailing lists and social media. Post-event follow-up helps build anticipation for future events and provides valuable insights for improving future planning.


Setting up a music event in London can be challenging, but with careful planning and execution, it can also be incredibly rewarding.

As you dim the lights and the first notes tremble through the London air, feel the city’s pulse merge with your event’s heartbeat.

You’ve navigated the maze of permits, handpicked a venue resonating with soul, and crafted a community vibe. Now, as clouds loom promisingly, your contingency plans stand ready.

The stage is set, the crowd buzzes with anticipation—your vision is alive. Embrace this moment, the culmination of your creativity and hard work.

Let the show begin!