Do I need a City Event Permit?
NOTE: This is not an “event” on city land… it is an “entertainment series” – a volunteer group of people entertaining around a community, on their own properties and in nearby greenspaces. There are no tickets sold, and no guarantee of attendance. So this is why we don’t fall under normal City permit requirements. We have had our MLA support us, the community support us, and the City Police drop by, and we have not had any issues. We have run successfully without violating social distancing and maximum attendee numbers (even when they were just 50 attendee maximums). The food trucks, if they attend, choose locations they know are permissible, and just need to be invited to attend. We have not closed any roads. Any traffic generated is mostly walkers and cyclists around the neighbourhood.
How do I build a team of returning performers and volunteers?
I started a chat group on Facebook for the “Stompede Pioneers” – and included all the folks who jumped on to participate in the first couple events. This makes it easier to float new things and ask for feedback on new ideas.
How may performers do you need to do an event?
Well, I’d like to say at least 5 to start – this is enough to make an exciting map…. ideally 10 things to start. You could solicit participant and THEN set the date when you have enough if you want to be cautious.
Does it need to be SUNDAYS 2 – 5?
We thought Sunday afternoon was a good time because lots of families are out on bicycles. Also, it gives them Saturday to prepare if they are a participant in some way. You can choose your day/time; but generally a weekend afternoon works well. Two or three hours is recommended.
What equipment will I need?
Some young or inexperienced performers may need to borrow a microphone or a PA. I encourage you to facilitate these things, since no one stops to listen most musical acts unless someone has at least a small PA! Tell the performers at least go and pick them up and set them up themselves if you can. Anything you may need can usually be borrowed – just make a post on a community page: “We have a couple young singers for the Stompede who need a PA/microphones. Would anyone be willing to lend equipment to them?” Same goes with generators. Alternately Long and McQuade rents equipment.
Do you have a few musicians or entertainers that may attract crowds?
If so, we suggest you put them in nearby green spaces. You might need to help them track down generators. But this is easy to borrow from within the community if you just ask on a community page, and tell them what you need it for. Also, the owners of the generators may be willing to gas them up, and if so, thank them online for this!
Do you want food trucks?
There are a lot of Food Trucks looking for business. Don’t do too many – and keep them well spaced since they do attract crowds. They come to Lake Bonavista for no charge. It’s good to put some kind of entertainment near them, but not too close to avoid too much crowding. We learned that if you have 2 in one location, it’s almost too much – I would space by 50 meters or so along a green space.
Should businesses be involved?
Sure, they can do a fun activity too, and/or a giveaway. It’s up to them to figure out something fun. We have no issue with people promoting their work with an activity or making small sales on their lawns (with the free activity being the main attraction). We haven’t had any inquiries from people wanting to make investment presentations yet! Most people understand that this is an opportunity for fun, not so much profit.
Should we pay professional musicians?
We have not done this; the idea being that you need to encourage the developing and emerging performers. If professionals are “brought in” then it sends the message that the hidden/amateur talent isn’t good enough. What will surprise you is how much real talent and variety there is in every community – and even if it’s just in development, it still has huge entertainment value. People need only watch part of a show, and move onto the next entertainer…they haven’t paid for tickets, so they are always surprised and delighted to discover what exists right beside them – this is EXACTLY what builds the community pride and bonding! IN FACT: If you want a pro musician to come and promote Community Stompede ahead of your first event, I will do that for you at NO CHARGE, just invite me. I may also bring a couple of the emerging performers from Lake Bonavista (a 5 year old singer, an obstacle course maker) to demonstrate what you can do yourself!
Want to do even more?
In Lake Bonavista, we have added a few more things, based on requests. But these are ENTIRELY OPTIONAL, after you get the swing of just doing a basic Stompede event. 1) Something in the morning for parents with young kids… we added a Pre-show from 11-12. 2). Something to entertain people who can’t come out of their homes, i.e. are elderly or ill…so we made a little mobile entertainment team that visits them, also during the Stompede time frame. If you’d like to do this, we’ll give you templates for that too (guidelines and a schedule methodology we made).