You need lots and lots of stewards (about 60 in our case). We drew up a great chart of how many stewards we needed where, and heaved an enormous sigh of relief when on our pre-festival tour the caretaker said he had a TV camera on the back entrance so we need not steward it which reduced our stewarding duties by a third.

The duties were basically manning reception, manning a workshop, or manning a dance (we had that as start/middle/end duties to allow for helping to set up and clear up afterwards). There were various other odd jobs; in particular we designated specific people to look after each band and caller who could meet them, take them to where they were to perform and rustle up people to help them move equipment as necessary. We didn't have specific hall monitors, but that might have been a good idea so that there would be someone who felt responsible for knowing where the light switches were and keeping the litter bins empty.

We were careful not to allocate any committee members to any stewarding duties, not that that stopped them from being called on to steward when the inevitable steward or two dropped out.

In both IVFDFs we scrambled to find enough stewards, but got there in the end. Basically we press-ganged all the students in the university dance clubs and then started on any other volunteers we could find. The deal we offered them was a free T shirt and a half-price festival ticket for about 5 hours work, though we were fairly flexible and were very happy when people volunteered to do more.

In 1997 we ran a stewards' ceilidh a week before the festival in the hall where we ran the survivors ceilidh. (As university premises we could get it for free.) This let us show about half the stewards around the place ahead of time. In 2001 the stewards coordinator spent his Friday evening being a tour guide to clumps of arriving stewards.

We emphasised to stewards that in case of doubt they should send queries to reception, and in case of doubt at reception appeal to a committee member on duty (either actually at reception, or on a known phone number).

Here is the handout we gave all our stewards.

Printed programme

We delegated the programme to one committee member who produced a rough draft about six weeks before the festival (before all the workshop descriptions were in). There were some minor debates about how fierce wording should be to say things like "the pub across the road is pretty rough and would not appreciate someone trying to start a session", but basically we were happy with it and only made minor changes.

You do have to think a bit about what information goes in the programme. Clearly, for a programme handed out at the festival, instructions on how to get there are pointless; on the other hand we do need to say "no smoking anywhere in the building". If there is vital information (like the no smoking rule) then you need to work out how session-ticket holders will get that information.

There will be some compromise information (like bus timetables) which might go in the programme or could just be available from reception or some notice board.

Conventionally you offer to put an advert for next year's IVFDF in the programme. You may have to hassle them to get it. Some festivals have other adverts; in our case we couldn't be bothered to try to get advertising, but we accepted a request from Eastbourne festival for an advert and we charged them some trivial fee (roughly the cost of printing their bit of the programme). If you wanted to work at it you might well find the IVFDF programme a good place to advertise summer festivals.

Food and drink

This may be obvious. In 1997 we simply contacted the student union people and said we had 500 people coming for the weekend and please run the bar and cafeteria. In the event the bar was running, but the cafeteria was not. Unhappy festival goers had to raid the local take-aways (of which there were oodles, but breakfast was in short supply). In 2001 we started off thinking this would be straightforward. Initially we contacted the school dinner people, but they had no interest in doing anything. We then chased up a couple of food vans from ones we had seen at festivals and arranged for one burger van and one vegetarian one so there would be an element of choice and competition. We were a bit slow in lining up a bar, but chased a few pubs and found one that had run a bar in the school hall before and was happy to run a bar for us. The main panic (apart from worrying that we were leaving the bar rather late) was that about a month before the festival one of the food vans pulled out (he had some complicated story about risking making enough money in the tax year to put him into a VAT reporting bracket or some such, not that we really cared what his excuse was.) This gave the other van a chance to be difficult and imply that he didn't really want to do it unless he was the sole van. Basically we just ignored him and found a replacement for the other one and everything seemed to work out OK, though we had one very worried committee member (isn't delegation great).

In 2001 the bar took about £1500. The bar staff regarded this as reasonable, though not as much as they would have done out of a rugby festival. Sorry - I've no idea how the food vans did (though the people running them were fairly happy).

First Aid

This was one of our panics. I suspect the law is pretty vague and simply says "if you have lots of people or are doing something specially hazardous then you need appropriate medical cover" which leaves IVFDF uninformed.

In 1997 we arranged first aid cover from the local St John Ambulance people, except for while we were in the sports hall which had its own arrangements already. A big student union building may well have first-aiders on the staff anyway.

In 2001 we tried to get first aid cover, but failed - none of the obvious local groups had volunteers available. We decided that we didn't want to ask too many questions, and would assume that it was probably not legal requirement for something like IVFDF.

Both festivals had one seriously paralytic drunk. In 1997 some furniture fell on someone's head, and they were taken to hospital for observation. In 2001 various people lay down in the medical room to sleep things off, and some people came looking for elastoplast, asprin/ibruprofen/etc or ice/cooling sprays for sprains. At least one walking wounded got walked to a dancing doctor who said something unsympathetic along the lines of "looks like you've bruised it, I expect it hurts".